BeagleBone for Secret Agents just $5 for a limited time

For all the hardware hackers looking for a gift, either for yourself or for others, BeagleBone for Secret Agents is only $5 as an eBook until January 6th! Actually, all Packt eBooks are on sale for the same price until then. Also, all Packt eBooks are DRM-free and I’m very happy to have a book with a publisher that supports this.


So, if you have a long flight to the in-laws this year1, stock up on some eBooks!

  1. I love you Mom and Dad! ;) 

I’m speaking at Hope X!

I’m speaking at Hope X!

I was selected to talk at the Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) conference this July 18th-20th in NYC! The talk is Friday, 9pm, in Olson. I’m honored and super excited to tell everybody about the Open Source Hardware hacking I’ve been doing for the last few months. I attended HOPE 9 and it was filled with some very high quality talks; too many to attend. I’m absolutely thrilled to be on the speaker list.

The title of my talk is: Crypto for Makers: Projects for the BeagleBone, Pi, and AVRs and below is the summary which I submitted. If you have been following my blog, or my company, you should have a pretty good idea of what I’m going to talk about.

The main conference website is here and you can still buy tickets here. The keynote speaker is Daniel Ellsberg, the man behind the Pentagon Papers. I hope I don’t have to speak in his time slot. See you in NYC!

As more devices join the Internet of Things, it is increasingly important that these devices remain protected from surveillance and compromise. This talk will show how to add specialized, commercially available, crypto Integrated Circuits (ICs) to improve the security of your BeagleBone, Pi, or AVR based platform. ICs such as a Trusted Platform Module, I2C authentication chips, and hardware random number generators will be discussed. The CryptoCape, an Open Source Hardware daughterboard, made in collaboration between SparkFun Electronics and Josh, will be presented in detail. Lastly, this talk will describe the experience of running a Tor relay on a BeagleBone Black for over 200 days.

I will also have a booth at the Denver Mini-Maker Faire in early May if you are in the area.

My top eBooks picks from Packt

My top eBooks picks from Packt

Packt Publishing is offering a buy one, get one free deal on eBooks until March 26th. What I like about Packt is that they have some very niche books, like a book on Gnucash! I was curious about what other books they had and I made a list of my favorites below.


Packt has three books on the BeagleBone listed below. They all look a good source for BeagleBone project ideas if you are looking for a next project.

Raspberry Pi

Security / Networking

  • CISSP in 21 Days: During breaks in my graduate program1, when I haven’t had a test for a while, I sometimes feel the urge to take a test and this one is usually on the list.

  • Traffic Analysis with Tshark How-to: Wireshark rocks; Tshark is wireshark on the command line, which rocks more.

Functional Programming

Packt seems to have a number of books on Clojure2 and the following looked interesting:


  1. Only one class left! 

  2. I actually searched “lisp”, but I’ll take Clojure. 
  3. I can never remember the find syntax. I do use zsh’s echo **/*.pattern a lot. 
  4. Leslie Lamport, the main developer behind \LaTeX, has been recently awarded the ACM Turing Award 

Building a Home Security System with BeagleBone: A Review

Building a Home Security System with BeagleBone, by Bill Pretty, is an excellent collection of DIY projects. He unmasks common home security techniques in a clear and concise manner for hobbyists. There are several fun and practical projects that make you feel a bit like a super-spy as you build up a system of motion, infrared, and acoustic sensors.


Continue reading “Building a Home Security System with BeagleBone: A Review”

Cross-compiling Python 3.3.1 for Beaglebone (arm-angstrom)

I think I became a little too crazy over cross compiling.  For reasons now unknown to me, I decided that I wanted Python 3 on my Beaglebone.  Having just learned how to cross-compile, I was perhaps a bit ambitious.  In the end, I believe I cross-compiled successfully, but I have issues actually running Python 3 on the BB (perhaps due to PYTHONPATH issues?).  Anyway, I’m a bit overloaded with other projects at the moment so I don’t think I can see this through.  But I figured I’d write a post showing at least how to compile. Continue reading “Cross-compiling Python 3.3.1 for Beaglebone (arm-angstrom)”

Cross-compiling applications for the Beaglebone

Yesterday I blogged about building Emacs on the Beaglebone. While this is great Sunday night fun, it’s not the most efficient way to compile applications for this device. The original Beaglebone has a 720 MHz processor and 256MB of RAM. My desktop has a 2.8GHz processer and 12GB of RAM. The turtle does not beat the hare in this race. It would be nice if I can compile an application on my desktop and send the compiled binary to the Beaglebone to run. Well, welcome to cross-compiling! Continue reading “Cross-compiling applications for the Beaglebone”

Emacs on the Beaglebone

I’ve been playing around with my BeagleBone (BB) lately and it’s felt a bit, incomplete. It’s not because it has a faster and cheaper brother out there now either (BeagleBone Black (BBB)). It’s because it didn’t have Emacs installed! 🙂


Unfortunately, Emacs is not even in the Angstrom package browser. I did find a post which claimed at one point it was listed, but alas, no more. So, to the source we go. Continue reading “Emacs on the Beaglebone”