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    Andy West andywest

    I started programming computers when I was nine or ten years old, driven by a curiosity about how video games work. That eventually led to a career in software engineering, where I've worked for a number of companies in a wide variety of industries.

    For a long time I assumed that hardware hacking was too hard or too expensive for me to try. I briefly dreamed of making my own game console, inspired by books like Andre Lamothe's "The Black Art of Video Game Console Design", and Andrew "bunnie" Huang's "Hacking the Xbox". But nothing much came of it. I did a few random projects, like a head-mounted VR display back in the late '90s, but nothing consistent.

    Then a few years ago, things started to change. The Arduino and Raspberry Pi were affordable and offered many possibilities. The first decent, yet inexpensive 3D printers hit the market. I bought a soldering station, even though I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it. And around that time I bought some vintage computers on eBay and restored them.

    When the Hack Like Heck competition was announced, something clicked. I had never built a portable game system, or 3D printed anything near that level of complexity before. I honestly had no idea what I was doing. But I loved the process, I learned a lot, and it paid off in the end.

    I get the same feeling of satisfaction experimenting with electronics today that I did learning how to program decades ago. And even though being in front of a video camera is somewhat terrifying, I'm pushing out of my comfort zone and trying that as well. I hope to demonstrate through my videos that anyone, regardless of skill or experience level, can do fun and amazing things with electronics.

    VCP Videos: