Mine the Harvest

IT Adventures

Live From Toorcamp

by on Jul.03, 2009, under IT Adventures, Linux, My Life, Netbooks, Sago Labs

[Want to see the pictures? They are here!]

Kyle and I arrived to Seattle late Wednesday and my brother Robert picked us up. After staying the night at his place we got up Thursday morning and road tripped across the cascades toward Moses Lake. The trip through the mountains was very nice, with beautiful scenery. I’ve not been in the cascades in over 20 years, and it was a plesent change of scenery from my current Tampa bay scenery.

We navigated easily to the site, about :35 outside of town. The environment is farmland, with crops (hey and alfalfa it seems) stretching into the horizons. It is semi-arid and pretty hot, in the low 90’s, and extremely dusty.

First thing on arrival: Assemble and solder your camp pass – a few resisters and two LEDs on a PCB with an inducer – then test by swipping in front of a credit card reader. Blink blink, you are a go.

Presentations yesterday and the Ignite! Toorcamp talks last night were very good – ranging from OSX & Linux stack protection and memory randomization in compiled apps, a Spacepunk talk showing low earth photos taken with a home constructed satellite made with a Sony cybershot camera and deployed via balloon by Hackerbot Labs – they are on site and I’ll be seeing them for more info on this! Also a very interesting talk by Psychesonics on binomial sound waves to sync brain wave activity – hack your mind.

We went to town this morning for supplies, returning for the first talks. I’m sitting in an iptables firewall class now, to be followed by muti-channel bluetooth hacking and then SQL injection.

Bad news: Apparently camp coordinators did not have a contract with explicit access rights to the Missile Silo itself, leaving all authority up to the discretion of the owner. This is bad. As a result, before the conference even started some guys went into the silo unauthorised, the owner paniced and decided to revoke ALL access to the Silo yesterday – so all the talks yesterday that were to be given underground were given on the surface instead. Now, the owner has so graciously allowed one group of people so far to tour the underground silo. It is unknown yet if there will be more tours offered.

Moral of the story: When hosting an event at speciality locations, get a contract to ensure your access rights, etc. Otherwise – just use the national forest which costs nothing and has full public access rights. And it’s a hell of a lot more comfortable environmentally in the mountians!

But the conference itself, the data and the attendees are all very interesting and entertaining and there is a lot more goodness yet to come.

Will update more later.

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Attending Toorcamp – Hacking Fest in Abandoned Titan-1 Silo

by on Jun.21, 2009, under IT Adventures, Linux, My Life

I am  just over a week away from attending Toor Camp ! W 0 0 T  ! ! !


Mission Info

What: ToorCamp 2009

When: July 2nd-5th, 2009

Why: Titan-1 Missile Silo

Where: Moses Lake, WA

I’ll be attending the full camp along with my brother and friend Kyle. Kyle and I will fly to Seattle and from there travel  with my Bro to the site were we will camp for four days of hacking goodness. This is the first such camp in the United States, and is an offshoot of the popular ToorCon. It is looking like it will be quite the event.

There are two days of talks, followed by two days of hands on workshops and labs intersperse with loads of general geekness and fun.

The line up is looking quite good. My brother is delivering a talk on Thursday entitled Geeks and Guns: The Poorman’s Improvised Guide to ammo reloading for the coming Apocalypse the outline of which is here.

The workshops are looking quite good as well and I am interested in attending:


Intro to C++
Crypto Bootcamp
Software Radio (Day1)
Intro to Electroluminescent Wire


The Art of Pivot and Persistence  {System Infiltration}
The Middler Outdoor Experience {Using The Middler for MitM}

There will be some other interesting things at night as well – including and Ignite! Toorcamp presentation, an art display and of course – the 4th of July Nuclear Winter party . . oh yea. . .

Can’t wait! Check back as I will be posting daily from Toorcamp and doing regular twitter updates.

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Open Source Software Collaberation Business

by on Jun.05, 2009, under IT Adventures, Linux

Some friends of mine are considering starting a business which focuses on leveraging Open Source software solutions, commercial applications, server hosting and storage solutions to small businesses. They need a business name and domain name. Want to help them out by voting? See the poll to the right: “What is the best business name”

Their idea is to take available products and technologies, emphasizing Open Source wherever possible, and use them to enable small business to improve their operations by taking advantage of the tremendous Linux projects available.

A good presentation of this type idea is well presented in this article by Open Source advocate John Maddog Hall.

Please provide your feedback by voting in the poll! Fell free to leave any comments or suggestions as well.

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OpenSolaris 2008.11 Acer Aspire One Install

by on Mar.09, 2009, under IT Adventures, Netbooks


After my previous post about installing Solaris Express Community Edition (SXCE) on my Aspire One, I decided to give the Indiana 2008.11 release a try. The community edition was working fine, but I wanted to play around with IPS which I had trouble making work on SXCE, and also I just wanted a Gnome base install and the opportunity to see how 2008.11 installed and worked on the Aspire One.

The install is of moderate difficulty (easy of course once you have done it.) There are a few speeds bumps you may hit however and so I wrote this how to. This takes you step by step through installing OpenSolaris and you will end up sporting Solaris on your Aspire One. Compiz, ZFS, TimeSlider, DTrace, and working wifi are all your’s to be had.

+5 Geek Bonus to any who complete this quest, so saddle up, burn that .iso and start your quest.

One particulary fun thing to do is try a remote install from another system by X Forwarding the GUI Installer. That was kind of fun. (Screenshot of this to come.)

When the 2009.06 release is out I may attempt to use the Solaris Distribution Creator and make an .iso of an Aspire One Image that is ready to roll and put it up on bit torrent.

I encourage you to test drive OpenSolaris, and hope you find the guide usefull. Please leave feedback on how it goes and I’ll try to help – if I can (I’m a Linux guy and still pretty new to Solaris). Also, do check out Dave Clack’s excellent blog. Dave has worked with the Sun engineers helping to bring us driver support for the Aspire One and helped me with with my SXCE issues.

I would also like to thank Aaron Houston (Sun: Menlo Park) for hooking me up with some OpenSolaris advocacy materials – including a great device driver guide, some metallic “Powered by OpenSolaris” stickers and other goodies – another post to come on that.



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Jericho, Florida

by on Nov.12, 2008, under IT Adventures

I’ve often wondered what a complete collapse of the core infrastructure of the country would be like – ala Jericho (the ABC TV show) style. Today was a great example . . .

4:43 In Line

The high school student moves to scan my very last of 10 items when it happens. The EMP hits. All the registers go down simultaneously. All systems are off line. The UPSes begin chirping.  I wait for the systems to reboot. It’s not looking good. People are starting to look pretty confused. New people walk in and are stunned – they start to mill back and forth.

4:47 Take Action

Time to militarize this operation. “Can you do a manual ticket?” I inquire of the young lady. “I would have to get okay from my manager . . . ” She replies. “Great, let me just borrow that pen and I’ll be right back.” I take a paper bag and head off to get my prices. The lines are quite long now. The store managers direct cookies be passed out to calm the masses. The teenager behind me on her cell phone does not appear to notice anything is out of the ordinary yet. I wonder if the phone actually works.

4:49 Operation Dinner Liberation

Mapping the most efficient route I quickly obtain the prices for my select staples and return. (The lights go on and off a few times – perhaps switching backup power sources) I ask customer services to write a manual ticket. I ask if the phone lines are up to accept credit cards. Nope. No problem I will be right back.

(continue reading…)

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