Here are some of the cool things I’ve done:

Before College

  • Built a tree fort
  • Ran a BBS
  • Wrote a text adventure game
  • Wrote a communications program
  • Tried to write an operating system

College and After

  • Wrote a PERL script to read my books’ bar codes with a cue cat (free bar code reader), search Amazon for the ISBN, and put the information into a MySQL database. This was way before Amazon had a public API.
  • Took a computer virus that infected my computer, trapped it, disassembled it, and learned how it worked
  • Disassembled one of my favorite NES games, and found out how it worked
  • Became fluent in Spanish
  • Designed and breadboarded infrared receiver, so that I could control a MythTV box via my normal TV’s remote controller
  • Learned to brew beer
  • Wrote a Python simulation to simulate the card game Urban Rivals. This was a huge success as far as learning Python was concerned, and it did help me beat more basic players. As far as outperforming advanced players, not so much – people have done serious academic research on the topic – it’s called a “zero-sum matrix game”, with partial information. It just would have been too much work to learn all the math.