CS50 Hackathon 2016


Another fun Hackathon with the CS50 students.  A few hundred students, huddled up at the iLab’s Hive.  My year old setup in c9.io was still there and working – sweet!


A Herman Hollerith early IBM tabulating machine


Today at the MIT Swapfest, I found and bought a punch card making machine/device.  It is from The Tabulating Machine Company.  The Tabulating Machine Company was founded by Herman Hollerith – initially in 1896 as Tabulating Machine Company, and again in 1905 as The Tabulating Machine Company – to commercialize his tabulating machine which he invented and revolutionized the US Census tabulation process in in the late 1800’s.  In 1911, The Tabulating Machine Company and three other companies came together as the Computing Tabulating Recording (CTR) company, which a few years later in 1924 became International Business Machines corporation (IBM).  But the individual companies in the CTR holding company continued to use their original name until 1933, so this device could have been made anytime between 1905 and 1933.

Hollerith 1 Hollerith 2

Looking at live CD/DVD Linux security distros for beginners


There are some really interesting live CD/DVD distros out there, if you are into learning about computer security and getting familiar with many of the popular tools to explore all of the many facets of the craft. Here are a couple that stood out for me:
BackTrack is the 300 pound gorilla in this space. But it may not be the most accessible for people who are just getting started.
Live Hacking is very nice and the lead person behind this project has published a book that seems to be interesting and accessible to all.
Network Security Toolkit added to the list thanks to Akatsuki1961.
Security Onion is another very nice distro. It seems to have more tools than Live Hacking and has a number of IDS tools pre-installed.

I taught my first CS50 seminar today! An intro to Solr


The seminar was called Search and Browse Superpowers: an Introduction to Solr. The video is posted here. It was a lot of fun and I hope those who attended enjoyed it. If you attended, you can post comments below and I would much appreciate if you filled out the poll below, so I can make it better for next year.