System Overlord

A blog about security engineering, research, and general hacking.

SELF - Initial Impressions

I'm currently at the first annual South East Linux Fest (in the opening keynote) and I'm really impressed with what they put together. It's not huge, but it's really impressive and really professional. I'm very impressed by the conference badges, the bags, the turnout, and the arrangements. I think there's a lot from this we can take away for the Atlanta Linux Fest, especially promotion-wise. ALF is in about 3 months, but that doesn't mean we can't get some things together.

Handing out conference schwag doesn't seem like a big benefit, but giving these things out to attendees will foster a more professional image for speakers and vendors, and provides attendees something to take home to remind them about the conference for the next one. (Delayed returns, yes, but returns nonetheless).

Increased promotion is a no-brainer. Organizing (and possibly funding) increased promotion can pose a problem. Some ideas: break up promotional methods, areas, etc. Start attaching conference stickers to Ubuntu CDs being distributed. Find out about placing signs at Frys, Microcenter, and maybe game stores (even the DND style game stores probably have a decent overlap with the Linux community). Also, academic institutions -- signs at universities, especially around their Computer Science departments, are likely to attract attention.

Perhaps most importantly is to build an 'image' for a conference. SELF has a very distinctive logo, and the logo is present on their website, their conference materials, and the badges at the conference. This provides cohesiveness and prepares a brand for the conference.

Some thoughts to think about, and I'm sure I'll come up with more as we progress through the day.

Automatic PPA Key Installation

I often use a number of PPAs on one or more of my systems, such as FreeNX, Firefox dailies, Chromium dailies, etc. I do like to use signed packages, even if they're automatically signed, but manually installing the PPA keys is a bit of a pain. The Source Guru has a solution.

New Site!

Things have been very busy since I started my job at Kennesaw State University. Because my department uses Drupal extensively for producing dynamic websites, I decided it was time to migrate my own content to Drupal. So my intent is that this replaces my old WordPress blog and also provides a place to host projects and other work.

Life Changes

A couple of updates, since it's been a while since I've posted anything meaningful.

On March 2nd, I will be starting a new job as an IT System Support Specialist III at Kennesaw State University.  Typical of a government job, the title is rather meaningless.  To be specific, I will be supporting a variety of Linux and Mac OS X servers for the university and the platforms running on them (Drupal, Moodle, and other technologies.)  The production servers are RHEL and the development is on CentOS.

Of course, every good turn comes with a down turn. 


I haven't had a real personal website up in a long time, but I'm trying to get back on the ball.  Not a whole lot of content yet, but it's coming along.  Take a look at