Hopelessly passionate husband, engineer, hacker, gamer, artist, and tea addict.

  1. The Charleston Tea Plantation

    I spent this past week in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with my brothers and in-laws for Thanksgiving. We'd chosen Myrtle Beach as a "meet-in-the-middle" option since half of us are in Florida while the other half are in Pennsylvania or New York. Most of my time was spent chilling with family. But, being a huge fan of tea, I couldn't pass up an opportunity to visit the Charleston Tea Plantation! So, last Wednesday, I drove 3 hours south to get my tea fix.

  2. A Legitimate Business Syndicate

    I've been playing and running CTFs for awhile now. This year was my 4th as a CSAW judge, 7th as a DEFCON competitor, and I had previously helped run Ghost in the Shellcode for 4 years. Although I've been to DEFCON finals 4 times (2011-2014), I haven't had much luck over the last 2 years. Men in Black Hats failed to qualify in 2015 and disbanded. My new team, Mammon Machine, missed qualifying this year and seems to be on a similar course. So, when Legitimate Business Syndicate, the organizers of the DEFCON CTF, approached me with an offer to join them...I took it.

  3. The 2016 Election

    I don't normally comment publicly on politics. I have my own opinions, some of them quite strong, but I'm not generally in a position to gather my own data and provide worthwhile commentary. I still try to stay informed, of course, but I keep a healthy dose of skepticism - especially when dealing with mainstream media. This election, however, I think has been singularly unique and is worth writing about.

  4. An Ozark Vacation

    My wife and I had an opportunity to stay at the Ozark Mountain Resort in Kimberling City, Missouri this past week. I'd never been to Missouri or the Ozarks before, so I jumped at the chance to cross another state off my list of US states I need to visit (17 left!). What followed was a much-needed, relaxing vacation in a tranquil mountain locale with some very worthwhile hiking opportunities.

  5. Hurricane Matthew

    I've been living in Florida for almost 10 years now and have consistently had every hurricane and major tropical storm hit somewhere else. This year, my luck (almost) ran out. A few days ago, Hurricane Matthew was projected to hit not only Florida, but the city of Melbourne directly.

  6. The SMB3 Input Polling Glitch

    In addition to tracking down how the fireball works in SMB3, dwangoAC has also asked me to give my interpretation of how the bug works in the recent SMB3 TAS run. This is all of my analysis after having spent many hours playing with it in a debugger.

  7. My Pokémon GO Adventure

    I recently found myself in Anchorage, Alaska with an afternoon to kill before a friend of mine could leave work and meet me. I've never been to Anchorage before and wasn't really prepared for the visit. Having no idea what the city had to offer, I decided to hire a guide: Pokémon GO!

  8. Reversing SMB3's Fireballs

    I was recently asked to determine where the code that handles drawing the fireball sprite in Super Mario Bros. 3 for the NES is located by dwangoAC. I wanted to quickly document the work I did in case this is useful for anyone else in the future. For the work below, I used FCEUX to execute my SMB3 ROM and step/trace what I needed. I also used Binary Ninja to disassemble the ROM and mark it up in a way that would help me understand what was going on.

  9. My CSAW 2016 Recon Challenge

    I had a ton of questions about my reconnaissance challenge in this year's CSAW Qualifiers, so I decided to write it up. Unlike other write-ups, this will offer multiple solutions (if I had them). In other words, this is how I thought people could solve the challenge.

  10. How Not To Solve a CTF Challenge II

    I had to head into work this weekend to prepare for some upcoming travel, so I originally had no plans to play any CTFs. But, when Skolor told me there was a Ruby challenge in the Tokyo Westerns CTF 2016, I knew I had to check it out. Despite my insistence that Ruby is better than Python, I always seem to struggle with Ruby challenges. Sadly, this one was no different...