Hardware Hacking 101: time and randomness
The emergence of many low-cost, off-the shelf boards supporting embedded Linux (or BSD) opens a wealth of possibilities for the hacker willing to expand her horizons to the possibilities of hardware tinkering.
Using the lowest amount of custom hardware and pouring Perl and Shell Script over everything as the glue binding it all, we create two minimalistic devices delivering a perfectly tuned network time source (synchronizing with a GPS satellite), and a naturally random entropy source (leveraging a Geiger tube’s measurement of natural background radiation).
The sample designs provide an entertaining introduction to the skills needed to design basic embedded systems, and their unavoidable BIOS and operating system underpinnings.
Aimed to medium-to-advanced Administrators, and Developers not shying away from the gory details of how Linux works behind the scenes. Come play, it is fun on the hardware side!