Securely Erasing a TrueNAS X-10 Storage Appliance with GRML and nwipe

In 2018 shortly after starting my post college career I had the task of securely erasing a TrueNAS X-10 storage appliance. Normally, erasing a storage appliance wouldn’t be difficult. In this case though it was more of a challenge. The X-10 is a headless appliance and we didn’t have any spare servers with RAID controllers compatible with the drives. I am finally posting the process I followed in the hope that others will find it as useful as I did.

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My Experiment with Linux on a Chromebook

A couple of years ago, I was gifted an Acer C720 Chromebook. This model has the interesting feature of a user replaceable SSD. Given the size and weight difference between a chromebook and a tranditional laptop, I was eager to switch to the Chromebook. The original 16GB SSD with ChromeOS is rather limiting for the type of work I needed to do with it not to mention the fact that ChromeOS has large proprietary components.

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HFOSS update: Sugar games

For the last couple weeks in HFOSS, we have been working on our final project. The final project for HFOSS has traditionally been an educational game for the OLPC XO laptop. OLPC was an attempt in the early 2000s to create a low cost, durable laptop for children in developing countries. The project has lost a lot of steam due to funding but the software environment is still active.

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Why I Love FOSS and Where It Started

From where I started with FOSS to where I am today with my involvement in the Fedora Project, maintaining TigerOS and enrolled in HFOSS, it has been a long and interesting journey. A journey which I hope continues and evolves as I move on to the next stage of my life. This is where my life in FOSS began.

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Copyright, Copyleft and Licensing

Copyright has a long and fraught history. When the Free Software Movement began and the web took off, suddenly licensing applied to digital works. This led to the creation of special licenses to protect the openness of software and digital works. A well known license is the GNU GPL.

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TigerOS

Since February 10th of 2017, I have been the project lead for a club project being run through RITlug. That project is TigerOS. TigerOS is a Fedora Remix maintained by the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Linux Users Group, targeted at users new to Linux and RIT students, faculty, and staff.

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Commarch Report Commentary

For HFOSS the last few weeks, we have been working on a community architecture project analyzing the architcture of the people and operations side of a particular FOSS project. I chose to work on analyzing Jekyll. The first step in the process was to propose a team and project to analyze. The proposal for the team I was on can be found here.

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The Strained Infrastructure of FOSS part 2

The publication Roads and Bridges: The Unseen Labor Behind Our Digital Infrastructure by Nadia Eghbal is an interesting commentary on the nature of FOSS in the infrastrcuture of our digital world. It speaks about the challenge of maintaining a shared resource in a sustainable way when no single party feels a particular responsibility for it. The second portion deals with the effects of the problem on businesses and individuals and attempts to find a solution.

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HFOSS Quiz1

1.1 IRC: Internet Relay Chat

1.2 FOSS: Free and Open Source Software

1.3 OLPC: One Laptop Per Child

1.4 FSF: Free Software Foundation

1.5 PR: Pull Request

1.BONUS: GNU: GNU is Not UNIX

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Visiting Interlock Rochester

About 2 weeks ago, a local makerspace/hackerspace here in Rochester called Interlock held a Linux workshop open to the public. Through my time volunteering at the Rochester Mini Makerfaire, I had a general familiarity with Interlock. When I heard about the workshop, I decided to attend to get a better idea of Interlock as an organization and gain exposure to the local tech community.

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Fixing a FOSS bug

One of the chief benefits of FOSS is that developing an application or system is a collaborative process. As part of learning the ways of the FOSS world for our HFOSS course, we were assigned the task of finding and fixing a bug in a FOSS project.

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WiCHacks 2018

This past weekend I volunteered at WiCHacks 2018. It is a yearly event held at Rochester Institute of Technology in February. WiCHacks is unique in the world of hackathons and Major League Hacking(MLH). Below is the event description taken from their website

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Reflections on FOSS ideas in the physical world

This past Wednesday I attended a talk given by RIT professor Mel Chua on the subject of “universe hacking” or changing the world to be more changeable. Mel Chua started her career as an electrical engineer working with the One Laptop Per Child project(OLPC). She has since worked with the Fedora project and SugarLabs at RedHat and participated in the Professors of Open Source Software Experience program(POSSE).

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How to Report a Bug

The article How to Effectively Report Bugs by Simon Tatham is an interesting read on the nature of reporting bugs and solving problems in the open source community. The article contains many good points and is a good guide for writing a bug template and for getting general assistance when solving a problem.

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My Foray into Vintage Computing

As one of my Christmas gifts this year, I asked my parents for a vintage Commodore 64 computer. I have always been interested in vintage or retro computing. I attribute this to the fact that I only discovered computers in the mid to late 2000s and so I missed out on the golden age of hobbyist computing where you bought kits and assembled them under the fluorescent lights of your garage or basement.

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The Problem With Android

During this week and in the past, I have had random thoughts about FOSS and some of the issues with the FOSS world and community especially in the context of the greater world. One notion I have held for a very long time is the issue of Android fragmentation and support. I love Android as a platform, even more so after my brief foray into the world of Windows Phone, but there is still something it lacks.

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First[FOSS]flight

When I began the first flight activity, I already had a GitHub account. The account was established when I was in high school to hold code from my computer science courses. I also already had a registered IRC nick. My nick was created and registered about 2 or 3 years ago during a Software Freedom Day event at RIT. Below I will expand on the pieces of the activity that were new to me.

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