Archive for May, 2012



I used to think I knew when people matured. I figured if I did things my way I would be in control of the world around me. I was wrong. In fact, I have learned the more control I felt I had the less I knew about the changes that were already happening.

Caterpillars are the same in comparison. If you think a caterpillar will never change then you wont even notice when it forms a cocoon. We don’t normally watch for a caterpillar to undergo metamorphosis we usually notice when its not a caterpillar anymore. If we really want to understand this transformation we need to notice when it begins. If we don’t pay attention then that caterpillar will just fly away.

My son just graduated today from a career prep academy, and he will be graduating from high school day after tomorrow. I thought this entire time I have been guiding him, controlling his decision making and enforcing my rules on him like a parent does. This was a comfort to me his entire life. I believed I was in control and I was keeping him from being like I was at his age. I thought if I forced my beliefs on him and sheltered him from making my mistakes he would turn out better because I raised him that way. After all we want the best for our kids, right?

Now that graduation has made him into this man that I wanted. I realize he didn’t become this man because I made him that way. He became this man because he choose this for himself. It hit me hard when I noticed my child was all grown up wearing his cap and gown. He didn’t become this man because of the guidance I controlled, but by the lessons he learned by my mistakes. I wanted to believe I made him who he is now because I knew how to control what he needed to learn. In fact all he had to do was learn from my embarrassing moments.

Just like a caterpillar becomes a butterfly; our children become men. When its time to change then change happens. Let this be a message to anyone who reads this. We can control our selves, but when we control the world around us we miss out when metamorphosis begins. After all we cant change who they are; we can only guide them.

Service to others


Service to others

            Tonight at 9pm was Creston’s bachelor party and I wanted to get him a gift. I didn’t know if this was an event to bring a gift. Normal bachelor parties someone pays the stripper to give the bachelor table dances all night long.  Well Creston is a good church going person and this definitely wasn’t going to be a party like that. I have never been to a bachelor party that didn’t involve a stripper and tonight I felt inspired to carry on the tradition.

When I humble myself and pray the Holy Ghost always inspires me in the direction for the better. This time was no different. It was also my last day of school for the semester. I had to get to school to take my final so I decided to stop at the hardware store. I knew some paint stripper would make for a good laugh at the bachelor. I was feeling confident this was the best solution.

I got to the parking lot and started walking up to the store. This is when I noticed this sweet elderly woman hunched over. I observed her for just a second when I realized she was carrying a metal lock box in her arms. I then approached her and asked her if her box was heavy and if she would like for me to carry it for her. She said, “yes please I have a bad back.” So I got the box from her arms and walked with her in the store to the locksmith area and set it on the counter. She was so sweet and she thanked me with much appreciation. This was a feel good moment for sure.

Immediately after I went to the aisle to locate the paint stripper I originally was there for. I purchased this odd gift with the hope I would bring some laughter at the bachelor party later tonight.

Over the past few years I have been struggling with feeling comfortable about my physical appearance. I have always had piercings and long “rock star” hair. I used to wear baggy clothes, but I never let my pants fall down below my butt like people dress today. This style was very comfortable for me. I also didn’t see why it was such a big deal about a man having pierced ears. I conformed a few years ago and its days like today that remind me why these changes are best.

Doing service for someone is a blessing and I know if I was still dressing like I used to my chances to do service might not have turned out so good. She might of thought I was trying to rob her. That would have been horrible. She really needed help it was a heavy box. I felt full of humble and kind thoughts. I was in such a good mood that lasted all night long. I even enjoyed taking a difficult final at school and receive an A+ for the class.

When Creston opened the gift everyone laughed at the bachelor party. We had so much fun taking pictures with the stripper. To think this entire “feel good” moment could have been lost if I didn’t have good friends that don’t go to strip clubs.

The path in life we take is our choice to make. I know the rebellious attitude I used to have never gave me this much joy for doing something so simple. I learned that when I do service for others there are blessings to be received. Life can be full of love and joy if we do selfless acts for others.

Brian Halstead

Professor Autumn McKelvey

ENG102 – 28903_4122

09 May 2012

Rooting is a Civil Choice

The ability to root is a civil choice until users start stealing services for free. Copyright laws are starting to take on a new aspect: cell phone companies want to make it illegal to root our electronic devices. On July 26, 2010 the U.S. Library of Congress made exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.(Miller). This means it was legal to root, unlock or hack a smartphone in any way as long as this wasn’t being done to get around copyright protection.

The term “rooting” means the owner of the electronic device has enabled themselves administrative rights to the device. Rooting is a term used specifically for Linux operating systems giving the user superuser permissions. All Android cell phones have a version of Linux operating systems installed on them. If the owner of a rooted phone wants to change service providers they can with the same rooted phone. This is not common since most cellular providers want consumers to purchase a new phone. This enables better technical support if problems arise.

Having the right to root or hack electronic devices is the right of the consumer since that is who owns the device, and that makes personalization acceptable. Cellular companies believe changes made to the software increases the costs for troubleshooting.

While rooting is the consumer’s right, many companies are trying to make it illegal (Alba). Currently, rooting any device will void the consumer’s warranty. Companies argue that rooting a device ruins the software installed on the device and it could lead to “bricking” the device. A bricked cell phone is one that no longer works and is about as useful as a “brick” for making a phone call. “Bricking a cell phone, however, does not mean it has reached the end of its life” according to electronics expert [Dave Taylor]. The ability to troubleshoot these problems makes it time consuming for warranties to be handled efficiently.

The people who originally program these devices use open source. That makes the device completely open for anyone to purchase and install whatever programs they want to use on it. Cell phone companies use proprietary software for commercial reasons. The Software Freedom Law Center feels that this is unconstitutional to the consumers. In 2009 the Electronic Frontier Foundation won the Digital Millennium Copyright Act giving consumers the right to run operating systems and applications from any source, not just those approved by the manufacturer (Colophon).

There is a large market of free applications for android phones. These free applications make their money selling advertisement space called “pop-ups”. The consumer always has the option to eliminate the advertisements by purchasing the application. This is where some might get upset. The benefit of rooting enables consumers to choose if he/she wants those advertisements on their devices. The companies who provide these applications consider this a form of theft.

The argument is, if the consumer purchased the phone, isn’t it theirs to do as they wish? In comparison, if the owner of an automobile wants to change the air filter or spark plugs for better performance, car manufacturers don’t normally void warranties. Why is rooting any different?

Cell phone companies will argue that rooting your phone will make you more vulnerable for viruses or hackers to steal information. There is security software available to root users to prevent these vulnerabilities. Rooting gives consumers the ability to personalize security. While this might make it more difficult for hackers to steal information, it also makes it difficult for technical support operators to troubleshoot.

Android software is all open-source which makes it legal to alter (“The The GNU Operating System”). Open-source is free software, it’s a matter of liberty, not price. Think of “free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer.” Free software is a matter of the users freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. This is where the concerns of copyright laws get thin. Computer companies argue that they have the right to own the software installed on the devices consumers purchase.

In conclusion, while there are many benefits to rooting a phone, there are also disadvantages. While rooting remains legal, technical support costs will continue to rise, and programmers will keep loosing money. Rooting is a civil choice for now.







Works Cited

Alba, Luis. “Don’t Let Rooting and Jailbreaking Go Back to Being Illegal.” Don’t Let Rooting and Jailbreaking Go Back to Being Illegal. 26 Jan. 2012. Yosolosy. 09 Apr. 2012 <;.

Colophon. “DMCA exemption update: SFLC replies to content industry – Software Freedom Law Center.” Software Freedom Law Center. 5 Mar. 2012. CC-BY-SA 3.0. 09 Apr. 2012 <;.

Miller, Paul. “Library of Congress adds DMCA exception for jailbreaking or rooting your phone.” Engadget. 26 July 2010. NPR. 09 Apr. 2012


The GNU Operating System.” The GNU General Public License V3.0. Free Software Foundation, Inc., 29 June 2007. Web. 19 Apr. 2012. <;.

Cover Letter





My name is Brian Halstead, I believe in teaching by example with integrity being the key factor of who we are. I’m hard working and I strive to do things right the first time. I’m trustworthy and very reliable. I was in computer club from junior high and high school and I have kept current with technology ever since. I am currently in school for Networking System Administration. I was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honors society in 2012. I’m also a scout leader for the youth and I volunteer my time with the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

  • I make educated decisions. I notice ways to be more efficient and gain productivity.
  • I believe in service to others. I have been a volunteer with the Veterans of Foreign Wars since 1990.
  • I have determination. I maintain a 4.0 grade point average in school.
  • I can be a leader.  I am currently a scout leader for the 11 year old scouts.
  • I am helpful. When I notice a person struggling I won’t hesitate to help them out.
  • I have experience with driving small businesses into success on the web.
  • I have been able to find ways to work a round issues when systems fail.

I have attached a copy of my resume which further details my qualification.


Brian E. Halstead

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