Category Archives: Tech Teaching

Cryptosmith Video Series #1 through #15

Diagram of signing a public-key certificateI have posted the fifteenth video in the Cryptosmith Series on practical basic cryptography. The video collection falls into three parts: the network crypto introduction, the DVD example, and the public-key certificate discussion.

There are also updates to other series videos. They now use the acronym “SSL” a lot more, since people recognize it more often than “TLS.” The public-key discussions now include elliptic curve algorithms, since they are very popular in state-of-the-art SSL (TLS) deployments.

An overview and notes about the series appear below. If you take the time to look at these videos, please “like” and/or comment as appropriate.

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Adieu, Online School

NSTISSI Training BadgeI have shut down my online school. It was an interesting experience, but not a cost-effective one. Aside from not getting rich from this, it was really boring to administer a testing program.

On the other hand, I now know an incredible amount about Moodle, the internationally-popular web service for education. I also know how to host an online testing program for much less that commercial vendors charge.

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Earlier-than-expected shutdown of NSTISSI 4011 Program

The service provider has informed us that the testing site crysm.com must be shut down at the end of September. Students still interested in completing the program after that date should contact the Institute. We can make alternate arrangements for you to complete your requirements.

September 29, at 11:59 PM, GMT, is the cutoff time for taking and completing tests. In the continental US, that time falls in the evening of September 29: on the east coast, it falls at 6:59 PM.

Streamlined NSTISSI 4011 Training Certificate

NSTISSI 4011 training badgeCryptosmith Institute now offers a second option for earning an NSTISSI 4011 training certificate:

  1. The original option: Complete exams on the 17 chapters in Elementary Information Security plus a final exam covering all material in the textbook.
  2. Students who have already taken a college-level cybersecurity course may skip the separate chapter exams and earn the certificate by taking the final exam.

Students interested in the second “streamlined” option must upload a college transcript showing the relevant course before they take the exam.

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Boston University’s RAX Library

(circa 1973-8)

Boston University (BU) developed its own timesharing system in the 1970s for its IBM 360 and 370 mainframes. The system was based on the batch-oriented Remote Access Computing System (RACS) developed by IBM. McGill University also participated in RAX development, but their version was renamed “McGill University System for Interactive Computing” (MUSIC). Although many of the details are lost in the mists of time, both systems used some text processing tools developed at BU.

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