I’ve been very busy updating my home network infrastructure lately.  I wanted to improve the zone separation, while at the same time providing a reasonably secure connection between my resources at home and my resources on the net.

Some of these changes include:

  • Replacing my SSG-140-SH Firewall with a new SRX220H2 w/POE Firewall.
  • Replacing my DELL 5448 Switch with a new Netgear GS724T Switch.
  • Removing an old 4 port POE switch.
  • Replacing my old VLAN setup (Main, Media, Utils) with my new VLAN setup (Main, Wireless, Media, Utils, LAB, VPN, Tunnel).
  • Upgrading my old Dell 860 (250GB Raid1 and 8GB RAM) co-located server with a new SuperMicro based server that has 12TB of storage and 32GB of ram.  This is split into virtualization images, so I’ll be able to work with Docker/CoreOS/KVM based technologies in my personal cloud.  This is tied into my home network via an OpenSwan -> SRX IPSec tunnel.  Additionally, the SRX will be able to provide dynamic SSL VPN capability for when I’m on the road.

All of the above gets added to my existing 12TB NAS, multiple POE wireless access points, and virtualization server.

I have a few more tweaks left to handle multicasting and cross-LAN traffic on the network, finishing up my log aggregation and analysis tools, as well CoreOS and Docker work for PaaS deployments.  This should provide some nice resources for my security research.

So it’s been over two years since my last post.  Been very busy in my life and haven’t had time to do as much tinkering and computer stuff at home as I usually would.  That’s not to say I haven’t done anything, just haven’t documented it.  Here are a few things that happened in the last two years:

  1. I changed jobs, I now work in computer, network, and systems security full time.  I’m loving it!  Finally getting to really practice what I preach in the security field.  Georgetown was fun and a great time to grow my general systems experience, but I’m enjoying the focus on computer and network security.

  2. Got a new car, this actually happened about three years ago, but I never posted about it.  The Chevy Blazer was taken out by it’s imploding supercharger and deemed not worth my time, effort, and money to repair.  Given it was early 2009 and car dealers were giving away cars I got a great deal on a new 2009 VW Tiguan SE with AWD.  Still love the car and making small upgrades to it as the years go on to make it more mine.  I did actually stand up a page for that work here: My SUV Project (Tiguan).

  3. I made some network and computer upgrades at home as well.  I replace my original first generation MacBook Pro 15″ (Intel Core Duo 2Ghz) with a late 2010 model MacBook Pro 15″ (Intel i7 Dual Core) with HD display and 8GB of ram.  It’s currently triple booting MacOS X 10.6, Fedora 16, and Windows Ent 7.  I have a post on how to setup triple boot in the works.  I also upgrade my old Promise NS4300N 2TB NAS box with a new NetGear ReadyNAS Pro 6 12TB.  Much faster and a lot more storage plus so many options.  Finally I’ve kept the network up with technology and run full WiFI a/b/g 300mbps+ and GigE wired via NetGear WNDR4000 and assorted GigE switches paired with FiOS internet.  Finally I upgraded my workstation piece by piece to get it up to a Sandybridge i7 and 16GB ram so that I can build out a new HD+CableCard MythTV network using VMs, the NAS box, and the new Silicon Dust HD Prime. I’ll have a post later documenting my network general gear later as well as posts on how I setup MythTV.

  4. I’ve got a Barnes and Noble Nook Color as well.  It’s a great little device and hoping to take better advantage of it this coming year.  And yes, it’s rooted.  Running stock Nook Software but with the added benefit of sideloaded and standard android market apps too.

  5. And last but not least, still being a dad and husband working away enjoying watching the kids learn and grow (as I learn and grow).

 

When I was young (i.e., all the way through college) I played assorted pen and paper RPGs. It started with the first D&D red box set, quickly followed by AD&D, AD&D 2nd Addition, Marvel Comics, CyberPunk, MechWarriors, WarHammer 40k, and assorted other table top and pen and paper role playing games. I loved them, my friends loved them, and it gave us a chance to create explore and work our minds. I know I wouldn’t be who I am today without my chance at playing these games.

So, it’s very sad to learn that one of the creators of the original D&D and really one of the fathers off all modern RPG systems has passed away. Gary Gygax, co creator of D&D, passed away yesterday. Thank you for everything you’ve given us Gary!

More information here

Dungeons and Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax dies.

Well, I finally got my new brake kit installed on the truck. This is a set of SSBC 13″ slotted rotors with enlarged 3 piston aluminum calipers. This replaces the stock 11″ rotors with 2 piston steel calipers. This translates into more stopping power as well as more consistent stopping power. Of course, I’ve got the added grip of sport truck tires that have a larger contact patch than the stock tires. Without this, I would just be hitting the ABS threshold faster instead of stopping faster. Here are some before and after pictures.

Before:
Stock brakes

After:
The upgraded brakes

This weekend we decided to hit another high point. This time we drove up to Pennsylvania to Mount Davis. The highpoint is located in a State Forest and there are several hiking trails you can take. The trail/path to the highpoint is short though, maybe 200 feet from the parking lot. This was the first High Point that we took Muirna, our dog, to. She loves riding in cars and getting a chance to check out new areas. It was cool, but not cold and a little bit of wind. There is a sign next to the major road that appears to be marking the high point (in the first picture), but it’s not, you have to drive just a little further past to see the side road that leads up to the parking lot for the high point. The high point is marked by a big boulder (which I’m sitting on in one of the pictures below). Unfortunatly, I left the good digital camera at home, so had to resort to the Treo for pictures.

PA HighPoint Sign PA HighPoint

In January of 2004, we finally got around to hitting our second high point. For this trip, we went to West Virginia’s Spruce Knob. It was a little on the snowy side which made it an interesting and beautiful drive. Having a 4×4 helped, we passed a bmw that was being dragged up the side of a mountain from where it had slid off the road. The driver was fine, but the car had seen better days, he had managed to jump out before it slid off. Once we were at the top it was a spectacular view, but VERY windy. Here’s a shot of the view:

West Virginia HighPoint

In December 2002, my wife and I started our HighPoint trips with the Highest Point in Maryland, Blackbone Mountain. It was a little bit of a hike, but not much (maybe a mile total). The hardest part was just finding the turn off to the logging road you park on to hike from. Don’t have too many pictures, but here is one of the sign:

Maryland HighPoint sign.

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