Dorion Mode

November 7, 2020

Romanian 1, Practice 5

Filed under: Philologia — Robinson Dorion @ 14:47

I practiced exercise 5 this morning. It's a ~30 minute session of listening and speaking building on the previous practices.

I learned that in Ro the conditional and optative moods are the same. The optative doesn't exist is French and Spanish, so the present conditional was used.

A helpful reader pointed out I was mixing up my French tenses in previous exercises, so I worked to clean that up here. I kept in mind to use the 2nd person plural in Romanian and French for formal address and 3rd person singular in Spanish.

Buna ziua Donule.1

Buna ziua Domnisoara, ce mai faceti ?2

Eu ? Foarte bine. Si dumeavostra ? Sunteti bine ?3

Da, sunt bine, multumesc. As dori sa beau ceva. Ati dori sa beti ceva ?4

Cred ca nu, dar as dori sa mananc ceva. Ati dori sa mancati ceva ?5

~~Present indicative.~~
Doriti sa mancati cheva ?6

Nu doresc sa mananc, multumesc.7

Nu stiu.8

  1. Buenos dias Senor.
    Bonjour Monsoir.
    Good day Sir. []
  2. Buenos dias Senorita. Como esta usted ?
    Bonjour Mademoiselle, comment allez-vous ?
    Good day Miss, how are you ? []
  3. Yo ? Muy bien. Y usted ? Esta bien ?
    Moi ? Tres bien. Et vous ? Allez-vous bien ?
    Me ? Very well. And you ? Are you well ? []
  4. Si, estoy bien, gracias. Me gustaria* beber algo. Le gustaria beber algo ?
    Oui, je vais bien, merci. Je voudrais boire quelquechose. Voulez-vous boire quelque chose ?
    Yes, I'm well, thanks. I'd like to drink something. Would you like to drink something ?

    *"Yo querria" can also be used, but I've found myself using gustar more in the conditional. []

  5. Creo que no, pero me gustaria comer algo. Le gustaria comer algo ?
    Je crois que non, mais je voudrais manger quelque chose. Voudreiz-vous manger quelque chose ?
    I think not, but I'd like to eat something. Would you like to eat something ? []
  6. Quiere comer algo ?
    Voulez-vous manger quelque chose ?
    Do you want to eat something ? []
  7. No quiero comer, gracias.
    Je ne veux pas manger, merci.
    No, I don't want to eat, thanks. []
  8. Yo no se.
    Je ne sais pas.
    I don't know. []

November 6, 2020

Romanian 1, Practice 4

Filed under: Philologia — Robinson Dorion @ 17:39

I practiced exercise 4 this morning. It's a ~30 minute session of listening and speaking building on the previous practices.

Buna ziua Doamnisoara.1

Buna ziua Donule.2

Va rog, stiti unde este strada Eminescu ?3

Da, cred ca este aici.4

Multumesc, si stiti unde este bulevard Popular ? Este acolo ?5

Da, este acolo. Cred ca vorbiti Romaneste foarte bine. 6

Multumesc, dar vorbesc putin Romaneste.7

Dar da8, cred que vorbiti Romaneste foarte bine si sunt Romanca.9

  1. Buenos dias Senorita.
    Bonjour Mademoiselle.
    Good day Miss. []
  2. Buenos dias Senor.
    Bonjour Monsoir.
    Good day Sir. []
  3. Por favor, sabe donde esta la calle Eminescu ?
    S'il vous plait, savias vous ou est-ce la rue Eminescu ?
    Please, do you know where Eminescu street is ? []
  4. Si, creo que esta aqui.
    Oui, je crois que c'est ici.
    Yes, I think it's here ? []
  5. Gracias, y sabe usted donde esta el bulevar Popular ? Esta alla ?
    Merci, y savais vous ou est-ce l'boulevard Popular ? Est-ce la-bas ?
    Thank you, and do you know where Popular boulevard is ? Is it over there ? []
  6. Si, esta alla. Creo que habla Ruman muy bien.
    Oui, c'est la-bas. Je crois que vous parlez Roumain tres bien.
    Yes, it's over there. I think you speak Romanian well. []
  7. Gracias, pero hablo poquito Ruman.
    Merci, mais je parle un peu Roumain.
    Thank you, but I speak a little Romanian. []
  8. Sounded like "Ba da", used to contradict a negative. []
  9. Pero si, creo que habla ruman muy bien y soy Romana.
    Mais si*, je crois que vous parlez Romaine tres bien et je suis Romaine.
    But yes, I think you speak Romanian very well and I'm Romanian.

    *Used to contradict. []

November 5, 2020

Romanian 1, Practice 3

Filed under: Philologia — Robinson Dorion @ 14:48

I practiced exercise 3 this morning. It's a ~30 minute session of listening and speaking. There is much overlap from yesterday's practice.

I took the opportunity to also practice my spanish and french because they're cousins of romanian and I want to continue sharpening those. Romanian has the ~same rolling r as spanish.

Buna ziua, Doamna !1

Sunteti American ?2

Da, si dumneavoastra ? Sunteti Romanca ?3

Da, si ce mai faceti ? Sunteti bine ?4

Da, sunt bine, multumesc.5

Stiti Romaneste ?6

Putin, dar nu stiu Romaneste foarte bine.7

Scuzati-ma, va rog.8

La revedere.9

  1. Buenos dias, Senora !
    Bonjour, Madam !
    Good day, Ma'am ! []
  2. Usted es Americano ?
    Vous etes Americain ?
    Are you American ? []
  3. Si, y usted ? Usted es rumana ?
    Oui, et vous ? Vous etes roumain ?
    Yes, and you ? Are you Romanian ? []
  4. Si, y como esta usted ? Esta bien ?
    Oui, et vous ? Comment allez-vous ? Ca va bien ?
    Yes, and how are you ? Are you well ? []
  5. Si, estoy bien, gracias.
    Oui, je vais bien, merci.
    Yes, I am well, thank you. []
  6. Sabe usted rumana ?
    Savais vous roumaine ?
    Do you know Romanian ? []
  7. Un poco, pero no se rumana muy bien.
    Un petite, mais je ne sais pas roumaine tres bien.
    A bit, but I don't know Romanian well. []
  8. Perdoname, por favor.
    Pardonne moi, s'il vous plait.
    Pardon me, please. []
  9. Adios.
    Goodbye. []

November 4, 2020

Romanian 1 Practice 2

Filed under: Philologia, Romanian — Robinson Dorion @ 16:07

I practiced Pimsleur's Romanian 1, Practice 2 this morning. It's a ~30 minute session of listening and speaking with a lot of repetition. I looked up the spelling following the audio. Below are the phrases I practiced written in all ascii because I'm not yet in practice of using the entire Romanian alphabet nor have I yet looked into transliteration.

Buna ziua !1

Ce mai faceti domnisoara ?2

Intelegi engleza ?3

Ce mai faceti Domnule ?4

Sunt foarte bine, multumesc doamna.5

Nu, nu inteleg.6

Sunteti Roman ?7

Sunteti American.8

Scuzati-ma doamna.9

Intelegi doamna ?10

Inteleg putin Romaneste.11

La revedere !12

  1. Good day ! []
  2. How are you miss ?*

    * Literarlly, what more do you do miss ? []

  3. Do you understand Engligh ? []
  4. How are you Sir ? []
  5. I am very well, thanks ma'am. []
  6. No, I don't understand. []
  7. Are you Romanian ? []
  8. You are American. []
  9. Excuse me ma'am. []
  10. Do you understand ma'am ? []
  11. I understand a little Romanian. []
  12. Good bye ! []

November 1, 2020

A JWRD desktop aiming for open graphics

Filed under: JWRD — Robinson Dorion @ 19:34

I am in the process of building a desktop computer. I approached the task on the following fronts :

  1. a motherboard supported by an open source BIOS, e.g. Coreboot;
  2. an AMD CPU which is not locked down by AMD's Platform Security Processor (PSP);
  3. a graphics card with minimal to no proprietary microcode.

This was motivated by a couple goals :

  1. expand JWRD's hardware offering;
  2. have a desktop with which to play the masterclass in economy mascarading as a video game: Eulora published by The Ministry of Games.

The components I chose are :

Component Make & Model Note
Motherboard ASUS F2A85M
APU AMD A8-5600k with AMD Radeon HD 7560D 4 cores, 3.6GHz base clock
RAM Corsair CMZ8GX3M1A1600C10 DDR3, 2 x 8 GB
SSD Samsung 860 EVO 1 TB
HDD Seagate Barracuda 3.5" SATA, 2 TB
Power Supply CORSAIR TX650M 650W, 80 + Gold, semi-modular
Case Corsair Carbide 200R Mid-tower ATX
Case Fans Corsair AF120 3 x 120mm
UPS CyberPower CP1500AVRLCD 900W


I started my search by reading reading up on motherboard candidates via the Coreboot supported mainboards and board status wiki pages and git respository. The Coreboot wiki has a dedicated page for the ASUS F2A85M (archived).

This board is equipped with an FM2 socket which supports AMD APUs of the A85 Piledriver line on the CPU side and Terra Scale 3 based GPUs of the Trinty line.

The Read Only Memory (ROM) chip is a Winbound 25Q64F that will be flashed externally with an 8 pin chip clip to replace the vendor UEFI/BIOS with a BIOS I compile.


To pick the APU, my starting point was the ASUS website which lists the 391 supported chips. Despite the long list, from what I managed to find, the supply for these is tight. This makes sense given they went out of print in October of 2012 and are supported by Coreboot.

For graphics support, I started at the wiki of the X Window System and in particular the page on the Radeon line of graphics cards due to the Radeon integration in many of the APUs supported by the motherboard.

I'm a bit less of a graphics noob than when I started this process, but still very much a graphics noob. As far as I understand at present, there are no graphics cards which do not require proprietary firmware. There are some rumors that the abandoned radeonhd driver did not require firmware compiled by the vendor, but the Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name (archived) and Pleased to flash you, hope you change my name (archived) articles by Luc Verhaegen record that if you were familiar with the details, that was never the case. RadeonHD relied on the AtomBIOS, the source code of which was never published, to whit,

At no point do AtomBIOS functions come close to fitting the definition of script, at least not as we get them. It might start life as "scripts", but what we get is the bytecode, stuck into the ROM of our graphics cards or our mainboard.

After reading this, I didn't bother adding a discrete graphics card supported by radeonhd for this iteration. Despite being over a decade old, I did find some radeonhd supported cards still available.

For the APU, I picked the AMD A8-5600K which has the Radeon HD 7560D integrated GPU. The Radeon HD 7560D requires the 3 ARUBA_me.bin, ARUBA_pfp.bin and ARUBA_rlc.bin binary files from the Radeon Linux firmware list which weigh a combined 23.552 kb. Permitting 23kb of mystery meat to run graphics is not the worst of fates. While not ideal, the fact is the complexity the of hardware itself is much greater and likewise not available for the supposed owner to inspect.

RAM and Disks

To chose memory, I started from the qualified vendors list (pdf) of the F2A85M motherboard. I added the Samsung SSD because I also plan to test syncing a Bitcoin node and GBW-node with this set up.

Power Supply, Case, Case Fans

Gold 80 Plus power supply efficiency was good enough for me. Cases with tempered glass windows and shiny lights seem to be marketed heavily. I went all metal for sturdiness. The case has a built-in rear fan. My plan for the other three are to put two stacked from the bottom of the front and one on top for bottom-to-top, front-to-back cooling airflow.

Next Steps

The parts have started arriving. I'll start the build this week and report back. I focused this article on what I ended up choosing. I looked at several more set ups in this process, the notes for which need cleaning up prior to publishing.

While it looks like a fully open desktop with graphics support is out of reach at present, I gained from the process and am looking forward to setting this machine up.

  1. The complete list:
    AMD A10-5700 (AD5700OKA44HJ, rev.A1, 3.4GHz, L2:4M, 65W) ALL 5008GO
    AMD A10-5800B (AD580BWOA44HJ, rev.A1, 3.8GHz, L2:4M, 100W) ALL 5008GO
    AMD A10-5800K (AD580KWOA44HJ, rev.A1, 3.8GHz, L2:4M, 100W) ALL 5008GO
    AMD A10-6700 (FM2, AD6700OKA44HL, rev.A1, 3.7GHz, 4C, L2:4M, HD 8670D, 65W) ALL 6002GO
    AMD A10-6700T (FM2, AD670TYHA44HL, rev.A1, 2.5GHz, 4C, L2:4M, HD 8650D, 45W) ALL 6402GO
    AMD A10-6790B (FM2, AD679BWOA44HL, rev.A1, 4.0GHz, 4C, L2:4M, HD 8670D, 100W) ALL 6501GO
    AMD A10-6790K (FM2, AD679KWOA44HL, rev.A1, 4.0GHz, 4C, L2:4M, HD 8670D, 100W) ALL 6501GO
    AMD A10-6800B (FM2, AD680BWOA44HL, rev.A1, 4.1GHz, 4C, L2:4M, HD 8670D, 100W) ALL 6002GO
    AMD A10-6800K (FM2, AD680KWOA44HL, rev.A1, 4.1GHz, 4C, L2:4M, HD 8670D, 100W) ALL 6002GO
    AMD A4-4000 (FM2, AD40000KA23HL,3.0Ghz, L2: 1M , HD7480, rev.A1, 65W) ALL 6102GO
    AMD A4-4020(FM2, AD4020OKA23HL,3.2Ghz, L2: 1M , HD7480D, rev.A1, 65W) ALL 6502GO
    AMD A4-5300 (AD5300OKA23HJ, rev.A1, 3.4GHz, L2:1M, 65W) ALL 5008GO
    AMD A4-5300B (FM2, AD530BOKA23HJ, rev.A1, 3.4GHz, L2:1M, 65W) ALL 5008GO
    AMD A4-6300 (FM2, AD6300OKA23HL, rev.A1, 3.7GHz, 2C, L2:1M, HD 8370D, 65W) ALL 6002GO
    AMD A4-6300B (FM2, AD630BOKA23HL, rev.A1, 3.7GHz, 2C, L2:1M, HD 8370D, 65W) ALL 6002GO
    AMD A4-6320(FM2, AD6320OKA23HL, rev.A1, 3.8GHz, 2C, L2:1M, HD 8370D, 65W) ALL 6502GO
    AMD A4-7300 (FM2, AD7300OKA23HLA, rev.A1, 3.8GHz, 2C, L2:1M, GCN Radeon R5, 65W) ALL 6506GO
    AMD A4-7300B (FM2, AD730BOKA23HLA, rev.A1, 3.8GHz, 2C, L2:1M, 65W) ALL 6506GO
    AMD A6-5400B (AD540BOKA23HJ, rev.A1, 3.6GHz, L2:1M, 65W) ALL 5008GO
    AMD A6-5400K (AD540KOKA23HJ, rev.A1, 3.6GHz, L2:1M, 65W) ALL 5008GO
    AMD A6-6400B (FM2, AD640BOKA23HL, rev.A1, 2C, 3.9GHz, L2:1M, HD 8470D, 65W) ALL 6002GO
    AMD A6-6400K (FM2, AD640KOKA23HL, rev.A1, 2C, 3.9GHz, L2:1M, HD 8470D, 65W) ALL 6002GO
    AMD A6-6420K (FM2, AD642KOKA23HL, rev.A1, 2C, 4.0GHz, L2:1M, HD 8470D, 65W) ALL 6502GO
    AMD A8-5500 (AD5500OKA44HJ, rev.A1, 3.2GHz, L2:4M, 65W) ALL 5008GO
    AMD A8-5500B (AD550BOKA44HJ, rev.A1, 3.2GHz, L2:4M, 65W) ALL 5008GO
    AMD A8-5600K (AD560KWOA44HJ, rev.A1, 3.6GHz, L2:4M, 100W) ALL 5008GO
    AMD A8-6500 (FM2, AD6500OKA44HL, rev.A1, 4C, 3.5GHz, L2:4M, HD 8570D, 65W) ALL 6002GO
    AMD A8-6500B (FM2, AD650BOKA44HL, rev.A1, 4C, 3.5GHz, L2:4M, HD 8570D, 65W) ALL 6002GO
    AMD A8-6500T (FM2, AD650TYHA44HL, rev.A1, 4C, 2.1GHz, L2:4M, HD 8550D, 45W) ALL 6402GO
    AMD A8-6600K (FM2, AD660KWOA44HL, rev.A1, 4C, 3.9GHz, L2:4M, HD 8570D, 100W) ALL 6002GO
    AMD Athlon X2 340 (FM2, 3.2Ghz, 2C, L2:1M, 65W) ALL 6102GO
    AMD AthlonX2 350 (FM2, AD350XOKA23HL, 2C, rev.A1, 3.5GHz, L2:1M, 65W) ALL 6102GO
    AMD AthlonX2 370K (FM2, AD370KOKA23HL, 2C, rev.A1, 4.0GHz, L2:4M, 65W) ALL 6404GO
    AMD AthlonX4 730 (FM2, AD730XOKA44HJ, rev.A1, 2.8GHz, L2:4M, 65W) ALL 5008GO
    AMD AthlonX4 740 (FM2, AD740XOKA44HJ, rev.A1, 3.2GHz, L2:4M, 65W) ALL 5008GO
    AMD AthlonX4 750 (FM2, AD750XOKA44HL, 4C, rev.A1, 3.4GHz, L2:4M, 65W) ALL 6102GO
    AMD AthlonX4 750K (FM2, AD750KWOA44HJ, rev.A1, 3.4GHz, L2:4M, 100W) ALL 5008GO
    AMD AthlonX4 760K (FM2, AD760KWOA44HL, 4C, rev.A1, 3.8GHz, L2:4M, 100W) ALL 6102GO
    AMD Sempron 250 (FM2, SD250XOKA23HL, 2C, rev.A1, 3.2GHz, L2:1M, 65W) ALL 6102GO []

September 28, 2020

The shadows of an Indian summer.

Filed under: Amor fati — Robinson Dorion @ 18:49

It struck me recently that a major cause of my outrageous behavior these past few months is that I've continued to neglect writing the articles for the fabled outlines I published through the process of applying be a Pageboy of Diana Coman and the Young Hands Club. As she observed, I spent most of my twenties finding my feet, which lead me to live in a foreign land I came to consider my home.

Then, 11 days after TMSR's closure I decided to leave the city with everything apart from my friends that couldn't be replaced to stay with my parents in the hills I grew up in. Not having written the articles in the outlines is evidence I've not thought through and processed fully those trials and tribulations. Instead of writing, publishing and moving on1, I went on a summer vacation as if it was my childhood. I did what was easy, rather than what was correct. I literally walked in scores of loops around golf courses.


Above, from hole 7 tee box of Rutland Country Club Saturday. Below, from behind 7th green.


It has been a sunny, Indian summer stretching into September and I reverted to the shadows, even if I spent more time outside and under the sun this summer than I have in a decade plus. I'm at ground zero of where my weaknesses are rooted, but I have rested rather than working to strengthen them. I have allowed myself to atrophy and incur opportunity costs. I could think of more things to say and as I start to a lot of negatives come up, but ultimately lead me to asking, what now ?

I'm reminded of a point that was quite a surprising relief to read in the moment and to be reminded of now. What now then is to confront myself and my past, remind myself stupidity is penalized exponentially by the wise and the world with good reason, and start chipping away at writing those articles and doing what I know I have to do. By greasing my writing gears, more will be sure to follow, one simple step at a time. Tu nu poti daca nu te chinui suficient.

  1. While at the same time having it available to reference relatively cheaply at any future point. []

July 13, 2020

In defense of honoring Rutland Raider Power.

Filed under: Amor fati — Robinson Dorion @ 23:43

The local newspaper, The Rutland Herald, recently published an op-ed written by a former classmate of mine titled, "RHS Mascot must go", which you can read here. I submitted a sightly shorter version of this, e.g. doesn't have any pictures or footnotes, to said herald this evening, which I've linked. The last piece I submitted to them was about 10 years ago, which they didn't publish for unspecified reasons. To give you an idea, this is a paper that still publishes the long-ago discredited Paul Krugman. I'm not holding my breath for them to publish this, but we'll see.

For new readers of the blog, mind there's a comment box at the end. Leave your thoughts, if you please; both supportive and critical comments will be published. At the end of each footnote there's a link that will return you to your place. Here goes.

Dear Fellow Rutlanders and Ms. Gokee,

To be clear, while I disagree with her methodology and conclusion, I write this in the spirit of debate and with all respect due to Ms. Gokee, of whom I always had a positive experience of in the flesh. I learned of several things from her piece and I hope this article returns the favor.

Nicknames and titles are characteristic of honor-based societies, which have endured millennia because they reflect the self-evident hierarchy that exists in nature and predates land-based organisms. True story: even sea creatures secrete endorphins when they win a turf war and raise their standing in the world. This neurological structure is older than trees.

The Latins used ''cognomen'', which English speakers call nicknames, to distinguish, among other things, heroic battle achievements. Fortunately, the bounty of excess resources the capitalists of generations past graciously bequeathed us has provided sufficient cushion to afford our youths (previously known as ''useless eaters'') the luxury of organized athletics. The rub is, when you name a team in town, you don't have those individual stories that support the individual nicknames. As a consequence, the tenacity competition requires traditionally leads the namers to use names representing something fierce, e.g. lions and tigers and bears, oh my!! American football is the sport most reminiscent of battle and probably that which the Rutland Raiders are most renowned for in this state, so let us dwell for a moment. George Carlin nails it, y'know? ''In football the object is for the quarterback, also known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use the shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy's defensive line. In baseball the object is to go home! And to be safe! I hope I'll be safe at home!''.

''Raid'' is a Scottish word with etymology tracing to describe a ''mounted military expedition''. Football requires bravery, tenacity, physical fitness, power and grace, team coordination and willingness to get dirty and bleed for the team and town to experience the high of achievement and victory. Naming the mascot a Raider honors the spirit and characteristics through a symbol the student-athlete can draw on for inspiration. The arrowhead itself symbolizes and honors a culture that leveraged the tool to feed, clothe and shelter families and evict derelict neighbors and perhaps even against neighbors who were simply boring and dull. It's true that there are undertones of violence, but the wisdom of using them in this context is they are actually beneficial in dangerous, physical competition, where strictly enforced rules allow violence to be pushed to the edge of civility and an advantage is gained for knowing well where the line is.

Sure, racists and bigots employ propaganda to manipulate those less bookish, but do you really want to be a person who imputes the views and behavior of a small minority of individuals on an entire community? Pretty sure there's a word for that. It's certainly not consonant with my experience of being around Rutland athletics for over two decades as a water boy1 , athlete2 and fan, during which I can't recall I witnessed any instances of racism3. There is brotherhood amongst opponents.

I accept as true that racist and bigoted people exist across cultures and geography. I've lived over a quarter of my life as a social and racial minority in foreign lands, this isn't my imagination, but first hand experience. Humans are social creatures with in-group preference. We tend to prefer friends and family to strangers for most activities and tend to feel uncomfortable when surrounded by conversation in a foreign language. Learning hurts.

With that being said, to say honoring a culture's symbols by taking them for inspiration into a gamified battle is appropriation and racist is to look at the situation from not only a very limited, but fragile perspective. Where does this argument go if applied ''equally''? Do you really want to start a culture war where symbolizing and utilizing cultural contributions are restricted to progeny of the originators? Should descendants of Europeans now take offense whenever someone else wears a necktie when they are dressing for success? The ''cravat'' is distinctly European military attire, after all. Are you making fun of my ancestors?!? What about electricity and the Internet Protocol and aeroplanes and automobiles and the number zero? Surely it will tilt the balance of power towards the ''just'' if you lot pass a law that grants license to state clerks to use violence to restrict (suspending all sense, for a moment, to assume it could be done) technologies to those who can prove a bloodline (sarcasm). Taking a step back, it seems such a path leads to more division rather than cooperation. And if all of a sudden you don't want to apply your new rule equally, well... I'll let you fill in this blank and I don't think you'll like the word that fits.

It's true, history involves men fighting and killing and taking from and enslaving each other. Such behavior is cross-cultural and recurs throughout history because nature imposes scarcity and language and cooperation take more effort in the short term. C'est la vie. The fact that Europeans developed and utilized technology such as horses and the wheel and gun powder and the printing press which enabled them to more effectively control the resources of this landmass is not to their shame; anymore than it's the Turks' shame for developing superior cannon technology4 that enabled them to take the city5 that was the center of the world for over a millennia; nor is it Michael Jordan's shame for dominating the NBA during his prime, even if he was mean at times. The lists go on and on to demonstrate hierarchies are self-evident. The other side of 'the Indian problem'' was what the Europeans referred to as their burden to spread the high standard of living they achieved and which we enjoy through the harsh winters. Chimneys for the win, amirite ?!?! Monty Python's ''Life of Brian'' hits the nail on the head, ''All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?" That is, check the toolbox you depend on for survival prior to impugning the deceased and scorning their progeny for whatever you convict their ancestors of posthumously, lest you find yourself lost in the cold. Side note: Lost in the Cold is a great Twiddle song, look it up.

To say in one sentence ''we're Vermonters'' and in another that this here is ''Abenaki land'' is a contradiction I hope others caught. Perhaps some progeny of the Byzantines refer to that grand city on the Golden Horn as Constantinople to this day, but any ticket they buy to go there surely reads Istanbul. Perhaps some Bitcoin Barron will take ownership of this land in the future and rename it. Until that day, it's called Vermont to signify this is an outpost of European civilization. There was war, subjugation and brutality on this continent far before their ships beached and for whatever reasons, after losing many battles fighting with and against the Natives, the Europeans came out on top. If you must hate, please don't hate the player, hate the game. Then try to not hate because bitter roots bear bitter fruit. Try instead to learn why the winners won.

It's probably the case some old white man dressed in a three piece suit sat in his leather chair at his Mahogany desk smoking his pipe some century and a half ago to make the name and came up with the alliteration we've inherited. Maybe he even wore a monocle and kept coins in woven bags with dollar signs painted on strewn about the marble floor of his office which his servants polished daily on their hands and knees with toothbrushes. Given we've uncovered the etymology, do you think it could be possible the man was a silly Scotsman who knew what the word meant and used it to counterbalance the rivalrous ''Mounties'' of Convent Avenue in this here city? Wouldn't that be something?

I don't know what the real source of the name is, but I must ask what the long-term consequences are of trying to whitewash the name and symbols thousands of young Rutlanders have been proud to represent in constructive, competitive activities they cared deeply about? If you thrash the arrowhead, will you then chastise me and my friends for wearing our state championship gear? Should we have a big bonfire and burn all the threads6? Or what if I have a son who grows up and wants to wear his old man's throwbacks, should he expect grief? Should I prepare him to defend himself because he may be attacked if wearing it in public? I'm not trying to put words in anyone's mouth, I'm genuinely curious how far you think the 'removal' will go. Seems like a major distraction from the actual travesty taking place presently through socialist central banks appropriating purchasing power via the inflation tax, y'dig? But hey, driving division using the racist wedge and meanwhile debauching the currency is straight out the Communist playbook. Maybe I'm biased, "the Commish" of the Mounties, a.k.a Mr. William O'Rourke III, J.D., did nickname me ''Raider Rob'' for my fidelity to the tradition, after all. My point is there are more sides to the story than the scapegoat of evil white men making fun of people they conquered.

If you manage to succeed, perhaps you pick a name more benign, but likewise virtuous, activity that Rutland is actually famous for. Probably should be something about marble since that's what the world actually knows this area for. The mythology would be similar to a Slater who quarries for sacred material deep in mother earth and erects enduring structures for art and his family's refuge. For all I know though, you'll claim Mr. Proctor was a ''thief''/''Robber Barron''/omgwhatever for ''stripping the land''. Regardless, I reckon the Raider spirit will remain adamant in Rutland independent of whether the current tensions are opportunistically exploited to further the agenda of cultural Marxists7.

My neighbor gave me the nickname out of admiration despite wanting to see me lose and even cry my eyes out whenever his team was on the other side of the ball and I love him for that because competition brings out the best within us. Personally, I'd rather see arrowheads on the backs of teenagers' cars who loved playing as Raiders so much they parade the symbol around town in perpetuity. The reason is, the meaning to me isn't some racist symbol; the arrowhead represents hard work, dedication, deferral of gratification, courage, physical and mental mastery, making enduring memories with lifelong friends, teamwork, excitement, community support, giving your jersey to a cute chica on gameday, sportsmanship, sight and sound, intensity with integrity, living such that you have no regrets and on that score I know I'm not alone. Whether you like it or not, that's what you're attacking and that's probably the primary reason there's resistance. Surely there would be more resistance if the risk and consequences of being slandered a racists weren't so high. I'll take that risk, and say what I believe to be correct, and leave to faith that the logos still remains in the thousands of people who've known and supported me in this community throughout my life.

Ms. Gokee writes, ''The problem is that putting Native Americans in the past erases our existence in the world today.'' Likewise, saying present day Rutlanders use the arrowhead as a racist symbol such that their history should be torn down rather than a symbol of admiration is unmitigated prejudice. I, for one, will keep my nickname with honor as long as I live because the roots of the words are simply too profound not too --you're not digging them up.

For the record, the time is always now, that's why it's called the present. Look it up if you don't believe me. The phrase for the time when you tear down the proud symbols of a society is post mortem.

In Liberty and Sincerely Yours,
Robinson, a.k.a ''Raider Rob'', a.k.a ''Digger'', Dorion.

  1. Here's a pic from 1998 following a Raider victory over Hartford in the semi-finals :


    From left to right: yours truly, Jake Eaton, T.J. Bowse.

    The Saturday prior, the Raiders beat the Mounties on Alumni in the Rutland-MSJ game. The following Saturday, MSJ beat Rutland in the State Championship game on Alumni and Rutland was the away team. They were also both contenders for the basketball title that year, which MSJ won. During the 1996-2006 period, Rutland won 7 of 11 titles while MSJ won 3. Ten out of eleven's not too bad for one town.

    For foreigners, the MSJ herein referred stands for Mount St. Joseph Academy, the Catholic School cross-town rival. []

  2. For the pics or it didn't happen crew, here you go.


    I had one of my better games that day and Coach Norman awarded me the game ball. Mr. Hadley, the father of Josh Hadley, one of our Senior Captains, and his Sophomore brother Ethan had passed away the week of the game. The ball is buried with Mr. Hadley. []

  3. That's not to say it never happened, maybe it did. It's simply that if it did it was so rare that I don't recall. That is, there are always bad apples, but it was never part of the athletics culture. []
  4. Who else misses the cannon at Raider football games ? 'Bring Back the Cannon 2020 !' ? For those unaware, from about 2000-2002, after every touchdown and other special occasions, a powder filled cannon was touched off at every home game. If I recall correctly, some residents of Gleason Road whined loud enough to get it mothballed. []
  5. Constantinople. []
  6. Here's a small sample:


    If memory serves, the story behind that 2000 lid is Josh Finley made a leaping, back shoulder catch on a deep post (the play-call was probably 26 iso pass) thrown by Sean Hurley late in the 4th quarter of a low scoring game to really take the stinger out of the Hornets of Essex and ultimately lead to the Raiders squashing them.


    Above: Sam Reynolds, Zak Acquistapace, Ryan Corey, Matt Littler, Josh Hadley.

    Below: Andrew Baker, Justin Stewart, Jon Bassett, Chris Kiernan.



  7. Whether you're aware of it or not, that's what's going on. When Communism failed economically, as it always must, they pivoted. []

July 1, 2020

GBW-NODE : Gales Bitcoin Wallet Node verified acquisition, build, install and run in 21ish short, simple steps.

Filed under: JWRD — Robinson Dorion @ 17:32

This article documents the steps I took to verify I obtained the correct code to install and start using gbw-node, the online component of Gales Bitcoin Wallet, authored by Jacob F. Welsh (WoT : jfw) which he documented on Fixpoint through his work with JWRD Computing in a 1 2 3 4 5 6, count'em, 6 article series.

For maximal key security, the software is structured in two components : the node gbw-node and the signer gbw-signer. gbw-node is written in Python 2 and gbw-signer is written in Jacob's anti-Thompsonistic, almost-R5RS-plus-extensions Scheme implementation, Gales Scheme. This design facilitates use over an airgapped system. Such a system would be composed of at least one online computer where gbw-node collects information from the Bitcoin network and broadcasts transactions and an offline computers where gbw-signer is used to generate Bitcoin keys and sign transactions. Usage instructions for gbw-signer will come in an article to follow.

Before we dive in head first here, if you find yourself glossing over the instructions below as if written in hieroglyphics, take heart that it's only ASCII and the command line is not too hard to learn with some dedication to consistent practice and a good guide to walk you through the process. The other side of acquiring the skill is you're equipped with a new set of eyes that allows you to, among other things, enforce ownership over your money. Jacob and I have created training curriculum and hardware packages along with software like Gales Bitcoin Wallet to help our clients do just that and which you may read more about here. Alright, dive at will.

The pre-requisites to verify sources, compile, install and run are :

  1. The machine I used has 2 cores, 4 GB RAM and 500 GB SSD.
  2. V. I used Jacob's V in Perl with keksum starter kit.
  3. a Unix-like OS. I used a fresh, minimalist install of Gales Linux, which comes with the Gnu C Compiler (GCC) 4.7.4 ; musl C Library ; Busybox userland ; and Linux Kernel. Gales also comes with "gport" build scripts for Perl, Python 2 and SQLite. Perl is required for my V selection and and Python 2 and SQLite are required for gbw-node.
  4. GnuPG (GPG). I used the gport build in Gales Linux.
  5. The Real Bitcoin (TRB). I pressed my install here to Jacob's bitcoin_system_compiler.vpatch.

2020/07/01 Update : As Diana Coman kindly pointed out in the comments, if you already have a TRB node in operation, you may skip directly to step 18 for all gbw-node functionality apart from the push command. For push to work, you need Jabob's bitcoin_rawtx_get_send.vpatch.

Commands issued1 to download and install complete orchestra from Gales Linux base install :

Add the following IPs to /etc/hosts :

1. Build and install GnuPG.
cd /var/build/gales/gports/gnupg ; gbuild ; gpkg-install -f ; mv /gales/dist/pkg/

2. Build and install Perl.
cd ../perl ; gbuild ; gpkg-install -f ; mv /gales/dist/pkg/

3. Build and install Python.
cd ../python ; gbuild ; gpkg-install -f ; mv /gales/dist/pkg/

4. Build and install SQLite and its docs.
cd ../sqlite ; gbuild ; gpkg-install -f ; mv /gales/dist/pkg ; cd ../sqlite-doc ; gbuild ; gpkg-install -f ; mv /gales/dist/pkg

5. Acquire the keys for the seals you intend to verify. In this case, jfw, diana_coman, spyked and mod6.
mkdir /root/keys ; cd /root/keys ; wget{0CBC05941D03FD95C3A47654AE0DF306025594B3,E72DCCB73A5E06694C5CD781D5196EE6390F999E,0x541A976BB5FC4B455D7FBC61BDAE9D051A3D3B95,027A8D7C0FB8A16643720F40721705A8B71EADAF}.asc

6. Prepare the V build tree.
mkdir -p /var/build/v/{v,trb,gbw-node}/{.seals,.wot,patches} ; cd /var/build/v/v/.wot ; ln -s ~/keys/0CBC05941D03FD95C3A47654AE0DF306025594B3.asc jfw.asc ; ln -s ~/keys/E72DCCB73A5E06694C5CD781D5196EE6390F999E.asc diana_coman.asc ; ln -s ~/keys/0x541A976BB5FC4B455D7FBC61BDAE9D051A3D3B95.asc spyked.asc

7. Acquire jfw's Keksum starter kit.
cd .. ; wget ; wget

8. Import his key on your gnupg key ring and verify the tarball with his signature.
gpg --import .wot/jfw.asc ; gpg --verify v-pl-keksum-starter-v2.tar.gz.asc

9. Extract the tarball, poke around to your content2 and run the install script.
tar xzf v-pl-keksum-starter-v2.tar.gz ; cd v-pl-keksum-starter-v2 ; sh

10. Acquire the vpatches and seals to press your V tree with the installed starter.
cd .. ; wget -P patches{v_strict_headers,v_keksum_busybox_r2,v_fixes_vpatch_sync,v_keccak_vtools,v_mod6_99993,v_mod6_genesis,v_fix_exptimes_paths_etc}.vpatch ; wget -P .seals{v_strict_headers.vpatch.{diana_coman,jfw},v_keksum_busybox_r2.vpatch.jfw,v_fixes_vpatch_sync.vpatch.{diana_coman,jfw,spyked},v_keccak_vtools.vpatch.{diana_coman,jfw,spyked},v_mod6_99993.vpatch.{diana_coman,jfw,spyked},v_mod6_genesis.vpatch.{diana_coman,spyked},v_fix_exptimes_paths_etc.vpatch.jfw}.sig

11a. Issue a flow. f
v_mod6_genesis.vpatch (diana_coman, spyked)
v_mod6_99993.vpatch (diana_coman, jfw, spyked)
v_keccak_vtools.vpatch (diana_coman, jfw, spyked)
v_fixes_vpatch_sync.vpatch (diana_coman, jfw, spyked)
v_strict_headers.vpatch (diana_coman, jfw)
v_fix_exptimes_paths_etc.vpatch (jfw)
v_keksum_busybox_r2.vpatch (jfw)

11b. Press your V tree, install the binary on your path and give it execute permission. p v_keksum_busybox_r2 v_keksum_busybox_r2.vpatch ; cd /local/bin/ ; ln -s /var/build/v/v/v_keksum_busybox/v/ ; chmod +x /local/bin/

12a. Acquire the vpatches for your press of The Real Bitcoin Vtree.
cd /var/build/v/trb/ ; wget -P patches{asciilifeform-kills-integer-retardation,asciilifeform_add_verifyall_option,asciilifeform_aggressive_pushgetblocks,asciilifeform_tx-orphanage_amputation,asciilifeform_and_now_we_have_eatblock,asciilifeform_dnsseed_snipsnip,asciilifeform_lets_lose_testnet,asciilifeform_maxint_locks_corrected,asciilifeform_orphanage_thermonuke,asciilifeform_ver_now_5_4_and_irc_is_gone_and_now_must_give_ip,asciilifeform_zap_hardcoded_seeds,bitcoin-asciilifeform.1,mod6_phexdigit_fix,mod6_der_high_low_s,asciilifeform_and_now_we_have_block_dumper_corrected,asciilifeform_dns_thermonyukyoolar_kleansing,asciilifeform_zap_showmyip_crud,bitcoin-asciilifeform.2-https_snipsnip,bitcoin-asciilifeform.3-turdmeister-alert-snip,bitcoin-asciilifeform.4-goodbye-win32,bitcoin-v0_5_3-db_config.6,bitcoin-v0_5_3_1-rev_bump.7,bitcoin-v0_5_3_1-static_makefile_v002.8,bitcoin_rawtx_get_send,bitcoin_system_compiler,genesis,makefiles,mod6_excise_hash_truncation,mod6_fix_dumpblock_params,mod6_manifest,mod6_privkey_tools,mod6_whogaveblox,programmable-versionstring,rm_rf_upnp,malleus_mikehearnificarum,bitcoin-asciilifeform.3-turdmeister-alert-snip}.vpatch

12b. Acquire the seals of your choice.
wget -P .seals{mod6_manifest.vpatch.{mod6,jfw},asciilifeform-kills-integer-retardation.vpatch.mod6,asciilifeform_add_verifyall_option.vpatch.{jfw,mod6},asciilifeform_aggressive_pushgetblocks.vpatch.mod6,asciilifeform_and_now_we_have_block_dumper_corrected.vpatch.mod6,asciilifeform_and_now_we_have_eatblock.vpatch.mod6,asciilifeform_dns_thermonyukyoolar_kleansing.vpatch.jfw,asciilifeform_dns_thermonyukyoolar_kleansing.vpatch.mod6,asciilifeform_dnsseed_snipsnip.vpatch.jfw,asciilifeform_dnsseed_snipsnip.vpatch.mod6,asciilifeform_lets_lose_testnet.vpatch.jfw_unchecked,asciilifeform_lets_lose_testnet.vpatch.mod6,asciilifeform_maxint_locks_corrected.vpatch.mod6,asciilifeform_orphanage_thermonuke.vpatch.mod6,asciilifeform_tx-orphanage_amputation.vpatch.mod6,asciilifeform_ver_now_5_4_and_irc_is_gone_and_now_must_give_ip.vpatch.mod6,asciilifeform_zap_hardcoded_seeds.vpatch.{jfw,mod6},asciilifeform_zap_showmyip_crud.vpatch.mod6,bitcoin-asciilifeform.1.vpatch.{jfw,mod6},bitcoin-asciilifeform.2-https_snipsnip.vpatch.{jfw,mod6},bitcoin-asciilifeform.3-turdmeister-alert-snip.vpatch.mod6,bitcoin-asciilifeform.4-goodbye-win32.vpatch.{jfw,mod6},bitcoin-v0_5_3-db_config.6.vpatch.mod6,bitcoin-v0_5_3_1-rev_bump.7.vpatch.{jfw,mod6},bitcoin-v0_5_3_1-static_makefile_v002.8.vpatch.{jfw,mod6},bitcoin_rawtx_get_send.vpatch.jfw,bitcoin_system_compiler.vpatch.jfw,genesis.vpatch.mod6,makefiles.vpatch.{jfw,mod6},malleus_mikehearnificarum.vpatch.{jfw,mod6},mod6_der_high_low_s.vpatch.mod6,mod6_excise_hash_truncation.vpatch.{jfw,mod6},mod6_fix_dumpblock_params.vpatch.mod6,mod6_phexdigit_fix.vpatch.{jfw,mod6},mod6_privkey_tools.vpatch.mod6,mod6_whogaveblox.vpatch.mod6,programmable-versionstring.vpatch.mod6,rm_rf_upnp.vpatch.mod6}.sig

12c. Populate your .wot directory.
cd .wot ; ln -s ~/keys/027A8D7C0FB8A16643720F40721705A8B71EADAF.asc mod6.asc ; ln -s ~/keys/0CBC05941D03FD95C3A47654AE0DF306025594B3.asc jfw.asc ; cd ..

13a. View your flow. flow
genesis.vpatch (mod6)
bitcoin-asciilifeform.1.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
rm_rf_upnp.vpatch (mod6)
bitcoin-asciilifeform.3-turdmeister-alert-snip.vpatch (mod6)
bitcoin-asciilifeform.2-https_snipsnip.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
bitcoin-asciilifeform.4-goodbye-win32.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
asciilifeform_dnsseed_snipsnip.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
asciilifeform_zap_hardcoded_seeds.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
asciilifeform-kills-integer-retardation.vpatch (mod6)
asciilifeform_zap_showmyip_crud.vpatch (mod6)
asciilifeform_dns_thermonyukyoolar_kleansing.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
asciilifeform_and_now_we_have_block_dumper_corrected.vpatch (mod6)
mod6_fix_dumpblock_params.vpatch (mod6)
bitcoin-v0_5_3_1-static_makefile_v002.8.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
bitcoin-v0_5_3_1-rev_bump.7.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
asciilifeform_ver_now_5_4_and_irc_is_gone_and_now_must_give_ip.vpatch (mod6)
asciilifeform_orphanage_thermonuke.vpatch (mod6)
asciilifeform_and_now_we_have_eatblock.vpatch (mod6)
bitcoin-v0_5_3-db_config.6.vpatch (mod6)
asciilifeform_tx-orphanage_amputation.vpatch (mod6)
asciilifeform_maxint_locks_corrected.vpatch (mod6)
asciilifeform_lets_lose_testnet.vpatch (mod6)
asciilifeform_add_verifyall_option.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
programmable-versionstring.vpatch (mod6)
mod6_der_high_low_s.vpatch (mod6)
malleus_mikehearnificarum.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
makefiles.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
asciilifeform_aggressive_pushgetblocks.vpatch (mod6)
mod6_privkey_tools.vpatch (mod6)
mod6_manifest.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
mod6_phexdigit_fix.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
mod6_excise_hash_truncation.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
mod6_whogaveblox.vpatch (mod6)
bitcoin_rawtx_get_send.vpatch (jfw)
bitcoin_system_compiler.vpatch (jfw)

13b. Press when ready. p bitcoin_system_compiler bitcoin_system_compiler.vpatch

14. Acquire Bitcoin's dependencies. The deps/Makefile invokes curl, which isn't present out of the box on Gales Linux. Instead I ran wget by hand.
cd bitcoin_system_compiler/bitcoin/deps/ ; wget -O boost_1_52_0.tar.bz2.asc ; wget -O db-4.8.30.tar.gz.asc ; wget -O openssl-1.0.1g.tar.gz.asc ; cd ..

15. Ensure mod6's key is in your gpg key ring3 and compile the code with the make script :
gpg --import ../../.wot/mod6.asc ; make

16. Install the bitcoind binary to the preferred location on your preferred user's path, e.g. :
cp -a build/bitcoind /path/to/user/path/

17a. Configure bitcoind. Some select flags from ~/.bitcoin/bitcoin.conf. You'll also want to set the addnode flag a few times to the IP of trusted nodes.

17b. Run bitcoind and sync your local copy of the Bitcoin block chain.
bitcoind & tail -f ~/.bitcoin/debug.log | grep SetBestChain

18. Acquire the vpatch and seal for gbw-node.
cd /var/build/v/gbw-node/.wot ; ln -s ~/keys/0CBC05941D03FD95C3A47654AE0DF306025594B3.asc jfw.asc ; cd .. ; wget -p patches ; wget -p .seals

19. Press and install Gales Bitcoin Wallet Node. p gbw-node gbw-node.vpatch ; cd /package ; ln -s /var/build/v/gbw/gbw-node/gbw-node-1/ gbw-node-1 ; cd gbw-node-1 ; sh package/install

20. Configure gbw-node by making the hidden directory and redirecting the gbw-node's SQL schema into the database file.
mkdir ~/.gbw ; sqlite3 ~/.gbw/db </package/gbw-node/library/schema-node.sql

21a. Game time. Ask for help.
gbw-node help
Usage: gbw-node COMMAND [ARGS]

Available commands (can be abbreviated when unambiguous):


21b. Watch a list of addresses, identified by a tag. In this case, one of the more historic financial transactions to be recorded which marked the end of an era and the start of a new era. Enter your list of addresses separated by enter, press control d to send python the end of file signal and exit gracefully.
gbw-node watch mps-bitcoin-berkshire-bet

21c. Print your tags and addresses.
gbw-node tags

gbw-node addresses

21d. Scan the Bitcoin block chain for transactions sent and received by your watched addresses. (This took approximately 24 hrs to scan from the genesis block to approximately block height 634,000.
gbw-node scan
block 290841 new-outs 0 spent-outs 0
block 290842 new-outs 1 spent-outs 0
block 290843 new-outs 0 spent-outs 0

21e. Print the history of your transactions and the change in your balance. Can add an optional tag parameter to filter if you have multiple tags.
gbw-node register
290842 2 1000.00000000 0.00000000 1000.00000000

21f. Print your balance. Can add an optional tag parameter to filter if your have multiple tags.
gbw-node balance

21g. Print the list of spendable transactions, a.k.a. unspent transactions outputs (utxo), available to your watched addresses. The output of this command is formatted how gbw-signer expects its wallet/transactions file to be formatted. It's best practice to run multiple independent trb + gbw-node instances to ensure the transactions you're being fed from the online machine are the ones you actually you want to sign.
gbw-node unspent-outs
16u2LKbGwAARwsWEXKTjBu8XMghnVMcFEi 1000.00000000 227d88033f4a26f60285462254f23c521bff96975f58ff60eadbeb62dca68578 1 #blk 290842 tx 2

And there you have it. Enjoy ! And the next time a central bank doubles their digital money supply or restricts transactions cause one of their friends has their panties in a bunch, recall that while time waits for no man, Bitcoin will be there, hardening.

  1. I've presented the command flow as root user throughout for simplicity. In practice, only the install commands require root privilege. []
  2. I modified the BINDIR variable to /local/bin/ since that's an element in the default execution $PATH on Gales Linux. []
  3. His signature is on the deeded dependencies. []

May 2, 2020

Protect What Matters with JWRD

Filed under: JWRD — Robinson Dorion @ 02:16

How much do secure, efficient computing and monetary stability matter to you ?

Virtually all 21st century business operators and investors face two core challenges : 1) leveraging a secure and efficient computing infrastructure and 2) maintaining business continuity through underlying monetary instability. This article lays out how JWRD1) Computing works with clients to convert these challenges into a competitive advantage.

The challenge of deploying and maintaining secure and efficient computing infrastructure comes into play on all levels of the supply chain ; from communications to analytics to contracts to payments to financial instruments and markets to even as deep as money itself, computers and the Internet have become integral tools in commerce and finance. Security and efficiency are powers derived from underlying understanding and control over one's environment.

The modern market has become flooded with computing solutions pushed by big corporations which are proprietary, costly and take away control of crucial infrastructure and even data, leaving businesses more exposed to counterparty risk from their vendors. Businesses that want to retain or regain such control have been left with dwindling options and the stakes continue to rise.

Fronts where control has been ceded and resulting counterparty risk has risen include :

  • Access to and compilation of source code2 on every level from firmware to operating system to applications.
    • In 2015, spyware was planted (archived) in the Apple developer toolchain, which was then propagated to over 4,000 iOS applications available in their App Store.
    • Since ~2008, all Intel chips have been infected with their Management Engine at the Basic Input Output System (BIOS) level. The Management Engine system allows Intel to remotely exfiltrate information from the machine even when powered off. Intel prevents the owner of the machine from replacing Intel's code with independently compiled code. This is essentially a backdoor enabling Intel, or anyone who gains access to Intel's system, to access your information at will and likely without your notice.
    • Operating Systems such as Microsoft Windows compound the risk factors of proprietary code with being over-engineered and unnecessarily complex. This makes them more prone to error and seemingly necessitates regular changes to the system pushed by Microsoft. The supposed owner of the system is not able to effectively verify the code being installed in the updates pushed and it's often the case that supposed fixes to old bugs introduce new bugs.
  • The downsides of third-party compiled code are amplified by increased reliance on cloud based solutions. "The cloud" is really marketing speak for some machine owned by someone else which provides that someone else3 full access to what was your sensitive information.
  • Closer to the cause of the preceding points is the pervading industry fashion we refer to as "fast food computing". Fast food computing is the expectation an outside corporation will provide marginally convenient solutions that are cheap in the short-term and that the user need not know the ingredients nor inner workings.

Ceding control to a third party makes one more dependent and fragile. JWRD Computing exists to save our clients time and money in the process of putting them firmly back in full control of their own digital infrastructure -- i.e. helping them regain personal sovereignty. We work from the principles of comprehensibility toward the goal of intellectual ownership for our clients of all the products and services we provide. Our service allows clients to mitigate the risk of unexpected catastrophic expenses and focus on improving efficiency and capitalizing on opportunities to grow their business.

Maintaining business continuity through monetary instability. The multi-decade, unprecedented experiment of high inflation5 global central banks have been engaged in has incentivized unsustainable debt levels that have made corporations and governments alike fragile and desperate. Evidence continues to mount that central bankers and politicians are more likely to continue to devalue the purchasing power through adding zeros to the end of accounts on the central server6 and attack the fungibility of the currencies they monopolize than to admit they've been wrong. The risks to business operators and investors include :

  1. the fiduciary being forced by government to freeze funds or deny transactions ;
  2. insolvency of the fiduciary ;
  3. arbitrary wealth tax ;
  4. insolvency of government deposit insurance ;
  5. negative interest rates ;
  6. central bank inflation that dilutes purchasing power and is steadily ratcheting the risk of Weimar/Zimbabwe/Venezuela style hyperinflation.

Bitcoin7 was designed to thrive in an such an environment. While Bitcoin provides owners several cutting edge advantages, it comes with its own additional set of security challenges. JWRD provides clients with hardware, software and operator training to mitigate risks and fully capture the upside of Bitcoin payments and custody.

What we've done to confront these challenges.

We've developed solutions on three major fronts.

  1. Hardware :
    1. Secure Key Management Hardware Package ;
    2. Build recipes and configurations for Corebootable Hardware ;
    3. Build and configuration recipes for Router ;
    4. Standard Operating Procedures for airgap operation via Optical Data Diode ;
    5. Procurement of Hardware Random Number Generators ;
    6. Faraday cage design and implementation.
  2. Custom Software :
    1. Gales Linux8, among other security advantages, it's one of the only Linux distributions which provides the operator the independence to compile all source code ;
    2. Gales Bitcoin Wallet (GBW) : designed to be used over an airgapped system. The offline signing component is written in Gales Scheme9.
    3. Code contributions10 to the Bitcoin reference implementation, i.e. The Real Bitcoin (TRB)
    4. yrc, the Unix Internet Relay Chat (IRC) client. Common modern chat services require the use of the providers' proprietary software clients and servers. IRC is an Internet Standard chat protocol which can be deployed to implement your own privately operated chat network.
  3. Operator training curriculum covering :
    1. Unix command line operation ;
    2. System and Network Administration ;
    3. Secure Key Management ;
    4. Encryption/Cryptographic Signing Software, Gnu Privacy Guard (GPG) ;
    5. V, TRB and GBW installation, configuration and usage.

What we offer.

We provide design consulting, support, custom software development, and hardware packages that match your needs. Below are some examples of what we provide :

Option 1 : Consulting, System Administration and Development :

For businesses with deployed systems we provide auditing, consultation system administration and development services to improve the efficiency and security of extant tools and operations. Auditing and consulting clients receive a report that reviews the strengths of current infrastructure and procedures and provides recommended plans and quotes for strengthening weaknesses.

Our System Administration and Development experience includes :

  • Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix and BSD operating systems ;
  • VMware and KVM virtualization ;
  • ERP and CRM software configurations ;
  • a variety of apps & protocols, databases, hardware, networking and monitoring ;
  • custom browser configurations and secure password management procedures ;
  • software development in 10+ programming languages.

Our personnel has experience deploying everything from ancient POWER servers needing custom-wired serial cables to SPARC to modern HP blade systems and more in between. Given the flexibility of this service, the pricing varies per project ; email us at sales (at) today to get started on tailoring a solution to you.

Option 2 : Key Management Hardware Package :

This package includes two Corebootable11 laptops (one for offline and one for online use), an optical data diode for securely transferring data between online and offline systems, a Hardware True Random Number Generator (TRNG)12 and a router.

Item Units Price
Laptops 2 $1,600
Optical Data Diode 1 $220
Hardware TRNG 1 $500
EdgeRouter Lite 1 $180
Total $2,500

Option 3 : Operator Training :

We distinguish ourselves methodologically by working from the root axiom of V, to quote:

Software is the property of people running it, and part of the systems running it.

We execute on this by providing clients a system reduced to essential complexity and training on operating the system from a well-established and high leverage tool, i.e. the Unix command line. With the skills to operate in a text-only environment, they're afforded the double advantage of 1) improving their security by saving millions of lines of complex and often unsafe code --measuring often in Gigabytes, used to commonly implement the mouse-driven13 graphical user interfaces (GUI) and 2) improving their skills, mindset and efficiency through learning the command line14.

Training sessions and homework assignments to develop following knowledge and skills:

  1. Beginner : 9 sessions, $3,600. All delivered remotely, no hardware purchase required.
    1. Unix command line operation ;
    2. The advantages of plain text as the universal interface ;
    3. Intermediate file system theory and practice ;
    4. Handy tools in a pure text environment : vim, less, tmux ;
    5. Intermediate shell usage ;
    6. Time, File & Stream Management ;
    7. System and Network administration.
  2. Intermediate : 10 sessions, $4,000. Requires purchase of one router and one laptop. Price does not include hardware costs.
    1. Fundamentals of cryptographic key generation and management ;
    2. GnuPG usage ;
    3. V - usage of the cryptographic version control system ;
    4. yrc, the Unix IRC client usage ;
    5. Router and firewall installation and configuration ;
    6. Bitcoin node compilation, installation and configuration ;
    7. Bitcoin node usage ;
    8. Gales Bitcoin Wallet installation, configuration and usage.
  3. Advanced : 8 sessions, $3,200. Full Key Management Hardware Package required. Price does not include hardware costs.
    1. Compilation, installation and configuration of Gales Linux ;
    2. Compilation and installation of BIOS ;
    3. Hardware TRNG firmware verification and usage ;
    4. Optical Data Diode usage.
How does the training work ?
  1. Placement Testing: All clients take a placement test to determine which level they'll start in.
  2. Training Options : Study Heavy and Class Heavy.
    • Study Heavy : 3 hours independent reading and practice exercises for each hour of training session.
    • Class Heavy : 1 hour of independent reading and practice exercises for each hour of training session.
  3. All sessions are 90 minutes either once or twice a week.
  4. Exercises and reading are assigned between sessions.
Model Training Pace of Study and Payment Options

The table below breaks down the pricing and time commitment for common examples of study pace and payment options. Receive 5% off when two modules are purchased at a time and 10% off when all modules are purchased upfront. Group sessions of 2 simultaneous clients receive a 10% discount per client and groups of 3 receive a 20% discount, with 3 being the maximum group size.

Study Heavy Study Heavy Class Heavy Class Heavy
Number of Sessions: 27 sessions 27 sessions 54 Sessions 54 sessions
Study/Session Ratio: 3:1 3:1 1:1 1:1
Session Time: 27 x 90 min = 40.5 hrs 40.5 hrs 54 x 90 min = 81 hrs 81 hrs
Study Time: 121.5 hrs 121.5 hrs 81 hrs 81 hrs
Time Commitment: 162 hrs 162 hrs 162 hrs 162 hrs
Payment Options : 3 payments totaling $10,800 1 payment of $9,720 3 payments totaling $21,000 1 payment of $18,900
Cost: $10,800 $9,720 $21,000 $18,900

The Bottom Line result is....

... as our client you break out of the common learned helplessness that herds the mainstream to fit into whatever the mass production line is pumping out and on its schedule too15 ; own your complete infrastructure and make it work for you ; lower the cost to understand the software you use by enumerating goodness, minimizing complexity, verifying sources and compiling everything ; becoming a stronger operator through education and practice of sensible skills such that you build the capacity to establish private communications and ownership of money and transactions.

What clients say.

Johan Castellanos, CEO of SayShannon :

"I had no concept what so ever of Linux/Unix but after the course I feel that I can venture into the world of operating systems with confidence and with the assurance that I will find answers."

How does JWRD compare ?

  • The Unix command line is the most established and one of the oldest modes of computer operation because of the efficiency and security advantages it provides. It's available natively on Linux, BSD and Mac OS X systems (Mac OS X is derived from BSD). As such, there is an abundance of educational and practical resources available on the web to learn the Unix command line and a reason clients can test out of the Beginner level. Our Unix training balances underlying theory and one-on-one guidance of an expert in practicing the commands to accelerate the learning process. Training is done on Gales Linux and thus clients get direct experience utilizing the design advantages it offers.
  • No one we're aware of offers a key management hardware package as thorough we do, which includes Hardware Random Number Generator, Optic Data Diode for Air Gap data transfer, Corebootable machines for both Offline and Online systems and Router installation and configuration.
  • No one we're aware of offers training on airgapped Bitcoin wallet or GPG usage.
  • The skills and system to safely transact and save in Bitcoin provides a clients power not really comparable to anything else. Where else can you own an arbitrary amount of wealth in a small series of numbers16 ? And furthermore, the power to verify both the money supply and conduct arbitrarily large transactions globally for the cost of a few modestly provisioned computers, internet connection, software that's publicly available and a few weeks worth of dedicated training on the skills to operate the tools ? Even a banking license and underlying capital and competence to make the license economical don't provide you that power.

The Cost of Waiting

  • Cryptographically safe hardware is in increasingly limited supply. It is unknown how much remains, we can get you set up quickly while supplies last.
  • The cost of our service priced in fiat currencies will rise indefinitely.
  • Your personal opportunity cost can only be yours to evaluate, we invite you to consider the value of the results you'll earn for yourself by enhancing your security over your information, computers and money.

How to get started today.

To start the process of regaining your personal sovereignty through strengthening your digital security with JWRD, email us at sales (at) today with your name and a brief description of your interest. If you're interested in a call, include your phone number and a convenient time to reach you.

  1. Jacob Welsh (WoT : jfw) & Robinson Dorion (WoT : dorion []
  2. People read and write source code. A program called the compiler converts the human readable source code into the machine executable binary code, the latter being exceptionally costly for humans to understand. That is to say, if you're installing third-party compiled binary files (binaries), there is little to no chance you understand what you're actually installing and are thus more at risk to third party malice and incompetence. []
  3. and note, any other third party it's associated with or becomes a target of. []
  4. VPS is a technical lingo for the cloud. []
  5. Meaning the proper definition of inflation, i.e. money supply growth, not that "consumer"/"producer" price propaganda the socialist state has been pushing. For example, the yearly change in Federal Reserve reported M1 since 1971 has a geometric average north of 6%. []
  6. What percentage of USD/EUR/GBP/JPY/CNY is digital after all ? []
  7. The undebaseably scarce, peer-to-peer digital cash, the most robust extant protector of property rights and largest computing network on earth for some years now. Bitcoin supply is undebaseably scarce by definition at the protocol level and through its mathematical properties. Pretty much any natural commodity that has or could in theory serve as money is debaseable either through relatively cheap dilution of impurities, e.g. in 1964 when US silver coins were replaced with nickel plated copper coins, or arbitrary expansion of the supply, e.g. if salt is the money and the king wants more salt he could tax the pepper farmers and invest the proceeds expanding the salt works and supply. Those closest to the new supply (salt, fiat or otherwise) spend it into the economy, bidding up goods and diluting the purchasing power of savers and creditors. []
  8. Reviewed to date by bvt (WoT : bvt) and Lucian Mogosanu (WoT : spyked) and on which Mircea Popescu (WoT : mircea_popescu) noted :

    mircea_popescu: "A feature that I liked a lot is that shell is the only scripting language in the default install of the distribution. Typically perl and python get pulled in unconditionally as a build dependency of a runtime dependency of some rarely-used default-installed utility, or are directly used to implement package manager, etc. With Gales, a decision about what scripting language to use can be made without constraints created
    mircea_popescu: by ready availability of python or others." << indeed this is mindblowingly beautiful, and as far as i current;y know the foremost fearher in jfw 's cap.
    mircea_popescu: feather* []

  9. Gales Scheme is a dynamic, type-safe, functional programming language. The code is published here on Fixpoint with articles to describe the code pending. Scheme is a well-established, powerful language that is specified in a shade over 50 pages of text. The advantage Gales Scheme provides JWRD clients is superior comprehensibility of mission critical components such as handling the money. []
  10. The code is described and made available on Fixpoint : here and here []
  11. Coreboot is an open source BIOS project that can be used on some machines which do not enforce the Intel Management Engine discussed above. []
  12. To quote from the vendor's website :

    Why is entropy important ?
    As the old adage goes, "Any one who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is living, of course, in a state of sin."

    Any Turing machine (such as any desktop or laptop computer, tablet, smartphone or other digital device of any type, kind, make or vintage, including without limitation any machinery used by any government for any purpose, be it nuclear tests, space flight, military applications not to mention Tamagotchis and old Nintendo boxes) is, by definition (and without exception possible in theory or ever encountered in practice), a square keyhole. It can be opened equally well by all those who possess the mighty secret of the shape of its key : a square.

    Entropy provides the only solution available, and the only solution possible to this problem. The only way known, and the only way that can ever be or will ever be devised to transform a computer into my computer, as a matter of fact rather than an exercise in delusion -- relies on the use of entropy. There is not, nor could there ever be, any alternative.

    Consequently, the only fair statement of the situation is to point out that entropy is not merely fundamental, but specifically required for personal as opposed to collectivist computing ; and as technological development pushes society further into the digital age, entropy becomes ever more central as the only available building block of individual existence. In short : without entropy, you don't exist, because without entropy -- there is no you, there's only a morass of "us".


  13. A.k.a. point and click, click and cluck, etc. []
  14. To help those readers who've never considered the advantages of the command line interface (cli) begin to conceptualize what they've been missing, I invite you to reflect on the fact a supreme authority compared it to discovering sight after living in a state of blindness, to quote:

    mircea_popescu: the fundamental problems are that cli-iliteracy is a serious, life-changing disability. in terms of severity, blindness compares, deafness does not. obviously the afflicted are scarcely aware, but this doesn't mean they're not afflicted.
    mircea_popescu: whole "work-years", entire "departments" could readily be replaced by you know, half hour's worth of sed ; they aren't because us corporatelandia mostly exists as makework, to create the illusion for millions of ambitious derps that they're "doing something" lest they take to the streets and start throwing rocks. nevertheless, even if the cutting legs is systematically needed in socialism, to crate the sort of helpless vat
    mircea_popescu: -people it can thrive amongst, it's still personally disabling.
    mircea_popescu: so you know, as far as the life prospects, the future evolution, however you will name the sum-total potential of a person's existence, understanding how to command line is more important than meeting their father. it'll certaily do a lot for them, and it certainly CAN do way the fuck more for them.
    mircea_popescu: gales or no gales, the man who can't cat | grep is closer to a boy than any other man.
    mircea_popescu: << quite so. using tools, ~thinking in ways which make their activity amenable to useful tools~ and so on.
    ossabot: Logged on 2020-01-24 19:54:12 jfw: - regarding the "because" there: there was perhaps a degree of teaching it because we'd built it, but I see it more the other way - a text-only Linux being a good choice for the job specifically because it doesn't have the GUI crutch and CLI illiteracy is one of the bigger barriers that otherwise intelligent people face to using serious


  15. Apple's planned obsolescence scam may come to mind about now. []
  16. i.e. the private key which in Bitcoin is 256 bits. The advantage of it being physically small is it lowers your cost to hide, protect and transport. []

March 13, 2020

Friday, March 13th

Filed under: Amor fati — Robinson Dorion @ 23:53

Friday the 13th is thought by some to be unlucky. Whether or not you think the following to be unlucky, Friday, March 13th past and present have marked key turning points in my life where what I was standing on fell out from under me.

I was supposed to write about this months ago, but what better time to write it than now ? It was five years ago today that I received the news Coinapult wouldn't be continuing. The evening prior they'd asked Silbert and Lenihan for a Series A on top of the seed funding they'd put in and were denied. I wasn't at the table and I don't have beyond hearsay and suspicions why it happened. I do know that while the company was struggling for months, things appeared to be turning the corner. I didn't give up that weekend ; there were talks with other potential investors in motion. Those talks went silent on the 17th 1. I likewise have suspicions about the compromise, perhaps I'll go into the noted suspicions later.

It slapped me pretty hard, but I kept breathing and moving forward in search of my feet. While Jacob and I had known each other for about a year, it wasn't until after Coinapult 2 collapsed to be sold in distress that he and I started forming our friendship that later turned to business. Without Coinapult going down, it not guaranteed we'd have neither the friendship, nor the business.

I was slapped again Wednesday evening of this week with the Closure of TMSR. While I'm much stronger and have much greater support to handle this slap, I don't have the words to describe how much more it stings. It's unquestionable and immeasurable how much greater TMSR was compared to that stack of BVI papers, pile of duct tape and paper clip code and boyish group of gringos. It stings most because I know I should've done better.

While I've wept, I'm not going to be sad, or panic or hold regrets or run away. It is what it is and all I see worth doing now I doubling down on my learning and communication and using it to kill the poisonous stupidity I swallowed as a child and which I've not yet fully purged from my system. I don't know where that will take me, but if I die trying I surely won't have regrets.

  1. Luck of the Irish, eh ? []
  2. An insight into their management capabilities is that he asked them in Q1 2014 about work and they didn't even offer him an interview. []
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