I love computers.
I’ve always been fascinated by computers, by the things you can do with computers, and by making things in general: hardware, software, networks, servers, user interfaces. I also have a love of mechanical things: watches, clocks, orreries, mechanical adding machines: all the things we use and have used in the past to do math, visualize planets, watch the passing of time, or explore the world around us.
And I started The Hacking Den with the intent to share my fascination through creating videos and articles which help walk someone through step-by-step in making things.
It’ll be a while for me to find my voice.
When I started The Hacking Den I had a series of three articles I wanted to write immediately, and I’ve just finished two of them: a series of articles on 3D graphics, and a series on user interface design. The third–a simple game for the Arduboy, I plan to start working on in the next few weeks. And as always, everything will be on Github so you can play with the code yourself.
But beyond those articles I have a number of projects I want to work on for this web site. Unlike these three other articles, however, I don’t have this stuff quite on tap: I can’t just sit down, crank the code out and document the steps I followed to do what I did.
The Earth-Moon Orrery is one of those projects. I’m still learning how to cut gears, and I’m starting small. My eventual goal–one that may take a year or two–is to build a rather accurate Orrery representing the planets of the solar system.
Another project I’m working on for The Hacking Den is a series of videos which describe how a microprocessor works, from transistors to assembly language and all the steps in between.
I eventually want to do a series of videos teaching C, a series of videos covering building more complex projects, perhaps a few videos covering basic computer science topics (such as state machines or LR1 languages) and perhaps a series of articles or videos sharing some of the other things I’ve learned in my 30 years as a software developer.
But all of this will take time.
What I’m saying here is that up until now, my posting “velocity” has been pretty high, as I write the three series of posts I had “on-tap.”
But moving forward, that velocity will start to slow–as I work on educational videos, as I work on physical hardware, as I work through new projects for this site.
Good educational materials takes time to produce–and so far I’ve cranked out a bunch of stuff on a daily, which may be a bit telling as to the quality of the work I’ve provided. But I wanted a firm foundation of materials for which to define my new site, rather than to create an empty vanity site.
I also wanted to commit myself to this project moving forward: to promise myself to build those videos, to make the orrery (and document how I did it), to work through ways to explain many of the things I’ve learned over the years.
So hopefully when I’m done, you’ll love computers too.