my name is Maurizio, but I'm working under Morris as my main nickname as a FM radio DJ, shoutcast vocaltranceDJ, SecondLife resident and blogger on the internet.
My first love was the ZX-80 introduced to us as a curiosum during our 4th grade. I gave up all my free wednesday afternoons to work on the schools Apple ][e and when I earned my first money I bought an Atari 1040ST, which helped me through half of my engineering studies. As an electronics DIY'er I extended my Atari with an add-on soldered to the graphics chip in order to connect a regular TV, and I also built a digital signal analyzer connected to the DMA-bus of the machine. When I finished my Master Degree in Electronics, I had to switch to regular PC (286 AT, 486, etc). I really missed the hackability of the early computers and we even added ISA-cards to our PC's in order to use them as jingle machines connected to an automated radio environment, but to no avail, the PC is to noisy and too complicated for DIY stuff.
I'm currently Product Development Manager for an international company and we're currently developping hardware and software in the contactless RFID domain. We're developping devices that interface to existing hardware (I/O), that need to survive in harsh environments (physical and electrical) and where power/cost is an issue.
That's how I got in touch again with microcontrollers and the current state of electronic devices.
My personal interest nowadays goes into small microcontrollers and hackable stuff. Instead of buying a solar logger,I built one using a cheap MIPS-based router, a handfull of electronics parts and my own logger running on OpenWRT. The device logs my electric production and consumption and sends data to several repositories (my own REST based website, Pachube and Twitter).
I've been playing with Edimax NS-1500 and Bifferboard for a myriad of experiments and applications going from Ethernet I/O, MusicStreaming, Meshed Communication, hardware watchdogs with WOL and home automation.
I'm currently investigating the use of the nRF24L01 2.4G transceiver to setup communication lines between different devices at short/medium range (avoiding BT, Zigbee, Wifi).
I'm also an XBMC fan and one of my goals for 2012 will be to replace my 'low'-power HTPC by a RaspberryPi. I see already the NS-1500 running some shares on my lan and the R-Pi doing the GPU-intensive stuff on my 42" TV.
I'm now in my 40's and I wish technology would be more accessible for kids. All I see are media consumption devices, but none of them inspire kids to do usefull things with it. The idea of bringing something cheap and easy to hack to a bunch of kids, makes me want to jump in and participate in this exciting project.
Somebody on this forum wrote 'These are interesting times' and I agree. Last week I bought a Samsung Galaxy Gio S5660 for my wife. It's mindboggling to see this little gem (you can look at the specs online) at only 99€ (after a special Samsung rebate action). A pity it doesn't have any I/O to hack.
A R-Pi under my Xmas tree?