Hello. If you hadn’t already worked it out, I’m @phraxoid and this is my personal blog, devtty.io. If you wanted to know a bit about me you’re in the right place. On this website I write about my projects and interests - computers, information security, radio controlled aircraft, amateur radio and electronics. You can read about my backgrounds in these areas below.
Computers are are life long passion for me. I’ve been involved in IT since before the days when Windows 3.1 was considered new and exciting. In the past my focus had been on networking and then software development. I’ve always had an enthusiasm for infosec since discovering a buffer overflow vulnerability in Winamp2 many years ago - these days this is now my main interest. I’m particularly interested in offensive security techniques and capture the flag (CTF) competitions. My Linux distribution of choice was Gentoo for a long time but I now use Debian. Occasionally I publish my projects to GitHub. I’m also a great fan of retro computing, especially the Commodore Amiga systems.
Flying model aircraft has been a pastime of mine since the late 1990s. The continuous march of technology has revolutionised the hobby in recent years, with developments such as LiPo batteries, drones and first person view (FPV) video flying making things much more exciting. Currently I’m interested in building and flying fixed wing FPV aircraft but also enjoy the occasional bit of multirotor (drone) flying. My main aircraft at the moment is a custom built Skywalker 1900 with 5.8GHz FPV and GPS autopilot. Occasionally I write reviews on my site for R/C products which I have purchased or been sent by manufacturers.
Recently I’ve become involved in amateur radio (or ‘ham’ radio). I currently hold an RSGB Foundation Licence, but am preparing to take my Intermediate and Advanced exams as soon as possible.
I use a second-hand Icom IC-746 transceiver (HF, 6 and 2 meters) for operating with a 32ft all-band HF vertical dipole antenna. It’s an old rig, but very capable and in great condition. I also own a couple of Baofeng handheld transceivers - the Baofeng UV5R and BF-888 for mobile operating. For QSO logging I use Amateur Contact Log by N3FJP and N1MM+ for contests. My data-mode software of choice is the venerable FLdigi suite.
I’m a veteran of the PC gaming scene, having been around since it first really started to take off back in the days of Wolfenstein 3D and Doom. My Steam account harks back to the days when owners of the big-box original Half Life were migrated in as some of the first users. I’ve owned many of the popular consoles over the years, from the Nintendo 64 through to the Playstation 4 and Wii, but for me, nothing can beat the PC’s combination of keyboard and mouse.
These days I tend to play multiplayer FPSs, indie roguelikes and simulation games (like the incredible Kerbal Space Program). You’ll probably find me playing the Battlefield series, having been active in online multiplayer since the original Battlefield 1942.
Hacking around on computers all day long needs a soundtrack - I listen to psybient, goa, ambient and triphop electronica subgenres by artists like Suduaya, Ott, Tripswitch, and Solar Fields. Being an old-school geek I’m a fan of the demoscene and chiptune music. You can find me on scenemusic.net. On my main PC I’m currently using AudioSmile LBM monitor speakers built from a crowd-funded Kickstarter kit.
Here’s a little information about my computer collection. With the pervasiveness of virtualisation and cloud computing, I don’t have as many computers as I used to, but somehow one is just never enough.
Desktop PC - Watercooled hex-core Intel Xeon X5670 CPU at 4.4GHz, Asus Rampage Gene III x58 motherboard, 12GB 1600MHz DDR3 RAM, nVidia GeForce 780Ti GPU, Samsung 850 SATA SSDs.
Laptop PC - Dell XPS 13”, 1080p matte screen, Intel i7 3.5GHz CPU, 8GB RAM, NVMe SSD.
Retro Gaming PC - Abit VP6 with dual Intel Pentium III 1GHz CPUs, 2GB RAM, 3Dfx Voodoo 5500 GPU, WD Raptor 10k HDDs in RAID0 (build log).
Commodore Amiga 1200 - Blizzard 1230iv 68030 50MHz accelerator with SCSI kit, 72MB RAM, Indivision AGA Mk2 graphics adapter, FastATA MkV with 32GB compact flash (build log coming soon!)
Not to mention all manner of microcontrollers, Arduinos, Raspberry Pi and other little systems that are so easy to lose down the back of the sofa!
If you want to get in touch, please segway over to the contact page.