GenCyber Internship, June – July 2016

Summary: This intern experience has taught me how powerful and valuable knowing what is occurring behind the scenes of devices can be. My ability to research and implement troubleshooting solutions has grown stronger. I am much more confident and comfortable with installing software, writing boot-scripts, and using the command line on Windows and Mac. Another improvement is my ability to point out multiple issues involved in a troubleshooting situation, instead of sticking to one-sided arguments in that situation. I have learned to be increasingly detail oriented and massively patient, especially after so many trial and error instances I encountered with displaying the Pi’s GUI on Mac. It is difficult to identify gaps in my knowledge as a Computer Science major, only because I have so much more to learn, but this internship has been an ideal opportunity for me to introduce myself to a Computer Science work place environment.

Mac GUI PIC

Original Detailed Reflection: Going through the GenCyber program has taught me knowledge beyond problem solving and working in teams; this experience has taught me how to be more intellectually curious on a much larger scale. I have learned here how to investigate underlying issues that may be the source of technical faults, how to make decisions based on observations I have seen for myself in order to troubleshoot, and how to find the answers to the things that I do not know. Most importantly, I have learned how very crucial determination and patience are to solving technical issues especially when feeling that there is a lack of options to solve technical issues.

Before the GenCyber Internship, I had taken some courses in Computer Science, but I did not know exactly what I was headed towards with regards to working as an intern. My expectations before the internship were that all of the student interns were going to have some type of ‘training’ in order to learn about what exactly we, as interns, were expected to accomplish. However, although we did receive an overview of the program and schedule, it was not in depth enough to have been sufficiently prepared for all that lied ahead of us.

Moving past the challenge of navigating through the system of Windows and, more specifically, Macintosh, however, greatly opened my mind to envision solutions for IT issues. I challenged myself to dig into a Raspberry Pi as deeply as possible and unpacked every detail I could to develop an accurate documentation that I will pass on to others who are also interested in learning about the Pi; this helped me to develop a deeper understanding of the Raspberry Pi. Writing step-by-step instructions on how to display the Pi’s GUI on Macintosh has allowed me to learn to be increasingly more concise and simple in order for readers to immediately learn from my experience. Getting this far was not an easy process; after many hours of online research, I made phone calls to my cable company and to Apple for Mac Customer Service. Neither of those two companies know what was the problem with the Pi’s GUI not being displayed on my Mac. Not even my friend, who is a war veteran with vast knowledge of Computer Science and who owns a FIRST Robotics school, was able to come up with a solution to getting my Pi’s GUI up and running. Finally, I made a phone call to the VNC Viewer Company and they were the ones who explained to me what was the problem. The issue was that I needed to write a new boot script for my Pi’s VNC “server” and install a separate VNC “client” on my Mac; originally, the boot script that was on my Pi was a boot script made for Windows, which is not compatible with my Mac’s VNC “client.” As a result, this has helped develop my IT skills because I am able to connect back my solution to displaying the GUI on Mac with future IT issues I encounter.

When testing my Mac instruction guide, a new student intern was willing to do the testing on his own Mac; I learned so much more with him than I ever could have done from testing the Pi on my own. My guide worked perfectly with this student’s older version of MacBook. The new student intern also was able to figure out with me how to clone a Pi’s Micro SD card using command line, which was the problem the rest of the team was not able to figure out the previous week with me at the office. I appreciate this new student’s initiative to offer to troubleshoot issues I was having with my Mac for weeks. This student even thanked me multiple times for creating the Mac instruction guide since if it were not for me making the guide, he told me, he would not have been fully aware of how the Raspberry Pi actually worked. It was very kind of him to show much appreciation for the approximate ten to fifteen hours I spent trying to figure out how to display the Pi’s GUI on my Mac. If there were much more team collaboration and self-initiative for problem solving, we would have learned much more together and made an additional group project using Python programming.

Working along side and assisting high school teachers with their learning during the GenCyber workshops was enjoyable for the most part. I found it a bit challenging trying to relate to older adults; having small talk conversations with the high school teachers flowed very well throughout the week, but there was some slight degree of tension at the very end when the interns had to host the security based scavenger hunt to reinforce GenCyber, Cybersecurity Principles. I had the last station of the scavenger hunt, which was like the finish line of the game. I felt overwhelmed when all five teams eventually all showed up at once; so, I suggest that, for future games, a few interns that are finished at their stations come to the last station. Before this happened, I was going up and down all of the floors of Goldstein Academic and outside to make sure my team colleagues were doing well while all of the high teachers switched from station to station. I would have found that very helpful if a few interns were available for when I needed help correcting worksheets for the teachers and answering many questions from several different teachers on different teams all at one time. Having at least another student intern would have made explaining one of the challenges to one of the teachers a lot smoother since that particular teacher was not necessarily agreeing with what the solution to the particular challenge was. This was understandable to me though since I do respectfully acknowledge that these teachers are very educated in their professions.

This intern experience has taught me how powerful and valuable knowing what is occurring behind the scenes of devices can be. My ability to research and implement troubleshooting solutions has grown stronger. I am much more confident and comfortable with installing software, writing boot-scripts, and using the command line on Windows and Mac. Another improvement is my ability to point out multiple issues involved in a troubleshooting situation, instead of sticking to one-sided arguments in that situation. I have learned to be increasingly detail oriented and massively patient, especially after so many trial and error instances I encountered with displaying the Pi’s GUI on Mac. It is difficult to identify gaps in my knowledge as a Computer Science major, only because I have so much more to learn, but this internship has been an ideal opportunity for me to introduce myself to a Computer Science work place environment. The educational benefits I have gained in my experience as an intern far outweigh what could have been better. This GenCyber Internship will make me much more marketable when I have a Computer Science degree. I made the most of my time spent during this internship and my intention is to further develop what I have learned at GenCyber by creating simple projects with the Raspberry Pi so that I can elaborate on them for a formal research project. I am very grateful for this opportunity I received to work as an intern.

Solution for displaying PI’s GUI on Mac via Router: Installing VNC Server on Raspberry Pi

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