Aug 032012
 

I recently applied to the University of California Irvine, and was accepted to the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science as a major in Computer Science.  After years of hard work and dedication I had achieved one of my life’s goals!  I nearly had this robbed from me, because of something bad from years ago in my past, from when I was too young to even control it.  I was a student in the California Non-Public School system. Continue reading »

Aug 012012
 

A pet peeve of mine, for a while, has been the misuse of the term “Hacker” when people are in fact referring to a “Cracker”.  This has been going on for years, and I believe if unjustly fuels a prejudice against the hacker community; and by vilifying honest members of academia, allows governments to unjustly outlaw and prosecute otherwise upstanding members of society.

What’s the difference?

There’s a fine line between a Hacker and a Cracker.  A Hacker is someone who explores, studies, researches, and learns.  Through any subject of study, the majority of innovators are Hackers in the simplest terms.  A culinary student who explores mixing two unprecedented flavors is Hacking away.  A programmer who develops new algorithms, or explores closed systems is a Hacker.  A sysadmin who builds a new service by cobbling two old services together is a Hacker.  An automotive technician who sticks a Ford engine into a Chevy is a Hacker.  It’s simply a matter of pushing the boundaries of accepted wisdom and knowledge.  Trying something new.  Ignoring the documented facts and saying “We can do more”.

A Cracker, on the other hand, may do some or all of these things.  A Cracker is usually a computer hacker.  Most specifically, a rogue hacker.  A Cracker is a person who uses their hacking skills to “Do Evil”.  There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with hacking into the Playstation Network, for example.  You explore the systems, learn how their security works, and how you might make your own better.  When you cross the border and download databases, publish exploits, or steal real money or information, however, you’ve now done something “evil” and have crossed the boundary into being a Cracker. Continue reading »

Jul 302012
 

This morning I realized I had no sendmail functionality on my web server.  This isn’t good, since many programs need to be able to, well, send mail.  I had a couple of options.  I could install Postfix or Exim, and take on the task of managing a whole mail system, or I could install a “nullmailer”.  A simple program that forwards mail to an upstream server for further processing.  There are a handful of good nullmailer programs available.  The two I’m most familiar with are sSMTP and Nullmailer.  Here’s a brief overview of the two.

Continue reading »

Jul 292012
 

Greetings and hallucinations, web-goers!  I humbly welcome you to my fancy schmancy new website.  I haven’t had time to say much yet, but Monday I’m going to throw up an “About me” page, so you can know a little bit about who I am.  If you check out my Contact page, I’ve got an e-mail address up there.  You’re welcome to send me a message telling me what kind of content you’d like to see, or you can post a comment below.

If you know who I am, I hope you’ll check back often.  I hope to publish a variety of content, including special treats for subscribers only, so sign up while it’s free!