Guest contributor: John Maushammer

Guest contributor: John Maushammer

I love the people at Make and what they’ve done for the DIY community, so I jumped at the chance to guest blog here.

Just a quick introduction: I’m a hacker who loves how to understand how things work inside & out. At my job, I design electronic systems; at home, I usually tend to take them apart. I love learning, which is handy because I think that’s one of the primary requirements of an engineer — college gives you a great theoretical base, but technology marches on and there are always new techniques and devices to stay abreast of.

I’m probably best known for hacking one-time-use digital cameras and camcorders and making them reusable. For a couple of years (until the manufacturer fixed the security holes I found), this made cheap cameras available for all sorts of dangerous projects where the prospect of losing a more expensive would be too daunting. Tiny kids ran amok, taking pictures of anything and everything. The video camera’s small size and light weight made it ideal for shooting a pilot’s-eye view from model helicopters and planes; in Make 07, I showed how to put the camcorder in a model rocket (podcast).

More recently, I fulfilled a dream of building my own watch from scratch. First I made a Pong Watch – it’s a smaller version of the classic game. Over the last year, I’ve been working on a more complicated version that will offer a variety of games, including Asteroids. I love this project because it’s a mix of everything — electronics, software, machining materials, a little bit of fashion, and a little bit of retro. More importantly, though, there was a lot of stuff I didn’t know at the start of the project that I’ve had to learn to complete it.

So, thanks for the opportunity, and I’m looking forward to sharing with you interesting projects and ideas!

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