JD Watson

Infosec Manager and Tech Writer


I’m a Linux systems engineer by trade and by passion. Mostly passion.

Work is easy to get. Passion is harder to come by.

I currently work in the infosec field. Specifically, I am a Vice President in Identity Ops at a BIG bank after several decades of progressively complex roles in sysadmin and SOCs.

My daily work is split between the vast amount of effort required to function in such a large environment and good old-school script hacking to make things work. It’s a good mix and when it is too cold to ride my motorcycle I write - sometimes a lot.

This is the place where I can showcase some of the writing I have done over the years. I hope you enjoy it.



Arista Switch Wrangling With XMPP

image courtesy of Arista There are some things in a sysadmin's life that simply need to scale. If you're working in a growing footprint, then switch wrangling is one of those things. I reached that point at about a dozen switches in 6 different locations but just got around to building something recently.

What To Expect When You're Expect Scripting

I've been playing with Expect lately. Expect is an extension of the TCL scripting language developed in the 1990s. Its main purpose in life is to automate terminal interactions and it does that job very well. I spend most of my day in a shell and automate as much as humanly possible so that I can be as lazy as humanly possible.

So You Want To Register A Domain

"Purchasing" a domain name actually means "paying some company to put an entry in the global DNS database for my domain name for some set period of time". Domains are kinda like beer - you only rent it.


Magazine Articles

VirtualBox: Bits and Bytes Masquerading as Machines

As our home computers become more robust, we can do more powerful things with them. Virtualization isn't new; it's almost as old as computers themselves, but the ability to run virtualization platforms on a typical home computer is relatively new and becoming more exciting every day.

Break the Hardware Upgrade Cycle with Win4Lin Windows Virtual Desktop Server

Win4Lin Virtual Desktop Server ( www.win4lin.com) is a client/server virtualization solution that can be used to migrate an organization from an expensive and high-maintenance Windows infrastructure to a more robust and sleeker Linux base gently. How? A single copy of Windows can be delivered directly to multiple users' desktops with the click of a mouse.

Podcasting for the Penguin!

Kelly Penguin Girl and I have been producing the weekly GNU/Linux User Show podcast ( www.linuxuser.thepodcastnetwork.com) since June 2005. We're just about to hit show #30, which I think makes us one of the oldest running GNU/Linux podcasts aimed specifically at new GNU/Linux users.


The Winners

©Lanveril How many people miss these letters, anyhow? It's 2095 for fuck's sake. I can't believe we haven't solved the spam problem yet. Our inability to deal with Viagra emails is probably the sole reason the reapers exist at all.

The New Ones

There wasn't always magic. It's hard to believe this burned out shell of a planet was actually a pretty happening place just a few years ago. About 10, or so. About 10 years ago is when the first one was born and things changed. The first child with abilities we hadn't seen before.

The Inventory

Bureaucrat Level 3 Alston Grieve woke up suddenly and in very good spirits. He'd tossed and turned all night with the excitement of what the day held for him, finally succumbing to exhaustion and managing to get a few inadequate hours of sleep. But, no mind!

Op Ed

Remote Work: The Last Meritocracy

You can't get by on bringing doughnuts and sharing jokes. image courtesy of pixabay.com The general idea of remote work is that you do the same job you would do in the office, but you don't have to actually go to the office. This removes all the problems with people and politics of the office.

Thoughts About Media And The Role Of Small Voices

Listen now (14 mins) | Back in January, I decided to take my writing up a notch. I used to just "blog" which was this nice relaxed pace, writing only when I felt like I had something interesting to say. While that provided almost no stress, it also didn't provide much content.