Very Secure

The long-overdue review of JWRD's training course

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of taking JWRD’s operator course with sstacks. I was incredibly happy with the instruction provided by jfw. JWRD seems to have found a balance between being thorough and being practical when it comes to imparting their knowledge of how to guard one’s bitcoins onto their customers.1

The course consisted of ~17 weeks of instruction, one class per week and one office hour session per week.2 Needless to say, jfw was always on time and prepared with a good lesson.

The homework each week ranged from very easy to moderately difficult depending on previous experience programming computers. IMO they could improve the course by having different questions based on prior level of knowledge.3 At the moment, the beginning of the course seems geared towards someone completely unfamiliar with the command line. With that said, it certainly didn't hurt to review some basic concepts.

There are two more suggestions I have. The first, is I think jfw could pre record a 15 minute lecture for each class. The students would watch this video prior to class.4 This would save time for jfw and increase the amount of interaction during class.

The next suggestion has to do with the wording of some of the questions for the homework and warm-ups. Some of the questions are not real questions but instead a word association fill in the blank. For example this was one of the warmup challenges:

The ps and top commands display running ____.

I think the answer is less but it's not entirely clear what's being asked for. I would rewrite the question as

What command line program Is used to display the output of the ps and top commands?

There are many examples of these throughout their warm-ups and homework questions. It's a pet peeve of mine, and I certainly think it would be worth the effort to go through and change the questions to remove ambiguity.

Apart from those points I can't really do anything but praise the course. JWRD have no competitors, they're the only option if you want to learn how to secure your btc. The amount of groundwork they've done with their hardware decisions, software development, etc. Is quite frankly unbelievable. The price they're charging is low for what they offer.

Here's how you can calculate if the class is worth it for you.


So if you have fewer bitcoins than the price of the course, then the course may not be worth it. The more you have, the more it's worth it.

What if you have more coins than the price of the course but not substantially more? Well I am going to go out and say that P(You lose your btc) is pretty fucking close to 1 for most people. The USG successfully duped the ~entire market into using a fake version of bitcoin. If you have your coins in a bc1 or 3 address, JWRD’s course is worth it as long as you have 1 more satoshi than the course’s price.5 But even if somehow you managed to have the wherewithal to keep your coins in a legacy aka real bitcoin 1 address there are still many ways you can go wrong. You need a professional team to help you manage your wealth and JWRD is the only one up to the task.

  1. They also teach other topics such as secure networking and how to create digital backups. []
  2. I did not take advantage of the office hours to the extent that I should have. jfw has an incredible wealth of knowledge for all things related to cryptography, bitcoin, computers, etc. To anyone taking the course I recommend you pick his brain as much as possible.

    I should also note here that they were kind enough to switch the office hours to a video call format which was a great help for me on account of my hands. []

  3. It's possible that JWRD never had a customer before me with the same amount of experience that I have. But JWRD has a huge number of potential customers that will have prior linux command line experience. For example, all the people who followed along #trilema stand to gain a lot from the course, but for some of them the beginning lessons may not be challenging enough. There is also a potential customer base from people working in/escaping the ‘tech’ Industry in Silly Con Valley and they too will get little from some of the starting material. []
  4. Ideally there would also be a transcript of this video. []
  5. Plus a transaction fee, of course. []

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