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Graduation Plan Spreadsheet for BYU-Idaho

As my fellow BYU-I students know, the university’s official graduation planner is buggy and often doesn’t work. To keep my own graduation plan organized, I created a spreadsheet to track my planned and completed courses, their credit counts, and my final grades. Since I’m an Applied Technology student, there are sections specifically geared toward that…

Temptation is a Promised Lie

I haven’t posted a personal thought in a long time, so I thought I would take the option to write about something I studied in a religion course I’m taking this semester. Several years ago I would write a religious post weekly, but I’ve felt less comfortable doing that for a while. This week, one…

Framework Laptop Review

With a new school year coming around, I decided that my unfortunately decrepit ThinkPad needed to be replaced. While I was researching my options (and being continuously disappointed by them), I came across Framework, an upstart company based in Palo Alto, CA, that has an axe to grind about the Right to Repair movement. Their…

Upgrading my Workstation

Unlike so many, I’ve had the privilege of being able to continue to work throughout the pandemic with only minor interruptions. I haven’t been spending excessive amounts of time at home, and I’ve still had to squeeze a lot out of my off-time, with the computer business, school, and my volunteer work. That being said,…

My Stance on Strong Encryption

Yesterday, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) introduced the Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act, legislation that would require technology companies to help law enforcement agencies to access encrypted data. The Senators’ assertion that “[warrant-proof] encryption adds little to the security of the communications of the ordinary user”1 is…

Go Kit Battery Box

My latest project has been modifying a battery box for the inevitable public safety power shutoffs this summer (and potential related emcomm use). The box features a voltmeter with an integrated USB fast charger, a power switch to prevent inadvertent draining of the battery, and a 12-volt power socket. The battery that I’m using is…

5 Reasons Why Fanfiction is Easy to Write

I don’t normally read fanfiction; I generally despise it, as most of it is the most terribly written, hackneyed, typo-ridden dreck ever conceived. Rife with wish-fulfillment and self-inserts, fanfiction attracts the worst the amateur fiction community has to offer. However, I’ve recently returned to a fanfiction site that I haven’t touched in over three years,…

What America Needs the Most

      After my mission, I didn’t take much time to stay abreast of the latest news. I would hear bits and pieces of the latest depredations of foreign countries, a lot about Donald Trump, and some mutterings about “those darn Democrats” from my parents. Without taking time to actually formulate a coherent position on any…

Starting my Homelab

Because my career interests lie in the world of information technology (servers, computers, and the tech that connects them), I’ve been listening to a lot of related podcasts for the past several months. I recently started studying in earnest for the CompTIA A+ certification, which has been a fascinating review of things I know well,…

Time to Leave Windows 7 Behind

Operating system vulnerabilities allow people with evil intent to do a variety of nefarious activities on your computer. They could install cryptocurrency miners, botnets, keyloggers, or other malicious software. They can also steal your data or hold it hostage through a ransomware attack. Since these are exploits of weaknesses in the operating system itself, there…

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