The USBTinyISP kit I ordered from Adafruit arrived today, and I wasted no time at all in putting it together. The final product looks like this:
Due to a few rounds of soldering/desoldering of the ISP pins for Simon's Game the PCB was peeling, and I was pretty worried that I would not be able to get it [Simon's Game] to work. So I was very relieved (and also ridiculously excited) when avrdude wrote to the board without complaining.
The first few times I played it would occasionally freeze up and play a high pitched sound continuously. It seems to have been a fluke though because I can't recreate it now. The only other problem is with single button presses that registers as two presses, but I can always reprogram the microcontroller to ignore a signal if it follows the one before it too closely.
Last night Allen and I built a FM radio transmitter, similar to those used as iPod adaptors for car trips. It has a good range for a device that works off a single AA battery. We're thinking of designing our own tiny receiver/transmitter pairs for use as walkie talkies.
The radio transmitter is only a prototype on a breadboard now and doesn't make for a very interesting picture, so here's a photo of my workstation after I've cleaned up:
Also, I found the old hacking game website Starfleet Academy and a different one I wasn't familiar with called try2hack. I really enjoy doing these. If you're new to online hacking games and want to try one but don't know anything at all about how to start approaching them, I'd recommend figuring out how to use your browser to see the HTML code for any given web page. That's the basic step that will let you start figuring out each level.