Khürt Williams

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.

Work

My first 10 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 10 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.

Computers

I bought my first Mac, a Mac mini, in 2005 and fell in love with OS X; a Unix with a world-class GUI. What’s for an engineer not to like? Soon after buying that first Mac, I bought a MacBook, then an iPad Touch, then an iMac. Then the iPad was released in 2010 and I had to have one. Then I bought my first iPhone and then an Apple TV. I’m firmly in the Cult of Apple.

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.

Science Fiction

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 novel, Islands in the Net, written in 1988 by 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.

Photography

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. This blog is filled with images I’ve taken in and around the woods and streets of Princeton Township and Montgomery Township.

I take photos on a regular basis 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. My lenses aren’t super expensive lenses but they’re extremely versatile when it comes to general photography. Probably 90% of the photos I take were with one of two Nikon lenses — an AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G DX and AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G. 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 various filters and editing apps such as VSCO Cam and Photogene on my iPhone.

Auto-immune diseases

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. I am learning to live with it.

History

I remember attending a presentation on open source software by Richard Stallman.

I remember getting my first computer, a Commodore VIC20, in 1981. I remember learning BASIC and writing my first video game. I remember when I upgraded to the Commodore 64 in 1983.

I remember getting my first IBM compatible 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 use WordPerfect to write all my term papers.

I remember learning Pascal and writing my first text editor.

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