Sean Mackert professional headshot

Sean Mackert

- Passionate about security
- Aspiring red teamer
- Seeking mentorship

2-Minute Read

Coursera now has an online course for the highly lauded From Nand2Tetris (and a certificate for €44, which is an even bigger eye-roll than the Google IT Support cert) hosted by Noam and Shocken themselves!

At first I felt a little unguided, but I soon put together the pieces they give you and was amazed at how much I began to learn from just doing it. Soon I was creating slightly more complex chips like Mux and even a Mux that can handle a 16 bit bus. Despite each chip edging towards more complexity, the process became much easier, as most of the low level stuff was taken care of by the previous chips.

 They use a watered-down HDL which is nice because I had enough silly mistakes in my thought process already from getting used to functional programming. (I keep toying with the idea of learning Lisp, I’ll take this as a sign.)

So from these basic building blocks, this course aims to take you all the way through making an OS and coding a Tetris clone in it. From Nand to Tetris!

If you have the time to check this out, I would implore you to. Skip the certification, of course. The computer science you’ll learn from this course is worth the €44, but it’s free, so start today!

1-Minute Read

kali linux on AWS

The AWS marketplace link in this post has been updated in 2021 to point towards the newer Kali release 2020.4

There are times when I’m either away from home, having a slow day at work, or my machine’s limits are already being pushed by other processes but I still need (CTF’s get addicting!) to run Kali. Alas the perfect solution has been right in front of me all along! For some time now I’ve been using the AWS EC2 free-tier to host an Ubuntu server running TinyProxy to keep my personal traffic separated from untrusted networks. So why not host a Kali image? Luckily Kali Linux is already an available free-tier OS on the AWS Marketplace! It’s simple as SSH or remote desktop in and now I can feed my new addiction,, during my lunch breaks instead of Arby’s.

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Sean Mackert is an IT professional passionate about security and helping inform others.