About

Hi, I’m Ben

I have been absolutely in love with technology for as long as I can remember. This site is a testament to that love.

Hobbies

Home Automation! I’m a big fan of Home Assistant with Z-Wave. I’ve had a lot of fun getting AMR power readings into Home Assistant with a script that takes AMR IDM readings and publishes via MQTT. Another cool project was getting a dashboard to persistently display on my Chromecast / Google Cast with extra control via MQTT.

Getting hardware to do things it’s not meant to do! I had an old DVD Duplicator hit the disposal pile. I reverse engineered the control protocol and wrote a set of scripts to automatically rip my movie collection.

Making things! Like a lasercut arduino macro keyboard. Power strip desk mount, brackets for my KVM, camera mount for my 3d printer, cloud lamp, laser cut lamp

Professional Experience

I have worked for Iowa Western Community College for over 15 years so far. Below is some of the cool things I have done.

Systems Administrator
Iowa Western Community College – July 2018 – Present

Part of small team that:

Support approx 50 of physical ESXi servers
Support hundreds of VM servers with vSphere (Windows/Mac/Linux/other)
Support/configure/update approx 250 access switches (150 control planes)
Track and store switch configuration changes with Oxidized and Gitlab
Monitor switch events with Graylog
Trace devices using NetDisco
Support PaloAlto next gen firewall
Support Cisco Umbrella DNS protection
Support access to resources through Citrix ADC (formerly Netscaler)
Support access to resources through Cloudflare Web Application Firewall
Deploy and maintain CarbonBlack
Maintain over 1020 IP Cameras (in 864 individual camera housings)
Monitor uptime of servers, switches, and cameras

Notable Projects:

LockBOX (facilitate transfer of data from Colleague CSV export to S2 Netbox via API)
LockBOX Display (C# program to use prox, magstripe, or fingerprint reader to display student building authorization)

LunchBOX (facilitate transfer of data from Colleague CSV export to CBORD Odyssey via for meal plan CSV import)
LunchBOX Display (intercept serial comms from Educational Biometric Technology IDconnect Finger to Micros register (via serial usb keyboard wedge) to display student ID photo for additional verification)

Directory Management (Flask app for entering employee contacts into db for internal directory)

ID Picture Export from S2 Netbox (for import to student directory, student bank cards, wellness management, etc)

LMS Administrator / Software Support Analyst
Iowa Western Community College – June 2013 to July 2018

Supported Moodle hosted by Moodlerooms
Implement and support Panopto (Lecture capture)
Participated in College Action Project to replace Moodle with Canvas

Upgrade streaming infrastructure for KIWR (using Wowza, Orban Optimod/Opticodec, and JWPlayer) Web Player
89.7 The River (KIWR) Streaming APP – iOS – Store Link
89.7 The River (KIWR) Streaming APP – Android – Store Link

Install & Maintain Wowza Media Server with custom extension for Program Associated Data (Now Playing) that converts RTMP Timed Text Events into ID3 metadata. Data comes from WideOrbit Automation for Radio (AFR).

Built streaming infrastructure for CBTV17 / Iowa Western TV (using Teradek VidiU Pro, Wowza, and JWPlayer) Web Player

AV System design, installation, and training for multimedia classrooms
AV system design, installation, and training for combined media room (4 projectors with multiple modes of operation)

Wrestling Practice (delayed playback for reviewing moves)

Healthcare Lab Facilitator
Iowa Western Community College – January 2011 to June 2013

Design & deploy vitals monitor
Maintain AV hardware for nursing simulation center
Manikin repair

Built streaming video library for LMS (HLS Video using FFMPEG, Wowza, and JWPlayer)
Install & Maintain Wowza Media Server

Microcomputer Support Technician
Iowa Western Community College – November 2008 to December 2010

Built streaming infrastructure for KIWR using Windows Media Encoder and Windows Media Services (on Windows Server 2003)
Maintain graphic arts lab, technical music mac lab, radio production studios, tv production studios
Support all technology in Harlan and Atlantic centers

Evening Computer Operator / Microcomputer Support Technician
Iowa Western Community College – November 2006 to November 2008

Evening classroom tech support
Print large print jobs from mainframe on bluebar printer
Maintain computer science computer labs

Intern / Workstudy
Iowa Western Community College – February 2005 – November 2006

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