Seriously Paranoid Cryptocurrency Key Generation

This is a guide for creating highly secure keys to use for cold storage, or more specifically in my case, to assign as the recovery authorities to Verus IDs. The goal is to generate a bulk batch of keys that have never been in a system that’s been online and come away with a copy of those keys and addresses on a pair of thumb drives (for redundancy) and the addresses (without keys) on another drive for monitoring and for reference to use those secure keys (to send to or for Verus ID authority assignments).

You will need: 4 USB drives, a computer running Linux (doable without, but that’s what these instructions are for), and optionally another computer. If you don’t have a Linux system handy but want to follow these directions, you can start by creating the boot media for the Linux live distribution, then booting into that environment, connecting to the internet, and following all of the instructions – just make sure to shut down and perform a cold boot to get back into the fresh environment (without internet) when it’s time for the secure system.

While I’ve tried to be as comprehensive as possible in my directions, it is assumed that you are somewhat familiar with the Linux command line.

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Tray Icons Not Appearing in i3 on Ubuntu

On my laptop install of Ubuntu Server 16.04, when I first installed i3 I found that tray icons weren’t working. I tested with volti, the network manager applet, and dropbox – nothing, and no errors from the applications.

The problem was with the following line in the i3 configuration file (located at ~/.config/i3/config, formerly .i3/config in prior versions [or packages]):

tray_output primary

I suspect this would work fine if there were a primary display configured in my xorg settings, but that isn’t the case. Commenting out this line did the trick (removal would also work) after restarting i3 (shift+mod+r).

5Ghz Wifi Networks Not Available on Ubuntu Server Install

I needed a fresh start on my laptop (a ThinkPad T440S) and thought I would try starting with Ubuntu Server 16.04, so I can install what I want without as much Ubuntu Desktop bloat.

For networking I installed network manager and it’s corresponding tray applet control application (the network-manager and network-manager-gnome packages, respectively). Everything worked great, except that 5Ghz networks weren’t showing up to connect to.

I don’t recall where I found this solution, but the answer was to edit the file /etc/default/crda, which had this line


This needed to be changed to


Saving that change and rebooting fixed the issue – it’s possible that restarting network services might have done the same as the reboot.

Fixing Missing Menu Bars in Openbox on Ubuntu

With a recent update (I don’t know which one), menu bars in several apps disappeared. The fix was removing the¬†appmenu-qt5 package using the following in a terminal:

sudo apt-get remove appmenu-qt5

If you’re running stock Ubuntu (with the Unity interface) this may cause problems, but appears to work beautifully with Openbox.

Goals for this Site

While I use Evernote to store notes and links to relevant information, I want to set up a more public repository of random things I want to keep track of that might also be helpful to others.  These are probably going to be technical in nature more often than not, dealing with GNU/Linux, Arduino, Bitcoin, encryption, 3D printing, or whatever else I feel like.

If I post something that you have insight into, please don’t hesitate to comment with more information or corrections!