Ben Hilburn

Ben Hilburn

Computer Engineer, GNU Radio Project Lead & Foundation President, Powerlevel9k maintainer, Director of Engineering at DeepSig, Hokie alumnus, and all-around nerd.

Vortex Race 3 Quick Reference

I tried to post a shorter version of this as a review for the Vortex Race 3 Mechanical Keyboard on Amazon, but they rejected it because I linked to external (non-Amazon) sites. Anyway, if you're considering getting a Race 3, or already have one, here's what you need to know:…
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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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