Hackathons

With this [horrid] semester finally drawing to a close tomorrow, I’m excited to go back home for Christmas and do some hacking that I’m actually interested in! I’m planning to have a coding marathon at some point in time with some of my friends in Dearborn. My initial plan is to learn PIC microcontroller architecture, create my own LFS (http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/) system, totally reimplement Jot’s code base, and maybe start to hunt some (impressive) bounties that Google has put on some of the Andriod projects. Its an intrepid plan, but I hope to get most of it done before heading back to classes next year

I got pretty excited about PIC microcontrollers once I saw what you could do with them(http://www.picguide.org/) and can’t wait to start some hardware work that has a point. :-P. PIC microcontrollers are, well, microcontrollers. :-D. They’re pretty versatile, and can be used in applications ranging from small LCD controllers, to using sensors, controlling motors, and doing small computations. Aside from actually learning the assembly/C code that goes with them, I’m going to actually obtain the parts, so hopefully the ones I just ordered shows up in time for me to start to have some fun with them. Maybe I’ll actually get to use some of the knowledge this semester’s circuits course [painfully] branded into my brain…. 😀

Jot’s (my project to provide handwriting recognition for Linux tablets) code base is a mess, and I’ve decided that I’ll just rewrite the whole thing while its still small. I’ll also put a GNU build system in it, as all good projects should have. I really hope that by the end of the break it will be good enough to have an alpha release people can actually use, and it might gain some prominence…

Android is Google’s mobile device platform, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_%28mobile_phone_platform%29) and they’ve recently announced very impressive bounties on some coding projects. We’ll see how far along our hackathon gets with some of the Android bounties, but I’m cautiously optimistic that we’ll do something useful…

I’ve been meaning to make my own distribution for some time now, with help from the Linux From Scratch project whose link I provided above. I figure that creating my own distro will teach me a lot about how GNU/Linux operating systems are put together. Besides that, there’s definitely some bragging rights associated with running a custom distro 😀

Here’s to no school!

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