Accelerating a RAID-5 array with a solid-state hard drive.

May 19 2019

A couple of weeks ago, one of my co-workers mentioned in passing that he'd surprised himself by adding an SSD (solid state drive) to his file server at home.  To recap a bit, Leandra, my primary server at home has a sizable RAID-5 array storing all of my data.  However, one of the tradeoffs is that stuff recently written to the array is a little slow to be read back.  It's really not noticeable unless you're logged in and running commands, and even then the lag is something like one or two seconds.  Noticeable but not actually problematic.  At any rate, I'd been wanting to do some tinkering lately and had an Amazon order planned because I wanted to do some electronic work on my warwalking rig so I figured that, depending on the cost, I might add an SDD to my order.  Much to my surprise, a 120 gigabyte SSD is incredibly cheap, I paid a hair under $20us for a Kingston A400.  Emminently affordable.

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Notes from Thotcon 0x0a.

May 15 2019

My notes from Thotcon 0x0a:

Hacking Con Badges for Fun and Profit

  • Given by an EE
  • Badge hacking started with DC23, HHV.
  • Turned his DC23 record-badge into an analog clock.
  • AND!XOR's DC24 independent badge.
  • Maple Mini STM32.
  • Live spectrum analysis of 20-20KHz as an add-on.
  • Mic, pre-amp, FFT running on the uc.
  • Wired into the badge, rock-and-roll.
  • Inspiration and OSINT - look at the badge when it's announced, think about it
  • Get ideas
  • PoC - if you don't have this, you're not going to have anything
  • dev & debug
  • DC25 - NRF52 - 503.party
  • Blow up any images you can and start thinking.
  • BMD-300 module
  • OxVox - synthesizer and firmware for the badge.
  • Thotcon 0x09 badge - Thotcoin miner
  • Arduino to toggle the pin to mine as many coins as possible
  • Spoiler alert: 0 coins
  • ESP8266, similar to the Sparkfun devkit.  Picaxe x4.
  • Rewrote the firmware in the EPROM that holds the coin count and changed the value.  :)
  • Added a speaker and amp, built a CW repeater for morse code.
  • It's not a badge, it's a development board.  Changes how you think about it.
  • Addons - badges for your badges.
  • DC26 shitty add-on connector, four-pin I2C interface, VCC is marked.  Male pins.  0.1" pin pitch.
  • Master badges have female headers.
  • SAO Genie, based on TPM Genie, PoC for I2C sniffing.
  • Badge -> SAO Genie -> Addon to monitor traffic, serial interface to hook to a computer.
  • Destination address, packet contents.  Passthrough, inject, modify, block packets.
  • DCZIA badge - 4x4 keyboard
  • Crappy audio processing unit to make a sequencer or a synth.
  • https://github.com/mediumrehr
  • @mediumrehr

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War walking with a Raspberry Pi 0 W.

Apr 28 2019

You've probably noticed from the datestamps of my last couple of weeks worth of posts that they were autoposted by an agent.  This is because work has taken a turn for the extremely busy and I haven't had the time or the energy to write anything in particular; certainly nothing really useful.  Rather than wasting everybody's time I decided to relax a bit by picking up an older project, namely a new war-walking rig, and making it work.  Since I wrote that original post a few more security updates have come out for my phone and broke not only the Wigle wardriving app but a couple of other things that I really like, but that's neither here nor there.  I'm still using the equipment outlined in the previous post and the latest Git commit of Kismet right out of the developers' repo.  I made a couple of design decisions that I'll discuss later which are specific to my use case, which you are free to ignore or discard as you deem necessary.

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Neologism: @here grenade

Apr 25 2019

@here grenade - noun phrase - The act of tagging a message @here (meaning, everyone) in a crowded Slack channel (users >= 100), causing everyone who's busy but monitoring to drop whatever they're doing and flame you for bothering them by messaging @here.  Normally done by a user trying to get a response to a maximum severity ticket that's been ignored for longer than the SLA.

Example: "PFY threw an @here grenade into the #tech-support channel because the border router was on fire and the admins on call were ignoring their pagers.  He got kicked but at least the outage is over."

Neologism: Proper channels excise tax

Apr 16 2019

Proper channels excise tax - noun phrase - The markup paid on commonplace things when you go through proper channels at work to do something rather than going rogue, buying it yourself and filing an expense report.  For example, a flight from Chicago to Boston might cost $176us if you paid for it yourself, but by using your employer's internal processes and vendors the cost of the same flight is closer to $630us.

Neologism: Trapdoor goalposts

Apr 06 2019

Trapdoor goalposts - noun phrase - When two or more requirements are set up so that meeting one automatically means failing another. This is a bad faith argument whereby it is impossible to meet the requirements someone sets, without admitting refusal to allow the outcome the other person desires.

Example:
"If you're making a decent income you can't possibly talk about poverty, you don't know what you're talking about."
"I'm actually below the poverty line."
"You just want a handout!"

Neologism: Taxonomic debt

Apr 06 2019

Taxonomic debt - noun phrase - The time you spend learning arbitrary jargon at a new job.

Source: Bradford Stephens
 

Neologism: Technical heresy

Apr 06 2019

technical heresy - noun phrase - Openly demonstrating the imagination to come up with actual uses for a platform or application that it is currently popular to hate.

Neologism: Maintenance contention

Apr 06 2019

maintenance contention - noun phrase - When there is only one bathroom but two people need it for the exact same urgent thing.