In 1974 I gained access to a Wang 720C which looked like a cash register with vacuum tubes as a readout producing only numbers 0-9. You programmed it by pressing buttons on the keypad like a large desktop calculator. I found out later that the keypad characters were assembly nemonics.

In 1985 I bought an XT clone and Microsoft's MASM and wrote some code to access an extended memory board for that machine. A couple of years ago I took an assembler clas at Diablo Valley Colege using the Intel instruction set and wrote some computer music in assembler to amuse a woman in my class who I refer to as the daughter of the King of Columbia

In 1986 I acquired a Macintosh and found out about MacNosy, Steve Jasik's disassembler bought a copy but never learned to use it. In 1994 I took a class in 68K assembler at DeAnza College in Cupertino just in time to coincide with Apple switching to the Power PC.

I acquired a taste for BSD and Linux by taking a UNIX Sys Admin class from UC Extension and Linux classes at DVC. At a point in time after that Apple slid the FreeBSD underpinnings underneath the Mac GUI.

I look casually at a video of an IDA Pro tutoring session and notice they are using red and green traces for program flow diagrams and lament that one more time red green colorblindness bites me on the ass

Update 20110927
After looking at the video about 5 times I think I know what is going on. I find that Hex-rays has a demo version of IDA Pro 6.1 that will run on a Mac. The video tutorial package came with a file named reverseMe.exe and I found that when I opened the file with the disassembler the demo version acted like the video tutorial.

Update 20111002
I followed the actions in the tutorial, changing filenames to names with more meaning, changing 0xFFFFFFFF first to 4294967295 then to -1, all with mouse clicks on menu items, hovvering over jump destinations displays a popup showing what you will find there so you don't have to go there to find out. The next step in the demo involves setting breakpoints for the debugger and I don't know if that is operational in the demo

Update 20111004
Update 20111108
I have acquired a Dell XPS 410. I burned an iso for OpenBSD 4.9 -- It boots into a shell
I can install from it. The machine however did not come with a hard drive. I had a SATA hard drive that had a couple of days use on it. The power connector fit but I did not find a data cable and only today found the right choice of google search terms to be led to the diagram showing on the mom board where the sata cable connections were located.
I just need an L SATA cable with a right angle connector on one end.
Update 20111111
Got the SATA cable. I was advised when formating the drive to install Windows first to avoid munging the mbr with *nix install.
Finally I have hardware for which installation of Wireshark is not difficult.

Capture The Flag at Flagstaff

I have one of the binaries from DefCon 19 CTF courtesy of the Routards who also provided a decompilation of it. Thank you very much.
I am waiting to find out if IDA parses out he compiler identity from the way the stacks are constructed
Update 20120522
I am reading the book by Chris Eagle "The IDA PRO Book". I have read 427 pages into it. The current topic is anti-reversing tools and obfuscation.