Jun 11, 2011

The Guide to Geek Love

I happen to think of myself as a computer enthusiast, or as the society describes it: having geek tendencies (did you know that roots for the word geek mean freak or crazy?). It is a general consensus that "we" are not meant to participate in human relationships, and I am no exception to this rule considering my personal disastrous dating history. Being a faithful listener of the Buzz Out Loud tech podcast, I wanted to share the guidelines to finding geek love posted by a listener, in the Computer Love section of episode 1487 of the show (this has been a little modified and I added some comments, the original can be found here).

Based on my experience, this is my guide to finding geek love:

1. Get Real. I had a couple of internet dates, and while my wife and I met in real life, we did most of our early flirtation via email. The problem with that is that I did a very plausible online impression of someone with his life in gear, but in real life I was much more messed up. You really have to meet me in person to realize how annoying this can be. But I found someone who kind of likes it.
Comment: Yeah, this is totally me, online I am a serious, funny and well organized kid....In real life, not so much :(.

2. Hope for Failure. The percentage of the general population who will intentionally date a geek is probably in the low teens. Add to that your own criteria (weight, height, hair color, Star Trek vs. Star Wars, has a job, bathes) and your pool starts shrinking. This is not a bug, it's a feature. A bad date or a rejected pickup is not a disaster, it's just another iteration in your own personal sorting algorithm (Comment: I love this line). 

3. Define Success. I knew I was in love because my happiness had become contingent on hers, and when I was with her, I was a better version of myself than when I wasn't. Of course, I'm kind of an idiot, so it took me a long time after falling in love to even realize that it had happened. I almost drew charts, but even I recognized that would be a bit much. Instead, I proposed. Ineptly. But she said yes anyway.
We've been married 5 years. We have a 4 month old who just outgrew his first Star Wars onesie and a three year old who starts most of her sentences with ""Well actually..."" Love is good.
Comment: This is the mushy part that I hate when others talk about the love thing.

All in all, if you know a geek, just give him/her some Love. It may not look like it, but "we" always have a lot to offer.

Jun 2, 2011

Digital Forensics Debut: Honeynet Challenge 7

In case you didn't already know, I recently developed interest in Digital Forensics witch is a branch of Computer Science that deals with recovering and/or analyzing data from media devices like hard drives and RAM, usually in an attempt to determine the how and the why of computer related attacks on individuals and businesses (Thanks Wikipedia...).I am fairly new to the topic and before December, I am supposed to master the subject contents (My degree thesis is on Linux Forensics- I will probably talk more about it some other time).

To have a better feeling of the field and get some hands-on experience, I joined the Computer Forensics Group at JMU. As beginners, we participated in the Honeynet Challenge No 7 (see http://www.honeynet.org/challenges/2011_7_compromised_server), which provided us with an image of the hard drive and the RAM of a compromised Linux machine and we had to figure out what happened.

The group spent a few days on it using open source tools like Autopsy for file system browsing, the beta version of Volatility 1.4 and Volatilitux. Though we were not among the winners, we were half a point shy of a 4-way tie for 3rd place (i.e. 6th out of 16 participants). That's pretty good for beginners :D.

Hopefully, we will do better the next time. Oh and yeah, the group next project involves Facebook and is very interesting :).

P.S: You can get a copy of our submission upon request.

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