Skip to main content


Showing posts from September, 2013

Debugging for High-altitude Balloon Enthusiasts (and others!)

If a person who debugs code is a debugger then the person who wrote the bugs must be a... 

I gave a talk at the UKHAS 2013 Conference in September on debugging for high-altitude balloon enthusiasts. It applies more generally than that and may be interesting to others (especially if you are relatively inexperienced at programming and debugging).

The talk covers the basics of debugging without any specific programming language and is intended to be humorous but also useful. The folks at UKHAS were super organized and recorded the talks and synchronized the slides. You can listen to me give this talk by going to the BATC File Archive and then select HAB2013: my talk is HAB2013 03 Debugging.

If you care less about debugging and more about other high-altitude balloon stuff then check out my talk from last year, called HAB Software Woes, and my GAGA-1 high altitude balloon flight. Here's a shot of the moon taken by GAGA-1:

Why is the fifth part of the GCHQ "Can you find it?" challenge so easy

UPDATE: Read the comments below for the solution.

If you've worked your way through the GCHQ Can you find it? recruitment challenge you'll have reached the last part and discovered that you have to do... nothing. The code word is accepted and you get to give your details for the competition. But you didn't do anything in part five.

That bothers me.

And there's another thing that bothers me. The second part includes a very obvious link to a web site (apparently correct) hidden inside an RSA private key, but the private key is messed up and messed up in a very specific manner.

Here's the key file dumped out:

$ openssl rsa -in comp1.key -text -noout
Private-Key: (1022 bit)