Friday, February 11, 2005

Ununemployment

Monday night I finally spill my guts about my lack of a job, Tuesday morning I have an interview, an offer later that afternoon and I accepted the job Wednesday morning. I wonder if its the lack of blogging about Black Dragon that has kept me from getting a job all this time...

So yeah. I now have a job. Its a contract position at another "start-up", but the environment seems promising and looks like I'll be able to not only learn quite a bit, but sharpen many of my existing skills. I start next week.

Yesterday I attended a computer security oriented lecture series at Northeastern. I had gotten an invite in the mail a month or so back. Apparently all Alumni and factulty get them. Its free to attend, there was a free breakfast and the talks at least seemed interesting at first glance. To be honest I wasn't expecting much. During my time there, there were almost no security related courses or studies being done in the CS program. In fact, the only real movement in the security space at Northeastern was Crew, a group I was very much active in and continues to do cool stuff to this day. I left the lecture series with a new found respect for the CS program. Some of the newer professors that they've brought on board are actually doing security related research that has real-world impact and isn't 3 years behind the non-academic arena.

One of the things I've been toying with for over a year with is running OpenBSD on an embedded device. I've got a Soekris NET4511 and it had been serving as the wireless access point for our house for some time. Every once in a while I'd rebuild it to upgrade to the latest release. The downside to this particular setup is that it uses compact flash cards as its hard disk. While cheap, small and quiet, I've actually had less than stellar luck with them. I had a 1G IBM microdrive, while not exactly a CF card, it still worked fine for many months and then started to croak. Then I replaced that with a considerably older 128M CF card. That lasted for, oh, 2 months at best and then it too died. So the other day I went to CompUSA and picked up a 1G CF card. Now prior to this card I had been using stripped down versions of OpenBSD to make the machine run a bit faster and to deal with space requirements. I started to do the same thing with this new card and then realized there was no point -- I can cram a fully functional OpenBSD environment into much less space without sacrificing certain binaries. I've got some more tweaking to do, mostly to minimize writing to the disk which is one of the things that'll kill a CF card quickest.

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