Motto : If you're allergic to reading, close the page now.
Why We Exist
Bitcoin is an evolutionary pressure disrupting socialism in all forms because it preserves property rights better than any other system in existence. Evolution is a slow and sloppy process. JWRD Computing works to save clients time in transitioning from the fast food computing paradigm which metastasized from the late 20th, early 21st century socialism to the home-cooked computing paradigm in which the operator plays an integral role. In short, JWRD Computing exists by and for individuals and organizations commited to taking full control of their data and computing infrastructure.
Coffee Shop Pitch
How much do secure, efficient computing and monetary stability matter to you ?
Virtually all 21st century business operators and investors face two core challenges : leveraging a secure and efficient computing infrastructure and maintaining business continuity through underlying monetary instability. JWRD Computing works with clients to convert these challenges into a competitive advantage.
The challenge of deploying and maintaining secure and efficient computing infrastructure comes into play on all levels of the supply chain : from communications to analytics to contracts to payments to financial instruments and markets to even as deep as money itself. Computers and the Internet have become integral tools in commerce and finance but the power to operate them efficiently is derived from an underlying understanding and control over one's environment.
The modern market has become flooded with computing solutions pushed by big corporations which are proprietary, costly and take away control of crucial infrastructure and even data, leaving businesses and individuals more exposed to counterparty risk from their vendors. People who want to retain or regain such control have been left with dwindling options and the stakes continue to rise.
Fronts where control has been ceded and resulting counterparty risk has risen include : ownership of code, ownership of data, ownership of identity.
Software and hardware ownership :
Lack of access to source code and self-compilation : In 2015, spyware was planted (archived) in the Apple developer toolchain, which was then propagated to over 4,000 iOS applications available in their App Store.
Hardware-level slave collars and fistulae : Since ~2008, all Intel chips have been infected with their Management Engine at the Basic Input Output System (BIOS) level. The Management Engine system allows Intel to remotely exfiltrate information from the machine even when powered off. Intel prevents the nominal owner of the machine from replacing Intel's code with independently compiled code. This is essentially a backdoor enabling Intel, or anyone who gains access to Intel's keys, to access your information at will and likely without your notice.
The complexity explosion and the forced march updates : Operating Systems such as Microsoft Windows compound the risk factors of proprietary code with being over-engineered and unnecessarily complex. This makes them more prone to error and seemingly necessitates regular changes to the system pushed by Microsoft. The supposed owner of the system is not able to effectively verify the code being installed in the updates pushed and it's often the case that supposed fixes to old bugs introduce new bugs. It's arguable that Microsoft Windows itself is malware. Did you get your latest booster shot for your "security" and their profits ?
Ownership of data :
The downsides of third-party compiled code are amplified by increased reliance on cloud based solutions. Not only do you lack access to the code that can read and write your data, but you don't even have accesss to the machine(s) it's stored on ! "The cloud" is really marketing speak for some machine owned by someone else which provides that someone else full access to what was your sensitive information.
In 2017, Accenture leaked 137GB of client information via its use of Amazon Web Services and was breached again in 2021 for 6TB of customer data. Accenture did not publicly acknowledge the attack outside SEC filings.
Facebook was breached sometime before August 2019 and over 530 million of their users had their personal data --including phone numbers, full names, locations, email addresses and other information-- posted to a public database. Though Facebook was aware of the breach in 2019, they decided to not notify the affected users until April 2021. Later in 2019, another Facebook database containing the personal information of 267 million users was published.
Exercise : How many of these cloud-based, X-as-a-service providers turn around and send your data to cloud-based X-as-a-service providers ? Check the contracts you're signing, for the most part, they certainly establish the right to do so.
"No more financial privacy, no more attorney-client privilege, no more medical privacy, no more familial privacy, give all your data to the bureaucrats and their minions or else you're a 'terrorist' !" Or is it freedom fighter ? We reckon it's the latter and are committed to helping people who can intellectually afford freedom and ownership learn the skills to enforce them ; would that be you ?
Ownership of identity :
Rather than the correct way of requiring users establish a private key and protect it, Silly Con Valley and its socialist owners continue to wage a war on passwords, with the captchas & "security questions" / "identity verifications" / "Two Factor Authentication" (2fa) everywhere. Layered on top is the centralization of "identity" with Facebook/Google/mobile numbers, basically anything but a private key becoming the new passport to "everything and anything". Except that "everything and anything" only includes where the sheeple herd together. Are you a sheep or shepherd ?
In 2017, Michael Terpin lost an unspecified amount of Bitcoin in a "SIM Swapping" situation and then again lost a reported 1`500 BTC in a another SIM Swapping after access to his phone number was leveraged to access Bitcoin in his possession, which for some unexplainable reason he linked to a phone number.
In 2019, Jack Dorsey, then CEO of Twitter, lost control of his Twitter account on account of a SIM Swaping situation.
In 2022, Crypto.com's 2fa system was subverted resulting in 4`836.26 ETH and 443.93 BTC being drained from customer accounts.
Are you ready for negative wuflu anal swabs to authorize withdrawal from your bank accounts ? You don't think they'll have you do it ? Why not ? Look what they've already had you do. If you don't want to think about them asking telling you to do it to access "your" money, learn how to Bitcoin already. If you don't know where to start, talk to us.
At the overlap between code and cloud there's the "USG.MSFT.Github is where all the code goes now" because nobody learned anything from Sourceforge, of course. Looking forward, then this new soft consensus aka fecal matter with regard to identity becomes the support on which the owners of the cloud decide which is whose data AND which is whose code, i.e. who gets to push out the updates.
Closer to the cause of the preceding points is the pervading industry fashion we refer to as "fast food computing". Fast food computing extracts profit from the expectation an outside corporation will provide marginally convenient solutions that are cheap in the short-term and that the user need not know the ingredients nor inner workings, leaving the toxic internal complexity of the system free to grow without constraint and thus inducing intellectual cancer in people using it and the proudly literate culture they inherited.
Ceding control of the things that matter the most to a third party makes one more dependent and fragile. JWRD Computing exists to save our clients time and money in the process of putting them firmly back in full control of their own digital infrastructure -- i.e. helping them regain personal sovereignty. We work from the principles of comprehensibility toward the goal of intellectual ownership for our clients of all the products and services we provide. Our service allows clients to mitigate the risk of unexpected catastrophic expenses and focus on improving efficiency and capitalizing on opportunities to grow their business.
Jacob Welsh started beating computers into shape before he could legally drive; in fact, he'd owned several before buying his first car with his IT earnings. He served his high school as Student System Administrator, moving on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Virginia in 2012. He took a full-time job in the industry under David Boyes and E. Margarete Ziemer of Sine Nomine Associates, getting a first taste of Latin American life on a consulting visit to Sao Paulo. A year in the salt mines proved quite enough, and in December 2013 he moved to Panama on his own initiative, in search of greener pastures outside the crumbling United Statist empire. Sustained by savings, part-time contracting and riding the wave of Bitcoin, he applied himself to honing his craft and networking locally. In January 2014 he attended a philosophy meetup Robinson hosted, sowing the seeds of the relationship that grew organically into JWRD Computing. He committed in 2016 to the business partnership and in 2019 to mentorship under Diana Coman of The Most Serene Republic.
Robinson Dorion studied the Austrian School of Economics and went pro early by joining Peter Schiff'sEuro Pacific Bank start up as a Private Banker and Investment Consultant in February 2012. Two years in the offshore world was enough to appreciate the spirit of legal asset protection instruments and also realize the false sense of security they can give their users due to the stranglehold socialist central banks and their correspondents have on the fiat system. While the fiat system can do nothing other than fail, Bitcoin at least has a chance to win. Thus, in January 2014 he took a Business Development role with Coinapult, a Panama based Bitcoin broker, and has since focused on adapting himself to the capitalist order Bitcoin is imposing.
If you already have the kit, follow this guide to get started on setting it up.
The JWRD Key Management Hardware Kit is a soup-to-nuts solution for secure key management needs.
True Random Number Generator (TRNG) : A secure source of entropy or randomness lies at the root of computer security. There is no such thing as a random number or password or private key, there are only random processes from which numbers can be mined. Entropy can only come from nature and nature alone. Digital electronics are designed to minimize the effects of natural entropy, by processing crisp signals of discrete values (zeroes and ones), and thus are extremely entropy-poor. JWRD sells the "FUCKGOATS" TRNG produced by the defunct No Such lAbs (MPEx : S.NSA). This TRNG collects Johnson-Nyquist noise which is the electronic noise generated by the thermal agitation of the charge carriers (electrons) inside a conductor at equilibrium. This noise is then sampled to collect random bits that are then streamed into the machine over serial protocol RS232 for cryptographic needs.
Offine machine : the operator does not connect this machine to the Internet and executes the highest security operations, e.g. generation of RSA and Bitcoin keys, encryption and decryption of secure messages, signing of messages and Bitcoin transactions and verifying cryptographic signatures (a large class of signature verification can also be done on the Online machine). It comes with a Hard Disk Drive (HDD). An HDD is used for this machine in case the point in time comes where the operator needs to safely destroy any data.
Online machine : the operator connects this to the Net, but nevertheless it has a relatively high security profile on its own merit. Operations which are more public or outside facing in nature are executed on this machine, e.g. running a Bitcoin node, chatting on IRC using YRC, administering remote servers. It comes with a 1 TB Samsung Solid State Drive (SSD) so as to sync the Bitcoin blockchain from Genesis Block and keep up with the tip.
Firmware/Software : All laptops delivered are flashed with the Coreboot open source firmware compiled by JWRD. A Gales Linux image, compiled by JWRD is installed on both machines.
Radios/Bluetooth : Any Wifi, Bluetooth or any other radio devices are physically removed. The daughterboard connecting the microphone of the Offline machine is physically disconnected. Any fingerprint readers, if present, are disconnected. All disconnected leads are insulated.
Fiber Optic Data Diode : data is transferred across the Airgap using the Data Diode.
The Diode endpoints connect to the USB ports of the machines and data is transferred over serial protocol RS232.
The endpoints are connected via a jacketed plastic fiber optic cable, which provides electrical isolation between the machines.
Each endpoint has a transmit and receive port, physically guaranteeing the information is flowing in one direction, e.g. to transfer from Online to Offline, connect the cable to the transmit port on the Online side and receive port on the Offline side.
EdgeRouter Lite (ERL) : the first line of defense from the outside world.
It's delivered with OpenBSD installed and configured with the PF firewall by JWRD.
The ERL has 3 ethernet ports and a serial console port. The 3 ethernet ports allow the operator have to 2 physically segrated networks :
one for trusted machines with higher security profiles, e.g. the Online machine to run your Bitcoin node
one for untrusted machines where you might load youtube or whatsapp or whatever fast-food fashions are trending.
Question : how many other home routers give you such level of control over the firewall rules, inbound and outbound connections, by IP or port and protocol, ability to log and monitor, etc ? Granted, the gun is only as useful as the foot it's pointing at... or how does it go ? If what's being explained here is Greek to you, check out the Key Management Training Section below.
Takeaway : you have a clean space for your needs which require more security and a dirtier space for interacting with the unwashed masses as they are.
Thinkpad X200 w/ Coreboot
Edge Router Lite
USB-RJ45 Conversion Cable
USB-TTL Conversion Cable
Note : the dollar amount is converted to BTC at the time of settlement.
Motto : The gun is only as useful as the man squeezing the trigger.
JWRD's hardware and software have been designed from the ground up with security as a top priority. This is the direct opposite approach taken by the lamestream, which focuses more on marketing "convenience" and "it should be so easy grandma can use it" (no offense to your grandma, we're sure she's very pleasant and a smart cookie to boot). The cost of pushing such convenience is the proliferation of an ever-increasing amount of complexity in the systems to compensate for the bottomless pit of stupidity observed from the behavior of the lowest common denominator. Software is written by humans and humans are liable to make errors. As a general rule, the more software in a system and the more complex it is, the more errors it contains. Bitcoin is a no oopsies-takesies-backsies environment, i.e. risk has to be mitigated upfront ; if you've lost your coins already, it's unlikely anyone can help you. There is no "go ahead and reboot your Windows three times and things are magically fixed."
JWRD focuses on including only the absolute software necessities in the system, which results in less code and a higher likelihood of better understood code. Instead of dumbing the system down for lazy people content with staying stupid, we provide operator training to build up those people who are ready to take the security and ownership of their computer infrastructure seriously. That is, we build smart tools for smart people, for the few, not the many.
Currently, Gales Linux is operated exclusively from the Command Line Interface, i.e. there is not a mouse. Instead of clicking pictures which represent underlying commands, training clients learn the commands directly. Not only does this allow one to operate without the million plus lines of code "needed" to implement the entire graphics stack where the mouse lives and where fatal bugs may lie, but it strengthens the client's understanding of the system and causes him to open his eyes, likely for the first time.
We're on our third iteration of the training curriculum. The goal is to focus on the applications that are meaningful to the client from the outset and delve deeper into the command line on an as-needed basis as the course progresses.
1 90-minute session per week consisting of lecture and guided practice conducted over Zoom, recordings shared after.
3-4 hours per week of assigned reading and practice exercises.
1 hour open-door office session per week conducted over IRC.
Cost : 0.015 BTC per week per trainee, thus 0.255 BTC for 17 week, Intermediate program.
JWRD Key Management Curriculum
Basic Crypto Theory : what's the mathematical basis behind the tools you're learning ?
bitcoind : Fetch and Build.
It takes several weeks to sync the Bitcoin blockchain from the Genesis Block to current tip. So we get this started early because, "the best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago, the second best time is today."
bitcoind : Configure, Operate and Explore the Theoretical Underpinnings :
build a useful configuration file ;
filter and search the signals from the noise in the log ;
preserve the SSD from the write-heavy usage Bitcoin puts it to ;
the mathematical trapdoor functions Bitcoin leverages for stable, predictable inflation and secure coin custody ;
how are disputes resolved on the decentralized network ?
Hardware TRNG config and usage : how to setup and configure the device and start mining entropy.
Gnu Privacy Guard (GPG) : the strongest, publicly available encryption tool. How to generate keys using the TRNG, encrypt, decrypt, sign and verify signatures.
Web of Trust (WoT) theory and implementation.
"On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog." A cryptographic identity, registered in a WoT, is the strongest means of establishing personhood on the Internet.
V : Intro to `V' version control system.
Acclaimed by men in the know as the most important milestone in the evolution of computer programming.
Prioritizes the importance of operators and readers of code over its writers.
Incentivizes a culture of literate programming and deeper understanding by authors and operators.
Allows the operator to manage his investment of trust in the code he runs and in its authors and signers.
GBW-signer : Generate Bitcoin Keys and Addresses, Build a transaction from public data sources.
Airgap operation : move data back and forth between the online and offline machines using the data diode.
Backups : Hardware amortizes and, from time to time, fails suddenly. This lesson covers strategies and implementation for robust data backups for rapid recoveries.
Network Administration :
Configure IP addresses and routes ;
administer the router over the Serial console and SSH ;
modify the firewall configuration.
GBW-node : You've learned to collect data from public sources to build Bitcoin transactions ; now that your node is pretty well synced, learn to operate GBW-node for more private address and transaction monitoring.
IRC with yrc : yrc is JWRD's own IRC client. It's based in the terminal, i.e. no mouse, so carries a steeper learning curve compared to GUI-based clients such as Hexchat you're more likely to start off with. Now that you're more comfortable in the terminal, it's time to introduce you to it.
Intermediate Shell : variables, meta-characters, wild cards, program vs processes, job control.
Time, File, Stream Management : Date and Time commands, Text Streams.