About me.

My name is Jakob Kreuze (/​ˈdʒeɪkəbˈkɹuz/ and /​ˈjaːkɔp ˈkʁɔʏ̯tsə/ are both acceptable pronunciations). I'm a 23 year-old living in Greater Boston. I received my B.Sc. in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Massachusetts in 2021, and my M.Sc. in Computer Science from Brown University in 2024. Nowadays, I work full-time as a civil servant.

I work primarily with the design of secure systems. My research interests are formal methods, distributed computing, symbolic execution, and signals processing. I did my undergraduate research in cryptography; the experience was gratifying and greatly influenced my career path, but I'm not especially interested in it these days.

My free time not spent on chores or being with friends and family is spent working on personal projects, which are outlined here.

If you're interested in game engine tech, my younger brother is working on a game engine + graphics engine of his own. You can read about it on his website. I like to think of him as my protégé, but he's mostly self-taught.

My Interests

(Functional) programming

I was introduced to computer programming at an early age. My parents were given a Nintendo 64 as a wedding gift shortly before I was born, so I spent my early years playing Ocarina of Time and the likes. My young, impressionable mind drew inspiration, and I would go on about how I wanted to make games of my own. My technically-apt father was able to point me in the right direction for learning to do so.

I was writing small games in Python by the time I was ten years old, though I have little to show for it with much lost to failing hard drives. The interest waxed and waned, but picked back up significantly when I turned 14 and began using GNU/Linux.

The renowned Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs was my introduction to functional programming, recommended by several in the "online" circle I hung around circa then. It's an excellent book, but I was not mature enough to understand it at that age. The points about higher-order functions did, however, click for me, and I was inspired to begin using the handful of functional programming tools available in Python, and to learn Common Lisp (because I thought the syntax laden with parentheses was obscure and cool).

this was all prior to learning about the sort of object-oriented style that was taught in my ap computer science class. having to deal with that programming paradigm really cemented my opinions about why functional is the "right" way to write software.

Nowadays, my favorite programming languages are Scheme, Haskell, and Rust. Depending on who you ask, some subset of those languages are "functional programming languages." It's not a clear-cut term, but what it means to me is an emphasis on immutability and higher-order functions. I consider all three to be functional, though Rust is somewhat of a black sheep.

Computer security

Amid my early years with computer programming, I was briefly introduced to web development and, in particular, PHP. The language has a reputation for the ease with which one can introduce security vulnerabilities, and as such, the book I was using to teach myself at the time expatiated about SQL injection, going so far as to walk the reader through an example. At eleven years old, this piqued my interest, and I soon sought out as much material on computer security as I could, showing my friends what I could do on HackThisSite.

I began playing capture-the-flag when I was in high school and came across LiveOverflow's early videos, which inspired me to play in the (now defunct) CTF(x). I was a team of one until I started playing with 0xBU. I was still in high school, only 16, but I noticed them on the leader-board. They were just a train ride away, so I reached out to ask if I could show up to their meetings. They said yes, so I spent most of my weekends downtown, getting good at pwning.

In my university years, I was an e-board member of the UMass Cybersecurity Club: playing for their CTF team, and putting serious work into the CTF's we hosted.

Lifting weights

I exercise every day, barring extreme circumstances.

Figure 1: Current body as of April 13, 2023.

Sports didn't interest me when I was younger. I was signed up for soccer, and basketball, and many other after-school sports programs, but nothing stuck.

At 13, I joined the Civil Air Patrol, which changed my prior attitudes toward fitness. Now I had to pass fitness tests to promote, and I had to be in-shape for the emergency response work I was doing, so I picked up a regular exercise routine. I began with body-weight exercises and running outside, and I fell in love with it. Pushing yourself to exhaustion – until you can barely lift your arms – is addicting. But I was soon bored with calisthenics and begged my parents for a gym membership. I posed it as something I could do with my dad, and that's how I spent my evenings in high school.

I don't lift competitively. I've had aspirations to over the years, but injuries have prevented me from pushing enough weight to place (herniated disk circa 2017, gluteus medius tear circa 2020). Perhaps my time will come.

I'm selective about the fitness-related content I consume, tending to prefer folks in the "evidence-based fitness community" like Greg Nuckols, Eric Trexler, and Jeff Nippard.


A given day is cardio xor weightlifting. It's rare that I do both on the same day. This is for the resiliency of my routine; if I know I'm going to be stuck somewhere without access to weights, I can still keep up with my routine by going outside to run.

At the moment, I'm running the third of Jeff Nippard's "Powerbuilding System" programs, after having an exceptionally good experience with the first two.

Food and Permaculture

In spite of my deceptively trim figure, I love to cook and eat, especially when it involves unfamiliar cuisines. "Gourmand" is a term I often use when describing myself.

I was fortunate that most of my meals growing up were homemade. It was much healthier than the alternative, and I was able to learn a lot from my parents in the kitchen. I started taking on that chore in high school with the aim of making things less stressful for my parents. Nowadays, it's practically a hobby for me. I love learning new skills and techniques, and making delicious meals to share with my friends and family.

I especially enjoy dishes from Africa and South Asia.

Having an adventurous palate, I'm also interested in permaculture, because it enables me to enjoy produce I would otherwise have a difficult time acquiring (like besobela, or Carolina reapers). My parents always had a garden when I was growing up, and I really enjoyed the idea of self-resiliency that's embedded in the hobby. It's been a bit difficult to grow much on my own because I currently live in an apartment, but some day I'll fulfill my dream of having a huge and varied garden just like theirs.


I don't really play or write music at the moment.

My parents signed me up for drum lessons when I was 10, and I did that until I was 18, eventually getting a summer job as a drum line instructor. I didn't have time to keep up with practicing when I went off to college.

I tried to pick up the electric guitar in 2020 as my "pandemic hobby", but stopped a few months in because I was incredibly burned out with school and couldn't even find the five minutes to practice.

I love to listen to music, though, especially when I'm exercising or working. Old punk rock, in particular. My favorite bands are the Descendents, Black Flag, and Minor Threat.

Technologies I Use

My preferred software stack:

Operating System Gentoo GNU/Linux
initd OpenRC
Shell Bash
Window Manager Awesome
Text Editor GNU Emacs
Email Client gnus
Web Browser eww, Mozilla Firefox
Torrent Client transmission
Keyboard Remapping xremap
Version Control git
Hex Editor radare2
Disassembler Ghidra

Humorously, I went: awesomewm → i3 → dwm → exwm → stumpwm → awesomewm

My Emacs configuration can be found here.

Machines (In-Commission)

endseal (Workstation)

I built this computer with my father when I was 12, and I still use it today. I've upgraded the graphics card and the RAM since then, but it's otherwise the same machine I had in middle school.

Hardware Custom
• CPU Intel® Core™ i5-2500 CPU @ 3.30GHz
• GPU AMD Radeon RX 460 Graphics (POLARIS11)
Operating System Gentoo GNU/Linux

stellarwind (Laptop)

My newest machine, and my daily driver for getting things done when I'm on the go (which constitutes most of my time these days). I'm a big fan of it. A fully-charged battery lasts several hours and it sports a powerful processor, all while being lightweight and quiet. I suspect it's a bit more powerful than endseal.

Hardware ThinkPad™ T495s
• CPU AMD® Ryzen™ 5 PRO 3500U @ 3.70GHz
• GPU AMD® Radeon™ Vega 8 Graphics
Operating System Gentoo GNU/Linux

forte (Mobile Workstation)

For extended trips away from my apartment, I have this mini-PC I put together. It's made me think a lot about hardware, since I spent only $300 on it, yet it's the most powerful machine I own currently.

Hardware Custom
• CPU AMD® Ryzen™ 5 5560U @ 4.00GHz
• GPU AMD® Radeon™ Vega 6 Graphics
Operating System Gentoo GNU/Linux

kandik (Cellphone)

Daily driver. It's an older phone but it runs PostmarketOS well and it's far more powerful than the PinePhone.

Hardware OnePlus 6T
• CPU 4 x Qualcomm Kryo cores @ 2.8 GHz + 4 x Qualcomm Kryo cores @ 1.8 GHz
• GPU Qualcomm Adreno 630
Operating System PostmarketOS (Phosh)

misty (Server)

This is the machine that runs all of the server-side scripts for this site, as well as my Pleroma instance.

Hardware PINE64 ROCKPro64
• CPU 4 x ARM Cortex A53 cores @ 1.4GHz + 2 x ARM Cortex A72 cores @ 1.8 GHz
Operating System Gentoo GNU/Linux

hypo (Access Point)

This used to serve the purpose that misty serves now. It wasn't powerful enough. I've re-purposed it as a wireless access point for when I visit my parents.

Hardware Raspberry Pi 3 Model B
• CPU Broadcom BCM2837 @ 1.2GHz
Operating System Gentoo GNU/Linux

corona (Media Center)

This was the laptop I lugged around with me in high school and college. It's absurdly heavy and large, and has an awful battery life, but it sports some decent hardware so I'm using it as a Kodi and RetroArch box.

Hardware Lenovo Y50
• CPU Intel® Core™ i7-4700HQ @ 2.4 GHz
Operating System Gentoo GNU/Linux

It saw a lot more use when I was living in Providence and my kitchen opened up into the living room. I'd use it to watch YouTube while I cooked or did dishes.


For my home network, I have a TP-Link AC1750 Archer A7 running OpenWRT hooked up to a NetGear CM1000.

I wear a Casio DBC-611-1 everywhere I go.

And I've got a handful of other random SBCs and retro hardware that I don't regularly use:

  • SeeedStudio BeagleBone Green
  • Raspberry Pi 2 Model B
  • Commodore 64
  • Commodore VIC-20
  • Nintendo Super Famicom
  • Nintendo 64
  • Sega Dreamcast

Machines (Out-Of-Commission)

whitecloud (Laptop)

This was a fine daily driver for a little while. I eventually gave up on using it because of the weak battery controller, the buggy keyboard firmware that I couldn't re-flash, and eventually wanting to be able to do things more computationally-intensive than run GNU Emacs.

Hardware Pinebook Pro
• CPU 4 x ARM Cortex A53 cores @ 1.4GHz + 2 x ARM Cortex A72 cores @ 1.8 GHz
• GPU ARM Mali T860 MP4 GPU
Operating System Gentoo GNU/Linux

vela (Cellphone)

The subject of this blog post. It was a great daily driver for almost a year, but I was really desiring something more powerful, and the Braveheart Edition I have has some really unsavory hardware issues.

Hardware PINE64 Pinephone (Braveheart Edition)
• CPU Allwinner A64 @ 1.152 GHz
• GPU ARM Mali-400 MP2
Operating System PostmarketOS (Phosh)

Other Bits and Pieces

I'm a vocal supporter of open access and the free software movement. I'm an associate member of the Free Software Foundation and I contribute to Wikimedia and OpenStreetMap.

I am a licensed (general class) ham, but I am rarely active. My callsign is KR3UZE.