Interview with John Horton,USM EE Student Turned Theatre Major: MadMapper, HTTPS Everywhere, Wireshark & WinPcap, Metasploit, Forrest M. Mims, Packet Radio – RRPG021

This week on Rich’s Random Podcast Generator, we’re joined by John Horton, a University of Southern Maine theatre major on the Gorham campus who’s involved in the technical aspects of theatre. John grew up in a hi-tech household. His dad was a MIT grad who worked as a design engineer for DEC, and later Intel. John was breadboarding basic circuits as a child – flip-flop, 555 timer IC, etc. – and picking up whatever else he could from Forrest M. Mims‘ instructional books originally sold by Radio Shack.

Listen Mobile:


metasploit logoJohn talks about acquiring some old computers from dad’s work place and building a network environment with machines running Unix, Linux, Apache, Mac, and Windows. He learned how to get these machines to work together, and then learned about system vulnerabilities and pen-testing with Metasploit.

WiresharkAs we talk with John about Wireshark (and WinPcap), the subject of the Chrome and Firefox plugin HTTPS Everywhere comes up as a way to protect oneself against traffic sniffing. The discussion inevitably branches to the topic of antivirus/malware protection and security in general. HOSTS files rule!?

I did mention that John is a Theatre major involved in the tech side of things, didn’t I?  https everywhereUSM’s last play production of the year – Orlando – will feature scenery created with projection mapping. Instead of painting scenery forms to look like buildings, living rooms or what have you, the scene shop crew paints the forms with a special projection paint – an off-white paint with glass beads. Then the forms are illuminated by video projector(s) with scenery images or video. The video projectors are controlled by MadMapper, a program that maps the images or video to conform to the shape of the forms. This will be very exciting to see, and see it I will as I regularly attend opening nights of all USM plays.


Rich’s RPG is a podcast hosted by Jim Collison and Rich O’Neil in Google+ Hangout. We talk tech with like-minded folks, covering stuff that’s interesting to us. No outlines, no agenda, no worries. And we welcome newcomers. Got your headset and a bit of free time? Join us on the show by contacting us at:

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