My Blog has moved!

3 01 2010

Over Christmas, I got a new website for my blog. I ended up registering a domain with A Small Orange. If you’re in the market for a new web host, I’d appreciate you clicking that link, since I get a referral bonus.

I couldn’t get www.samkerr.com, since that domain is taken, so I registered myself at www.samuelkerr.com. So, please update your bookmarks as I’ll be updating there from now on!

www.samuelkerr.com





PUFs are just so cuddly!

10 12 2009

As I wrote a few entries ago, I have been using FPGAs this semester in my research group. Since it’s the end of the semester and the paper has been submitted, I thought I would talk to you about my research some. The group that I do research with is mainly concerned with identity management and information security and this project was no exception. Specifically, the project I was working on was using Physically Unclonable Functions, or PUFs, to identify users. PUF device

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Intel Developer Forum shows off some cool stuff!

22 09 2009

This year, the Intel Developer Forum has some pretty neat stuff to talk about. I’ve been reading their site today and the article from AnandTech about it.

The move from 4 to 6 cores with Gulftown.I’d highly recommend reading the AnandTech article since it has a lot better description (and pictures) than I could do, but the one thing that I’m really excited about is the new 32nm Gulftown chips. There supposed to have 6 cores and will come in 2010. Even better, they will drop right into my X58 motherboard after a quick BIOS update. That will save me a lot of money since I won’t have to buy a new motherboard.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my quad-core i7 cpu, but 6 cores is better than 4, right?





First steps with an FPGA!

21 09 2009

For my research group at Purdue, we’ve decided we want to do some work with FPGA (or Field Programmable Gate Arrays). These are essentially chips that you can use to program very complex, very fast circuits. They are superior to other sorts of chips, such as DIP integrated circuits, because they are smaller, relatively cheap for all the power they have (~$10-$20), fully customizable, and FAST.

This is Xilinix Spartan FPGA, the kind I'm using.

This is Xilinix Spartan FPGA, the kind I'm using.

This was my first foray into FPGAs and it drove me crazy getting my tools all set up properly. I thought I’d post some thoughts.

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Ciphers, Beaufort, and Bears… Oh my!

3 09 2009

In my cryptography class, we’re starting to learn about various ciphers, and for a homework assignment, we were tasked with doing some ciphering by hand.

These rhinos are hot on the trail of some cryptography!

These rhinos are hot on the trail of some cryptography!

I find the task very interesting, but I quickly got tired of coding even a 10-letter “sentence”. Then I thought to myself, wait, I can program! This specifically seems like something that could quickly be done with a Python script. So I decided to spend a little time typing, and 5 minutes later, no more ciphering by hand! Below are the results for your own amusement!

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I’ve passed under the Linux Arch!

29 08 2009

Last time, I wrote about how I was working on installing Linux on my computer. The main question with any Linux install though is, what distro do I use? I’ve used many different distros before, such as the popular Ubuntu, Slackware, and more recently, Mint and Fedora. I even tried to tackle (somewhat succeeded) Linux From Scratch. Each distro has its strengths, but for some reason, I was never happy with any of them. One didn’t give me enough control over my system and did everything for me, while others *cough* LFS *cough* provided me with next to no help, leaving me in over my head.

My new distro of choice

My new distro of choice

Well, that’s when I discovered the wonderful Arch Linux. I don’t plan on looking back.

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Back to school!

26 08 2009

Dear Readers,

I’m sure you’ve noticed that I haven’t maintained my previous post frequency. My apologies, but this is because school has started, so I have now have classes and homework. Boo, right?

6a00d8341cc30c53ef01157160d6e6970c-450wiWhile my posts will most likely occur less frequently, I am in no way ending my blog.

I moved into a new apartment and have had to re-setup my computer and office. While hooking my computer up, “Isn’t it a little hypocritical that I promote Linux, but don’t have it installed on my computer?” Well, the answer is yes, so these past few days, I’ve been hooking up my computer for Linux.

I’m trying to find a new distro other than Ubuntu, since I find it somewhat cliche, even though it’s very good. I ran into some hardware recognition problems with Fedora and now I’m currently using Mint, but I don’t really like the look of it.

I expect that I’ll spend some time browsing distrowatch.com to find a cool new distribution to use; I’ll let you know what I find!

I’m taking compilers, cryptography, and differential equations this semseter, so I expect to post the intersting things I find out in these classes. Stay tuned!








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