Computer Learnin’s, January 2018

New year, more driven job search, and time for a new month of recording the computer skills building/learning I do! Things got derailed pretty hard due to the holidays, but I’m hoping to get back on track and be more consistent this month.


  • Looked over the resources on the “Entering the Infosec Biz” page here: There’s a ton here, and I’ll need to try to remember to refer back to it frequently.
    • Which lead me to “Dealing With The Experience Required Paradox” It wasn’t exactly new information, but it was good to have those paths forward reinforced.
    • Also pointed to this book, which might be a good resource on setting up a home lab.—Step/dp/1118987055/ Which reminds me: I’ve been having a little bit of trouble because, due to maintaining reptile habitats, there’s a huge power draw on my home already. So I’m nervous about setting up yet another computer to act as a home lab, in case it ends up tripping breakers.
  • Read through “Breaking in to Security” parts one and two:
    • It would be interesting (and is recommended) to look through the raw survey data to see what people said.
    • It looks like learning Python, Ruby, and Bash would all be very helpful to me.
  • I’m also thinking at this point that doing some basic certifications, like the ones Daniel Miessler lists here, would be good. I’m currently thinking A+ and Linux+, and maybe a Cisco cert so I can refresh myself on networking fundamentals. I can set up a basic network but I haven’t dug down into the theory or done anything complicated in a while. (In the case of complicated stuff, ever.) Oh, and Network+ and Security+, just because he recommends them, they sound useful, and I do like completing sets. Now to see if that’s actually a feasible idea…


  • Started “Learning Python the Hard Way”
    • I’m using Windows, because that’s what my desktop runs on and I figure this way I’ll get more comfortable with powershell, which so far is pretty much exactly the same as Terminal/Bash. (It even lets me use “/” in directory pointer-thingies instead of “\!”)
    • Got set up, realized I already had Atom, installed python 3.6
    • Got through Exercise 2. I need to start here next time:


  • Started doing reading for the A+ certification. I’m using the CompTIA A+ Certification Guide, which I’m able to access through my library’s subscription to Safari Books. I got through the chapter/section on BIOSes, so next time I’ll be starting at 901.1.1.2.
  • Looked at the cost of actually getting the A+ certification, which is deceptive. Each test is $211, but to get the cert you have to take TWO of them, which means I’ll get to drop over $400 to get a basic-level certification. Which is, incidentally, on top of the $$$ my family spent sending me to college. Ugh.
  • Looked more into setting up a home lab. It looks like it might be good for me to have a physical home lab, and not just one made up of cloud servers/images like I thought? I suppose I could get a cloud server and virtualize on that? I do have a spare desktop kicking around, so I might install Ubuntu on that and see how well it handles virtualization from there.
    • I clearly still don’t have a great idea of what I’d be doing with a home lab.

2017-01-13 (I think)

  • Kept working on Learning Python the Hard Way


  • Studied more for the A+ certification. I made it to the SODIMM section of 901.1.3, so next time I should start from 901.1.3>Types>SODIMM.
    • Also geeze this is both 101 stuff and going to trip me up on the exam itself, mostly due to needing to calculate things like transfer rate from base components, rather than just looking at a spec sheet.
    • I need to remember to work on this more. Python’s the fun stuff but I think having an A+ and Security+ cert will help me get the ball rolling better on job-finding.
    • A+ will be pretty useless for doing my own infosec experimentation, unfortunately. I might want to find a way to start noodling around sooner rather than later, just so I can get some practical experience. Suggestions welcome!


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