I’m an information security professional, Apple geek, web developer and avid photographer. This weblog is where I share my incoherent and random thoughts and rants about technology, photography, coffee, diabetes and life.
I love drinking craft ale and freshly brewed coffee. I buy fresh beans every few days from a local organic fair trade retailer and brew at home. I grind the beans myself, and brewing using either a French Press or Chemex pour over with an Able Kone filter. I don’t drink Starbucks.
There are two excellent craft ale breweries within 15-20 minutes in local traffic of my home. Between the Troon Brewing and Flounder Brewing, I am privileged to some highly rated New England style IPA, American Pale ales, and porters. A little further out is Conclave Brewing which makes super delicious and The Referend Bier Blendery which produces spontaneously fermented ales in the Belgian tradition. I don’t drink Budweiser, and I rarely buy retail.
My first ten years of my career was research and development and web application development. I coded up backend solutions for various financial services and pharmaceutical companies. I mostly used Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl and PHP. The next ten were spent information security doing vulnerability assessments, log management, security awareness, security architecture, compliance and advisory for Bristol-Myers Squibb. Since 2013, I have worked independently at Monkey Hill, LLC, a consultancy I started in 2013 after my role at Squibb was eliminated. My current work is in information security architecture.
The journey from Commodore VIC20/64 (1981/1985) to DOS PC (1986) to Microsoft Windows PC (1990) to UNIX/SunOS/Solaris (1992) to Linux (1994) to Apple Macintosh (2005) took twenty-four years. I bought my first Mac, a Mac mini, in 2005 and fell in love with OS X; a Unix with a world-class GUI. Soon after buying that first Mac, I bought a MacBook, then an iPad Touch, then an iMac. Later the iPad was released in 2010, and I had to have one that same week. Then I bought my first iPhone (2012) and then an Apple TV.
The iPad is my go-to computer, but I use my iMac heavily for photo editing. I’m an app junky, and you can find many iOS and OS app reviews on this blog.
I also do interesting projects with the Raspberry Pi. It’s the smallest and cheapest Linux server I have ever owned.
Although that’s not reflected in the content in this blog, I love science fiction especially cyberpunk and Japanese animation and superhero graphic novels and dystopian futures and …. The name of the blog, Island in the Net, is taken from a book, Islands in the Net, written in 1988 by a science fiction author, Bruce Sterling. It is a story of “data pirates, mercenaries, nanotechnology, weaponry, and post-millennial voodoo.” It represents a future where people can use the Internet to topple governments, change lives and make history.
I read too few books these days.
I’m an avid photographer, and if the weather suits me, I spend my free time increasing my knowledge of photography. I take a camera bag with me everywhere. I prefer natural light and outdoor photography, but I’m comfortable shooting anything that interests me; street, long exposure, architecture, wildlife. I take photos regularly both for my self and for others. I do almost all of my editing and exporting from my iMac. As far as gear goes, I use two different cameras: my iPhone and my Fuji XT-2. Previously I owned a Nikon D5100. I use many different lenses. I sold all my kit and switched to Fujifilm. I currently shoot with a Fujifilm XF16-55mm F2.8 WR LM. I also shoot with my iPhone. I enjoy this kind of casual photography, snapping things and sharing them with my friends and family, and playing around with Adobe Lightroom on my iPhone.
In 2006, I was diagnosed with Type 1 (LADA) diabetes, an autoimmune type of diabetes. I’m learning to live with it. I have a Medtronic 670G insulin pump and GuardianLink CGMS to help me manage my diabetes. I occasionally post articles about my diabetes tech.
In 2018, I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease, an autoimmune form of hyperthyroidism. It was a challenge to live with it, so at the end of 2018, I had a thyroidectomy.
I remember attending a presentation on open source software by Richard Stallman. I remember getting my first computer, a Commodore VIC20. I remember learning Commodore (Microsoft) BASIC and writing my first video game. I remember when I upgraded to the Commodore 64 and floppy storage. I remember getting my first IBM compatible DOS PC, an Epson with one floppy disk and a green CRT monitor. I remember buying and installing a 2400 baud modem so that I could dial into the bulletin board system (BBS). I remember using WordPerfect to write all my term papers. I remember learning Pascal and writing my first text editor.