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Showing posts from 2020

A rootless, (nearly) full-featured shell for iOS

iOS is a BSD-like system (according to Wikipedia, the kernel is actually based on BSD). In this way, we sometimes expect it to have similar functionalities or behavior to BSD or Unix-like systems,  However, iOS doesn’t expose a shell to us. Unlike macOS computers, which provide a that users can launch directly into a shell of their choice, like Bash or Zsh, there isn’t a for iOS. And even if there was, user-land permissions would prevent the installation and use of many packages and services.
This carries into other Unix-like systems, like Android, where even though most distributions of Android don’t include a terminal (unless you are using its’ open-source variant like Lineage OS), you can still download one from the Google Play Store. In fact, you have many options.
However, on the iOS side, the situation looks far bleaker. If you have root access and the ability to install self-signed or unsigned code, you can install one of few popular terminal emulators, …

Why climb on the roof of your school?

Hi! You might not know me but my name is Gideon Tong and I’m a first-year electrical engineering student at the University of California, San Diego. This quarter, I had the great opportunity of being able to visit the roof of Geisel Library, one of the tallest buildings on campus and our largest library.

The purpose of this was for a project I did with my university’s branch of the Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEEE) society. This project I did is called Outpost, and you can check it out at its’ GitHub repository. It is an Internet of Things long-range connectivity toolkit, which sounds like a bunch of fancy words, but it’s basically a collection of tools programmers and developers can use in order to build a long-range device.

Originally, this project was supposed to debut at a quarterly showcase of projects, but due to miscommunication on scheduling neither I nor my partner, Brian Lam, was able to be there for a presentation.

However, I’d still love to address some of the challen…