Friday, September 4, 2020

Looking to get back to some personal software projects as the fall approaches.

Got the VR system back together in the basement again. Software updates have been done. Needing to decide whether to pick cluster back up or head off in a different direction.

It has been a crazy year (almost) since I went from KMC to Draeger.

Started during a busy time for the team and spent a couple of months designing and prototyping an architecture for modern password management. Kind of a fun exercise building out samples for windows in C++ and C# and for linux in C using OpenSSL.

Dug in a bit and found that the bcrypt password hashing algorithm is obsolete. SCrypt partially replaced it and PBKDF2 seems to be the modern, tunable option.

Around December the member of the team who was leading (and mostly building) the proposal for the overall security architecture for the networking aspect of our devices gave his notice. As I was available and know my way around cryptography and cyber-security I stepped in and have spent the time since then taking his rough sketch and getting it much closer to a final product.

This has been particularly interesting as the devices on the network span three different operating systems. Some of the devices are rather old with low powered processors on no frills on the CPU selection. This needs to pass muster at FDA in the recent climate there where cybersecurity is being taken seriously and it has to drop into the existing network architecture without too much dislocation.

Fun challenge made even more challenging by the arrival of covid-19. I’ve been working from home and communicating with the rest of the team by teleconference and email. Nice to avoid the commute for a while and it has been a very pleasant summer but everything is harder when you can’t easily take everyone into a conference room and hash things out on the white-board.

I’m hoping that things will calm down a bit now so that I can get some VR work going again. I’m still toying with buying a resharper license to make C# development a bit more pleasant. I’m looking at VR headsets and newer CPUs and the 3000 series graphics cards that NVidia is about to release but probably won’t make a move on that front any time soon. If a new and exciting VR headset came out I might go for that…so far I’m not sold on any of the latest crop over my old first generation vive.

I’m still doing some photography though with our vacation plans for this year totally cancelled I haven’t had anything more photogenic than the pond to shoot. We did get the kayaks back in the water this summer and I’ve been getting a decent amount of paddling in. I’ll probably get out on the water some more this weekend and likely bring the camera along.

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