Feb 082010

A lot of you folks may not know this but, I went to high school ( and graduated from there ) in Brazil. One of my friends from there currently is living in New Jersey. He’s been running since high school ( probably earlier ). Sam has also just recently sold his soul to facebook here

Above is a video of him test firing a 100 KiloJoule rail gun. And I cannot stress this enough… THIS IS FREAKING AMAZING. Sam’s fairly famous so some of you may already know of some of his past exploits, but if not… by all means check his stuff out. Sam’s been inspiring me with his insanity for years.

 Posted by at 1:30 am

History Hacker

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Jan 282010

I considered not writing this. I also considered posting a book review of one of the many books of Howard Ziinn’s that I’ve read. But ultimately, I think it’s right to call this guy a world class hacker of history. With his most famous work, A People’s History of the United States, he presented one of the most compelling alternative viewpoints on US history ever produced. His impact on high school and college students throughout the united states has been indelible. And, his passing earlier this week has left me truly saddened. And here’s why…
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 Posted by at 5:12 pm
Jan 262010

htink will be hosting a Linux tutorial, today Tuesday, Jan 26 2010. Both Ben Combee and Myself have volunteered to assist. This will not be at NYC Resistor however, look for it at Bug Labs ( your friendly neighborhood purveyor of fine open source micro-controllers ). I do not work for British Telecom =P.

If you’ve ever wanted some guidance in the Unix world, this is a tremendous opportunity. The folks that will be available to you are all very talented. If you’re interested, more details HERE!

 Posted by at 12:53 am

Fortuitous Moments

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Jan 112010

Fortune not found

Last night I found this in my fortune cookie. I have no idea if my local chinese food place got shipped some novelty fortune cookies, or if this is simply a real case of error messages making it into my food. Either way, I am deeply concerned.

 Posted by at 8:49 pm
Jan 082010

James P Hogan may not be a name you are familiar with. I certainly wasn’t aware of him when I picked up this book on the recommendation of a friend. But, he is someone you should be aware of. His “The Giants” series of novels is superb science fiction. Before I get into the review itself, let me break the series down for you. There are 5 books total that have been written in the series. Book one “Inherit the Stars” was obviously written as a one off. But it proved to be hugely successful. And, I can see why. In spite of it’s almost hokey beginnings to book takes a die hard realist like me to places I never imagined going in a book… and more amazingly loving every second of it. So after being a huge success they went to book two, “The Gentle Giants of Ganymede.” The story continues! And it kept continuing for three more books after that. Each as good as the last.
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 Posted by at 3:42 pm
Jan 072010
MakerBot CES booth panorama

Courtesy Zach Hoeken's Flickr Stream. CC'ed

Every tech blog on the planet is covering CES. I’m not. I don’t get to spend a week in vegas hanging out and seeing the new technologies. I have to go to work. I cry, and sometimes I wonder what the whole point of it all is. But, at least some of our members aren’t confined to this special weekday hell that I am.

Makerbot Industries, co-founded by three of our members is manning a booth at CES!

I hear a lot of the technology this year is related to 3D. I guess a 3D printer is right up their alley. Personally, I’ve been pretty turned off to the whole 3D thing since Zaxxon. But, I try not to judge.

Also I heard there was some form of polar bear television on display there. Not sure why they’d want to encase a visual display device in the horrific visage of one of the worlds most infamous killing machines. I guess I’m just not up on what people want out of their electronics these days.

 Posted by at 12:06 am
Jan 032010

Happy New Year Blog Readers! We read your comments. I promise to try and blog more. If you want to see more than the occasional completed project… then so be it!

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 Posted by at 11:27 pm
Dec 282009

So, the end of the year is fast approaching. It’s time to look back and take stock of your life. And for me, NYC Resistor has been a big part of my life, though not as big as I’d like for it to be at times. This will be our second full year as a space coming to an end. We’ll be celebrating our third anniversary early next year. I’ve been a member for most of that time. The reason we look back at this time of the year is because it’s hard not to be a funk. With the weather worsening, the sun shining less, and the cabin fever setting in as we begin an all too familiar rotation of our winter haunts; we’re faced with the apparition of our own failure. Goals unmet, aspirations unrealized, and battle damage from another long year of economic woe and misery. But in a few short days, we start anew. We take all this nasty funk we burn it and set out on a journey into the next year, fresh and ready to be simply better. From the ashes of that funk comes resolve. That’s what new years resolutions are all about.

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 Posted by at 4:48 pm
Oct 262009

1000 ideas for creative reuse

So at the end of last year and into the beginning of 2009, the folks at the extreme craft blog were soliciting for submissions for their 1000 ideas for creative reuse book. And since creative reuse is the very essence of hacking, I decided to submit my ( at the time new ) mp3 grenade project. It got into the book! So my idea is idea number 579 of 1000 fairly amazing ideas. Review and more after the click!

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 Posted by at 7:10 pm
Sep 282009


So way back in the 2.4 Linux kernel days I operated a shell server. It was kind of like a “proto honeypot”. We set it up to portray a bunch of fake information about itself. We then released it into the wilds of IRC claiming it was a “machine we just owned here have a free account.” Then we monitored the systems use via ttysnoop applications and pulled copies of anything uploaded.

The result was we pulled about 4 gigs of exploit archives. And a bunch of logs of people trying to figure out why their x86 exploits weren’t running on the DEC alpha that was pretending to be the wopr.

Anyways, one of the neat side effects of my playing with the proc file system was finding a limit on the upper bounds of top. By setting up procfs to displays stats for 1048 processors I managed to get top to collapse after one iteration of showing cpu usage stats. Added a fun screenshot to the gallery.

Among the fun easy things you can do to tweak your kernel, upping your jiffy count to present 16 years of uptime, and customizing your HZ values are the most fun. I remember running HZ at 1024 back when the rest of the world was rocking it at 100 and slowing themselves down massively. Kernel tweaks are fun, relatively easy, and a great way to learn. Be fearless, be stupid, and be prepared to watch stuff explode catastrophically. But, don’t be afraid to slash and burn and start anew.

 Posted by at 10:04 pm