Month: February 2012

Take Back Your Freedom: Use Tor

Tighten up the tinfoil hats, folks; this is going to be that kind of day.

I know my readership extends to Europe and beyond, and I’m going to try to bear that potentially international audience in mind as I write this. But first and foremost, I am an American, and embrace libertarian sensibilities that may seem out of the ordinary for the contemporary political spectrum.

One of the things that Americans often say about this country is that it’s “the land of the free” or that it’s “a free country”. I scoff at this, largely because we have this really unsettling pattern of jailing non-violent people. We’re not really free in our homes, and we’re definitely not free on the Internet.

Nowhere is this more evident than on the world wide web. Go ahead and take a few minutes to look through the cookies your browser has accumulated. Don’t forget the Flash cookies. Go ahead, I’ll wait. (more…)


Meet the SmartOS Community

While hanging out in some of the regular channels for SmartOS help, I’ve noticed that some people may still be having a hard time finding where the community congregates. I know this is already documented in the SmartOS Wiki, but the Wiki is not yet as easy to navigate as it maybe could be.

Still, if you go there, the first thing you’ll find today is “Where to Find Us”. Pretty hard to miss. (more…)


It’s good to see other people out there are reading this blog and trying SmartOS for themselves with some success.

I’ve been talking to some of the fine folks at Joyent to start contributing back to this project. Some of the framework of a more mature project just isn’t there yet, but things are coming together. I filed my paperwork with them to join the project, and right now I’m trying to work out how to get more involved in packaging.

On a completely unrelated note, I spent part of today sorting through my collection of electronic components and organizing them into Plano storage boxes. I apparently underestimated how many of these boxes I would need, so I’ll probably go back to the hardware store tonight or tomorrow morning to get some more. It’s working out nicely, because the boxes are clear so I can see what’s in each bin of each box without having to open it. I used my old labeler to clearly label the value of each component bin.

I’d like to build a workbench out in the hackerspace (dubbed The Imaginarium, by the way) but I still haven’t had a city inspector out to perform the final inspection, which is necessary before I start making good use of the space.

Thank you.

I started this blog less than a week ago, and I wrote a niche article about SmartOS that I expected to get a few dozen views on over a period of days or weeks. It’s been a little over a full day, and I definitely got a lot more eyes on it than I was expecting. Thank you all so much! This really tells me that there is an interest out there in better SmartOS content. I heard you, and I’m planning on answering that. (more…)

Discovering SmartOS

As I’ve alluded to previously, I’ve been exploring Joyent’s SmartOS lately. I’d like to talk a little bit more about it. It seems to me that a lot of my peers haven’t yet heard about it, or don’t really understand it much at all. The documentation isn’t really there yet, so I think that it is a little hard to get the right first impression if you’re coming into it with no Solaris background.

That’s right, I said Solaris. SmartOS is not Solaris, but it shares a common heritage with Solaris. SmartOS is based on the Illumos kernel, which is based on the OpenSolaris project (which no longer exists). Oracle has since closed the Solaris source, and most of the best engineers have found themselves reuniting under the Illumos banner. Many of them are under the employ of Joyent and Nexenta. (more…)

My Personal Hackerspace


The hackerspace movement is one of the neatest developments in modern western society. Places are set aside for people to simple experiment, tinker, create. Often this is done collaboratively.

I don’t presently belong to one of these group hackerspaces. The nearest one to me is TechShop RDU, which last time I checked costs about $100 per month to be a member. That’s a pretty big recurring expense for a family man, and one that I’m reticent to commit to. But I did take a welding class there once, and the facilities were most impressive indeed. If I ever end up making more money than I know what to do with, you can be sure I’ll commit to a membership there. (more…)

Tilting at Windmills

This is not my first blog, though it has been awhile since I maintained one. Some of my recent activities seemed to justify putting up an online presence with a little more room to write than Twitter can provide.

While my interests span rather a great variety of far flung pursuits, I can’t promise I’ll talk about them all here, or even most of them. I’m primarily interested in writing about some useful tech tips in areas that are, perhaps, not as well covered elsewhere. Though don’t be surprised if you see the odd piece here and there about photography or motorcycle road trips.

More immediately, I expect I’ll be writing about a subject that is not well covered: Joyent’s SmartOS and its cousins in the Illumos family, such as OpenIndiana.

I may also write about Arduino, Beaglebone, amateur radio, and other areas of interest in amateur electronics.