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Iris on Tech

I'm Iris, a non-binary (they/them,she/her) electrical engineer with a passion for reverse engineering, cryptography, programming and just generally figuring out how things work. I frequently fully or partially take deep-dives into a topic of interest that isn't explained well or in detail online, and I hope to be able to document that knowledge here finally.

What makes a good blog

In my own opinion

One of the resources I seek out most when researching a complex topic or project are blog posts by other people who have worked on that project, or do interesting projects on that topic. A particularly good example of a blog that is a great example of this is Ken Sherrif’s. His blog posts on reverse engineering silicon integrated circuits and describing how the layout maps onto components was a great place to come across and start exploring while I was briefly extremely interested in mapping a specific decap that I found online.

I’ve talked about this a lot but I find good blog posts sit in a nice place of explanation and technical depth to make it interesting to someone who wants to learn practical knowledge, not just get a vague idea. Academic papers often approach a topic with lots of background knowledge required to understand the level of detail, which hinders someone out of the field. Wikipedia can be great on a lot of topics, but it only usually scratches the surface of description needed to understand something.

A book can fit this middle ground well, as can a conversation with someone who has the knowledge. However books tend to be expensive when they’re technical since access to them isn’t nearly so simple as going to a library, and frequently technical books can also find themselves either being broad but not detailed enough to answer questions of practicality or interest, or hyper-specific and more like long extended versions of academic papers.

Communications might be accessible if you can find a chatroom or email of someone with the knowledge and time to help, but it’s often hard to approach strangers whom you share no common background or even find the people to communicate with at all for complex topics like cryptography.

As a result I find that when I want to learn about a topic, my most likely pages to look for on a search engine are blog posts that seem to go beyond the “explain this topic” and hit the “tell you specific details about a project” or “tell you specific details about how a topic is done”. That along with looking for source code for a topic or otherwise looking for some implementation helps guide abstract knowledge into practical application.

In that vein I started this blog and also hope to provide yet one more index point and reference point to connect people to articles on other sites that I’ve enjoyed.

You can find some of those other sites here: Other blogs of interest