Final Remarks

I’ll start off with some final project remarks.

All of the final projects seemed so tempting to test. Unfortunately with the time constraints of exam week I didn’t get to look at them all. I wanted to try to test the galaga game but unfortunately I have Ubuntu 12.04 installed so I couldn’t run it because of incompatibilities. I ended up testing the roommate expense tracker. It was pretty cool and I thought very practical. If my roommates and I didn’t have a system in place I  would consider using it.

The class overall was an experience and helped me open up to new technologies. Throughout the semester I have struggled with having to learn a new operating system and everything that entails. I believe it has helped me in the long run.

Some suggestions to improve the class would be to either focus on certain subjects longer or possibly remove some subjects from the teaching. This semester we cut out some assignments because we ran out of time. Maybe the course should focus more on the assignments we did instead of rushing through them to get to the final assignments.

Another suggestion would be to make the classroom interaction more new things instead of going over old material. I feel like going over new things in class would be better than going over stuff we know already.


VTLUUG and CSEC meetings

I’ve attended somewhere around 8 meetings this semester split between the VT LUUG and the Cyber Security meetings and I thought I would reflect on my experiences. Overall I feel like they go over great material in both. The only problem is the groups are more for experienced Linux users. The things they go over require more understanding than just a high level knowledge. Since in class we don’t get to go into too much detail in every area, it is difficult to understand everything they present. The atmosphere is great and for the most part there is a feeling of mutual respect in the room when there are speakers present. The good thing about their presentations is they always have links you can go to if you don’t fully understand everything in the presentation. But the links are much more dense than the version presented in the meetings.

Chutes and Ladders

My group’s final project is a chutes and ladders game. To best implement the Unix design philosophy of modularity, we decided to create this on a micro-controller  Chutes and Ladders is an easy game to play that mostly everyone knows which incorporates the design philosophy of simplicity. This also easily is extendable to add extra parts to the board or new rules in the coding which implement the unix design philosophy of extensibility. I can go down the line and list some more design philosophies this project implements but I’d like to invoke the philosophy of silence.

Our group is working great together. We have split up the roles of the project that suit individuals’ strengths but we also work together so we all get a better understanding of our weaknesses. I’m looking forward to the final product and the reviews by everyone in the class on how to improve our design. And of course I’m also excited to see what other projects are in store for us to see.

Passwords cracked

An article located here:

details the creation of a super password-cracking machine. For passwords with weak encryption the machine can take it down in around 6 minutes through brute force. This machine can go through aproximately 348billion NTLM passwords per second. From reading the article it seemed like they could crack any Windows XP password within 6 hours. Good thing we’re all running Linux now. But wait, further down in the article they explain that they can brute force through aproximately 77 million MD5crypt passwords. Looks like Linux isn’t so safe either.

In the article they mention the two open sourced technologies used to create this monster. One being  VCL (cirtual open computing language) and HashCat (a password cracking program). The process uses wordlists or dictionarylists to grab the passwords. Having just been to a cyber security meeting on this topic made this article much easier to read. You all should come out, and watch your passwords!