Monday, November 30, 2009

thirty days: day 4

Day 04 → Your favourite book

my favourite book can only be described as the ultimate Don't Be This Guy:



Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky. it's about a man who gets so caught up in his own inadequacies and insecurities and perceived superiorities that he withdraws further and further away from the world to the point where he can't function. it's not a happy book. but, i'm drawn to it because it is simultaneously something i see way too much of myself in, and something that i'm hoping my life doesn't eventually become.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

thirty days: day 3

Day 03 → Your favorite television program

i touched on this yesterday with my favourite movie...and anyone who knows the least bit about me will see this as no shock. my favourite tv show is still beavis and butt-head, even twelve years after the final episode aired. i watch at least several episodes of it a day...it cracks me up so much, and i still notice new quips and laughs every time i watch it. there's a lot of stupid lowbrow humour--but it's also laced with a surprising amount of intelligent commentary and snark.

my favourite episode has changed over time, but nowadays my favourite one is Scratch 'N Win, in which our two antiheroes win a goodly sum of money in the lottery.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

thirty days: day 2

Day 02 → Your favourite movie

unlike the favourite song question yesterday, this one's so easy. i don't watch a whole lot of movies, but no movie makes me laugh like Beavis and Butt-Head Do America makes me laugh. for once, they took an amazing TV show and made an amazing movie out of it. all those poor kids wanted was their TV back, but they got sucked into this crazy cross-country adventure...

my favourite part of the movie is Beavis's "never gonna score" monologue on the bus:



a fun fact about that monologue? a prototype of it was used in the episode "teen talk."

Friday, November 27, 2009

thirty days: day 1

this thirty-days meme is spreading like wildfire, and this blog needs some content. so, i think i'm going to try it.

Day 01 → Your favourite song

it's kind of hard to say what my favourite song is. i don't really have an Overarching Favourite Song anymore...just certain songs that i always catch myself going back to in certain moods, or songs that i get hooked on and listen to over and over again for a period of time.

however, there is one song that i've looked to as a personal theme song since i first heard it back in 2001: "the way you like it" by adema. i very often catch myself angry at people who react to individuality with consternation, and angry at people who act holier-than-thou about youthful stupidity. in other words, this song is very often appropriate mood music for me, and is an appropriate personal theme song. that makes it the closest thing i have to One Favourite Song.



***

ps: speaking of memes, for all of you who wanted five questions, your questions are forthcoming--i promise! i'm planning on posting all of them this weekend. <3

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

five questions

excuse me while i engage in a bit of blatant memery...it's a fun meme, though, so feel free to ask me for some questions. :)

Instructions:
Leave me a comment saying "Resistance is Futile."

• I'll respond by asking you five questions so I can satisfy my curiosity
• Update your journal with the answers to the questions
• Include this explanation in the post and offer to ask other people questions

***

Mark asked me these five questions:
  1. How did you get into hacking? -- i was really into computers as a kid. i started using a computer in 1985, when my family got a Mac 512. in middle school, i learned BASIC, and started doing some basic programming. i didn't do anything all that intricate, but i got a handle on a few of the fundamentals. that's kind of the initial background for how i got into computers...although it was a long time after that when i got into the hacker community, since i got distracted from my interest in computers by the time i hit high school. i didn't really get back into them hardcore until my last year of law school. i stumbled across a phone phreaking and pranking board (Phone Losers of America) while poking around wikipedia one night, and i met some people off of there who were into linux. i gave linux a shot early last year...and playing around with that got me back into coding, which got me into learning all sorts of things about computers and networking and security. that was my real entry into the world of hacking. i'd still call myself relatively new at it, but i'm getting better and better.
  2. Can you make a living doing it? -- that's my goal. i'm not making a living on it yet, but i'm trying to find a tech job that will take a chance on some relative newbie with no computer degrees and only one entry-level professional certification to date. i plan on eventually working in computer security, although i want to work as a sysadmin or a network admin first--because how could i expect people to take my advice for tweaking and locking down their systems if i haven't been involved in maintaining said systems previously?
  3. It seems like you aren't fond of the whole lawyering thing. So, why do it? -- you're right--i am not fond of it at all. i hate it...to the point that i physically recoil at the idea of ever working as an attorney again. so--i'm not going to. i was laid off from my job as an attorney at the end of march of this year, and i haven't been seeking jobs in the legal field. i've still got my law license, and am planning on keeping it current for the time being, so i can continue to provide my hackerspace (Pumping Station: One) with legal advice. i can't say i enjoy legally advising in any capacity, but right now i'm the only lawyer who is a member of the space, and it's worth it to be able to keep the space in existence.
  4. Why is your hair blue? -- i could be snarky and say "it's not blue, it's pink." :) (it is true--my hair is currently pink, although i plan on dyeing it back to blue very, very soon.) i dye my hair blue because blue is my favourite colour to have my hair--i really like how it looks on me. also, i really don't feel comfortable with my hair brown or blonde or black or any kind of colour that naturally grows out of the human head. i feel dull...like a sanitized version of myself. i just feel more confident when my hair is a fun colour. i'm hoping that whatever job i get next will allow me to keep my hair...if, for the time being, i have to take a job that doesn't, i'm not going to make the same mistake i did at my last job. when i worked for the law firm, i dyed my hair back to something "natural". this time around, if it becomes necessary, i'm getting a wig to wear to work, and will stick to my blue, purple, pink, or whatever interesting colour i choose at any given time for my real hair to be dyed.
  5. What do you want to be when you grow up? -- i touched on that in my answer to #2...i want to do something in the field of computer security. i'm not sure yet whether i want to work in-house somewhere or be a consultant, although i'm leaning toward the consulting side. we'll see how this shakes out once i've gotten some kind of stable footing in the field, but that's my plan for now.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

law school fail.

thank you, Above the Law, for speaking the truth:

"At this point, going to law school is like starting to smoke. It’s expensive, it’s probably going to kill you, and it’s a stupid life decision. But some people just don’t care."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

they fuck you up...

i saw this poem posted in childfree hardcore today, and it put a knowing smile on my face.

This Be the Verse
BY PHILIP LARKIN

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.


i, for one, know i won't be passing my misery or screwed-up-ness to any kids.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

i can haz RAM?

despite hemming and hawing for the last two years or so that my law school laptop was on its last legs, and that i wasn't going to pay to upgrade the RAM or do anything else to it, it has become pretty clear that this box is my primary computer, and will be for some time. despite some cosmetic damage...some cracks in the case, the super-glued-on space bar, it still runs pretty nicely, especially with xubuntu on it.

so, today, i finally caved. i maxed out the RAM on my cranky old laptop--going from a paltry 512 megs to a slightly respectable 2 gigs.

the thing that got me to do it was the fact that i'm planning on working through metasploit unleashed soon, and that requires running vulnerable VMs on your computer in order to exploit them. i realised that there was no way i'd be able to run both a base OS and a VM with only 512 megs of RAM. that wasn't going to happen.

aside from that rather practical consideration, though, it's really, really nice not to have the computer slow down to molasses speed if i had both firefox and a video or music player running. between the fact that i have four times the RAM i had this morning and the fact that i'm still running xubuntu (and not something more bloated), my old box is zipping along better than ever!

i seriously should have done this years ago.