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Thread: Cheap, casual tech projects

  1. #1
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    Cheap, casual tech projects

    I frequently have extra time on my hands right now, and I'd like to stay at least a little involved in IT, if only on a hobbyist level. All I have with me is a Win7 x64 2nd gen i3 laptop, so processing power is fairly limited. I also have limited funds, and EXTREMELY limited access to hardware (I live in Argentina, and imports are very restricted). Any ideas for productive, interesting projects I could engage myself in? I know programming is an obvious answer, but I've never really been able to engage myself in it. I prefer things along the lines of making a Linux-based SFTP server, but those projects tend to last as long as it takes you to install Linux, figure it out, and configure the routing. Any ideas?

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    Mens bona regnum possidet ferrus's Avatar
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    Any tech project that is worthwhile involves electronic circuitry or programming I'm afraid. Otherwise it's all just paint-by-numbers.
    Die Logik ist keine Lehre, sondern ein Spiegelbild der Welt. Die Logik ist transcendental. - Wittgenstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by ferrus;
    Otherwise it's all just paint-by-numbers.
    Those were a lot of fun...

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    Tawaci ki a Gnaska ki Osito Polar's Avatar
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    We might be able to make better recommendations if you gave us some more ideas about the sorts of things you enjoy. Would you be interested in doing solo projects only or would you be willing to join an existing group project? Would you be willing to try your hand at organizing a new group project? What are your favorite aspects of tech when you're not specifically installing SFTP on Linux?
    "I don't have psychological problems." --Madrigal

    "When you write about shooting Polemarch in the head, that's more like a first-person view, like you're there looking down the sight of the gun." --Utisz

    David Wong, regarding Chicago
    Six centuries ago, the pre-Colombian natives who settled here named this region with a word which in their language means "the Mouth of Shadow". Later, the Iroquois who showed up and inexplicably slaughtered every man, woman and child renamed it "Seriously, Fuck that Place". When French explorer Jacques Marquette passed through the area he marked his map with a drawing of a brownish blob emerging from between the Devil's buttocks.

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    Member HilbertSpace's Avatar
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    There are really are any number of things that you could get involved with at the hobby level. I have a friend that was really into making mesh networks for a while - extending internet coverage into rural areas or providing additional or alternative infrastructure in urban areas. That would be more IT-ish. There's also robotics and 3d printing, which also have some interesting applications and would provide more of an electronics angle, as opposed to software. They're also popular enough that there's probably at least a small community of people who are interested in them already and might have already figured out how to source parts.

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    Thanks HS! Yeah, a big problem is that a lot of my passion is for hardware, and that's what I don't have access to. Oso, there's not very many groups I could join without speaking Spanish very well. Maybe for the time being I need to just grit my teeth and admit that I'm technologically marooned until I can competently speak the local language.

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    Tawaci ki a Gnaska ki Osito Polar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HilbertSpace View Post
    There are really are any number of things that you could get involved with at the hobby level. I have a friend that was really into making mesh networks for a while - extending internet coverage into rural areas or providing additional or alternative infrastructure in urban areas. That would be more IT-ish. There's also robotics and 3d printing, which also have some interesting applications and would provide more of an electronics angle, as opposed to software. They're also popular enough that there's probably at least a small community of people who are interested in them already and might have already figured out how to source parts.
    Gonna have to plug Sudo Room here.

    https://sudoroom.org/wiki/Mesh

    And the People's Open Network

    https://peoplesopen.net/

    They've got the process of making hardware to extend the free mesh network down to the point where it's very inexpensive. Honestly, I don't know how the whole thing extends vis a vis the logistics/finances of providing maintenance on a free wireless network that covers a large geographic area, but they seem to be successfully doing it.
    "I don't have psychological problems." --Madrigal

    "When you write about shooting Polemarch in the head, that's more like a first-person view, like you're there looking down the sight of the gun." --Utisz

    David Wong, regarding Chicago
    Six centuries ago, the pre-Colombian natives who settled here named this region with a word which in their language means "the Mouth of Shadow". Later, the Iroquois who showed up and inexplicably slaughtered every man, woman and child renamed it "Seriously, Fuck that Place". When French explorer Jacques Marquette passed through the area he marked his map with a drawing of a brownish blob emerging from between the Devil's buttocks.

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