Josh Datko is SparkFun’s newest hacker-in-residence. We’re very excited to have him here for two weeks, where he’ll be working on building a shield for the BeagleBone Black to add security to your projects! Without further ado, here he is:
Josh’s favorite movie is Raider’s of the Lost Ark, and his most notable skill is that he can DRIVE A SUBMARINE. Let’s learn more about Josh, shall we?
Hi Josh. Tell us about your background, interests, and some favorite past projects. What and where is your current job?
After graduating from the Naval Academy with a degree in Computer Science, I spent 10 years in the Navy where I served as a submarine officer. I’ve been deployed around the world on a submarine and to Afghanistan. I also worked for several years as an embedded software engineer in the defense and commercial sectors. I’ve recently founded Cryptotronix, where I’m making open source hardware cryptographic devices.
I have strong interests in security, anonymity, and embedded computing. I support the Tor Project, a project that “helps protect personal freedom and privacy” by running a relay on a BeagleBone Black. The BeagleBone is my favorite platform at the moment, and it’s great that I can help protect Internet privacy with this little device.
How and why did you get involved in SparkFun’s Hacker-in-Residence program, and why do you think programs like this are valuable?
I’m involved in helping my local hacker space, Loveland CreatorSpace get started. At one of the meetings I was talking about my projects and I met Casey Kuhns, a SparkFun engineer, who encouraged me to apply.
I think everybody wins with the in-residence program. I’m looking forward to working side-by-side with the SparkFun team, and I think SparkFun benefits by learning about the creative projects from other makers.
What is the project you’ll be working on at SparkFun? Why did you choose this project?
I’ll be here for a week and a half working on what I’m calling the “CryptoCape.” It’s a BeagleBone Black cape (other devices call them “shields”) that has some specialized crypto hardware and a battery backed-up real-time-clock. I’m hoping the CryptoCape will help people that want to add additional security into their projects, especially if their project involves networked communication.
Thanks Josh, and good luck! We can’t wait to see what you come up with. If you’re interested in applying for our hacker-in-residence program, you can apply here!