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A post long due...

Posted on 2007/06/05 - 10:00

Well, last post was about how the school term was starting, and this one will be about how it's ending. Some interesting stuff has happened, like for starters I finished the sweexcam project. I had to drop the Minix part of the implementation since it simply wasn't possible to create an efficient method for passing data around. The Mac part of the project is only done partially, since writing an USB driver in kernelspace is a) highly unrecommended and b) seriously tricky. The user client which talks through IOKit directly with the webcam works perfectly though, as you can see in the following screenshot:


Sweexcam with two webcams connected

It can make snapshots, supports (roughly) unlimited webcams, is capable of hotswapping and can switch the streaming webcam in realtime. And no, this was NOT easy. I actually found a few very interesting ways of crashing the kernel from userspace, and I'll have to look into the fact wether these are serious vulnerability threats. But you can imagine that developing an application gets really tricky when you're entire operating system goes flat on it's face when you make an incorrect function call accidentally. Fun stuff. You can find the code in my version control when my laptop is online, which won't be the case for another two weeks (but I'll get to that in a minute).

My other project which was meant to be a 'little' side project turned out to be a royal pain in the ass. We were supposed to build a "competence database", where an institute of our university could dynamicly add and edit the competences gained from following the courses of said institute. This turned out to be a bit tricky, since we had only two programmers (one would be me) capable of writing proper html/css/php/sql. On top of that, the server ran PHP4 and we were swamped in paperwork instead of programming. Still, we managed, and we turned out to be the best product solution. We scored some cinema tickets and eternal fame and all that. You can look at the website Competentie Database (Dutch) here.

Last interesting 'little' thing is that I'm currently at a security intensive program in Finland for two weeks, learning with 5 other countries the ins and outs of network security. Lots of crappy english all around us, shy students who've never done any presentations, and flaky presentations from teacher for our standards. It's just that everybody seems to have a different educational system which is, unfortunately, somewhat incompatible with ours. We Dutch seem to like to think about what we're doing, others seem to spell out every little detail. Oh well, another experience richer, and hopefully it'll improve in the next two weeks. So far I'm not really allowed to complainm since everything else (travel, occommodation, resources and 'social' trips) are all tip top in order.

It's going to be an interesting two weeks and I'll hopefully update this place a bit more often. Talk to ya later!

[: wacco :]

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