Engineering Mantras

Like everyone else, I have a list of favorite quotes that have influenced me or that I have found especially compelling. In the technical world, these sometimes become mantras, guidance, or even best practices. Briefly, here are some of my favorites. A prototype is worth a thousand meetings. This one…
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Storing Encrypted Data in the Cloud

I recently decided to put some of my most critically secure data in the cloud. I spent time over several weeks researching how best to do this, and got advice from some of my colleagues with the thickest tinfoil hats. The purpose of this post is to document my approach,…
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A Keystone of Success

I've recently found myself discussing what it means to be an experienced or senior engineer with a number of different groups. What's interesting about those two terms is that I don't think they connote what the speaker usually intends. Being experienced is neither necessary nor sufficient to be good, or…
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Powerlevel9k

When I started Powerlevel9k on the evening of December 4th in 2014, my goal wasn't to create a large project, but really just to create a highly customized ZSH prompt with some features I couldn't find elsewhere. Looking back on it, this commit message is now pretty comical: A few…
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Workplace Sabotage

I recently stumbled across a declassified field manual first published by the Office of Strategic Services (the precursor to the CIA) in 1944. The manual describes simple methods that everyday citizens can use to sabotage and demoralize the enemy's war effort. It's a relatively short field manual, and you can…
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Installing REDHAWK on Fedora 24

At GRCon16 last month, there were a number of discussions about deploying GNU Radio applications to REDHAWK networks. REDHAWK has a lot of very compelling features, especially in the management & provisioning of network-attached SDR resources, application management, and data stream control. [I actually worked on the predecessor to REDHAWK,…
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Installing GNU Radio on CentOS 6.8

It's not terribly uncommon for someone to e-mail the GNU Radio mailing list, discuss-gnuradio, asking for help getting GNU Radio running in CentOS. CentOS is known for its long maintenance periods, which makes it a favorite flavor of Linux in enterprise environments. CentOS 6, for example, was first released in…
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Winning the Open Source Battle

Last month, the Chief Information Officer and Chief Acquisition Officer of the United States released Memo M-16-21, titled "Federal Source Code Policy: Achieving Efficiency, Transparency, and Innovation through Reusable and Open Source Software". This memo establishes a software policy for the Federal Government that not only encourages the use of…
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Halt and Goto Meeting

As a company grows, protecting the time of its employees becomes a perplexing problem. Bizarrely, almost everyone I know that isn't at a start-up doesn't seem to have enough time at work to actually do work. Their schedules become filled with staff meetings, project update meetings, hiring meetings, planning meetings,…
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Ubuntu on Windows 10

Like most of the rest of the world, I was pretty sure that Microsoft's announcement that they had partnered with Canonical to get Ubuntu on Windows 10 was an April Fool's joke. Especially since it really didn't pick up news coverage until April 1st, despite being announced a couple of…
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Taking Over GNU Radio

Today we announced a big change in leadership for GNU Radio. Tom Rondeau, who has led GNU Radio for the last 5+ years, is stepping down and will be taking a position at DARPA as a Program Manager. DARPA is an amazing place to be, and we are all really…
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