Projects

This "WebResume" that I've come up with is really just a chronology of the projects from my high school and college days. On a regular resume you're limited by the paper medium and the attention span of the reader. Instead, I can just list everything I've done with all the associated pictures, videos, or samples.
 
Discovery Net
In the middle of my junior year of high school (3/98), I began working at a local ISP called Discovery Net, or just Dnet for short. When I started, my knowledge of linux and networking was still very limited. My job was to perform the role of phone tech support after school and issue simple commands to the mystery machine sitting in the back room.
I soon took an interest in the way the Dnet systems worked and treated them as a "mystery to be solved". I played around with linux on a spare system I had at home and before long, I had things more or less figured out. By the time 1999 rolled around, I was more or less handling every aspect of the Dnet backroom work. It was an incredibly lucky job to land as a high school student and my boss taught me early that the customer is always right, even if they are a crazy screaming hillbilly.
 
addicts.org
After getting into linux at Dnet, I bought the domain addicts.org and proceeded to tinker with every networking protocol I could. Broadband wasn't yet available in Kansas City, but I was too eager so I ended up dumping $100 a month into ISDN, at a whopping speed of 128k. (thats 16kB/s!). Since my machine was connected all the time, I got the idea to sell login accounts to people on the Internet for a small fee. Small was right, I think I ended up getting $5 or $15 mailed to me all summer. Eventually I even had a friend of mine dial up to one of my ISDN channels and I became my own mini-ISP. After my first experience with running a simple business, I decided that to make something big and popular, you have to be really lucky, or make it free. During the summer of 99, I gave away free shell accounts on my PC in exchange for people to participate in the distributed.net RC5 competition on my "team". It worked well as an exercise in providing 1000 people access to a slow machine on a slow connection. It actually worked out rather well as my first administration attempt. No break-ins either! The addicts.org fun came to an abrupt end the week I left home to go to college. Since then, the domain name has been idle.
 
GameScan
When I started college at UMR in 1999, I picked up on a new first person shooter called Counter-Strike. I had such a blast playing that I started developing a simple tool to scan the school's network for people running game servers. It started out scanning about 16000 machines in 10 minutes. After a few innovative additions, I got it down to about 5-10 seconds. Eventually Gamescan became part of the Seek42 web gateway I ran at UMR. It ran as a public service from 2000 to 2005 when another student built a better mousetrap in coordination with the university.
 
Seek42
The first weekend of school in the fall of 2000, I took a trip up to Iowa State to visit an old friend who was going to take me around in his airplane. The flight was good, but of much more interest was a service on his campus that functioned much like a local Napster for the campus using regular windows file sharing.
 
By the end of October, a fully operational search engine was running on campus indexing all of the student computers. I soon developed the web interface into a web gateway for students by adding current news, a discussion board, the GameScan page, and a chat system. The rest is UMR history and its quite safe to say that every student who attended UMR from 2001 to the present has used or at least heard of Seek42.
seek42.net
 
Holiday Light Project

My college dorm hosted an annual competition to see which community could produce the best winter holiday decorations/skit cominbation. For my second try at the competition, I found the schematic for a solid state relay on the internet so I could create computer generated effects in the hallways using conventional strands of Christmas lights. I designed and built a series of relay electrical boxes and hooked them all up to an I/O card I purchased off the Internet. I created some simple programming to control the I/O card (and in turn, the lights), creating dazzling/trippy effects in the hallways.

To finish off the effects, I programmed a Winamp (mp3 player) plugin that triggered the lights in the hallway similar to an equalizer's bar graph to the music of whatever song was playing.

We won first place in December 2000.

youtube link

Dash42

A frequent problem I have with the Windows operating is trying to copy files over the network or between drives and handling any kind of error or problem. Windows handles any situation by aborting anything it is doing. I decided a better solution would be to have some kind of FTP-like interface where drag and drop operations could be done, transfers paused, continued, organized etc. I took the GUI of an existing FTP client "FileZilla", modified it, and added a different back end to create just what I needed. I called the result "Dash42".

Dash42 at SourceForge

 

 
 
Comments