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Thought I'd introduce myself better

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Hey everyone. Thought I'd introduce myself better, and give an explanation of who I am, what I do, and some projects I'm working on, or have worked on in the past.

I'm Justin Martin, Software Engineer, Web Developer and general Ubuntu/Linux expert.

Most of my work focuses around PHP, using Linux as a platform. I find that Linux offers the most open architecture to work with, with simple interfaces to advanced functionality.

Here's some of the projects I've worked on, or have personally developed:

Websites


http://hackthissite.org - I was the head administrator and senior developer for this internet security website. HTS had roughly 250,000 users when I was active in the project, and probably has more than 300,000 today. The website focuses on providing realistic demonstrations of common exploits performed on websites, such as SQL injections, Cross-Site? Scripting, and shell poisoning. I left the project due to some serious political drama, largely due to my aversion to the homophobia and racism that brewed with some of the newer users.

http://atheistcommunities.com - This is a website I am currently developing, which seeks to provide a platform with which atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, secular humanists and the like can organise meeting groups. Think of meetup.com, except free.

http://thefrozenfire.com - This is my personal website, where I display my works. It's been a bit stagnant lately, but I plan to clean up the markup (I'm obsessive about meeting accessibility standards, and writing valid strict markup) and add a bunch more of my work, including my CAPTCHA script and some cool behind-the-scenes scripts I've developed.

http://areyousecure.org - Currently, this is simply a site where I was planning to advertise computer repair services, however I have much bigger and better plans. I intend to develop a website similar to hackthissite.org, in that it provides realistic security exploitation scenarios; the big difference is that the community will have clear and strict behaviour guidelines, to avoid some of the childish drama which is common on HTS. It will also offer more advanced scenarios, which are not completely web-based.

Other Projects


http://thefrozenfire.com/cookie/ - I developed Cookie, the dynamically modular IRC bot, in mid 2006. He's grown a bit stagnant, however I am currently rewriting him completely in PHP 5.3 (Which, at this date, is not yet released), which will give him some rather cool features. He'll be written to use namespacing, which will make development and expansion much easier. He will also use closures, rather than lambda functions (As lambda functions are extremely resource-intensive).

http://atheistcommunities.com/captcha - This is the CAPTCHA I demonstrated at the February meeting. It's quite robust, and rather difficult to break. It uses multiple fonts, many high-resolution images which it clips random pieces from to make a completely unique background and adaptive watermarking (So the text is virtually indistinguishable from the background, except to the human eye).

I also have a few other projects, including my robust, free, Zip/Postal code database, with coordinates, and a PHP answering machine (Requires a voice modem, which can be hard to obtain for Linux). I have also done lots of freelance work, including work for a rather famous photographer from Vancouver.


As you can probably tell, I am very much so interested in PHP. It is my language of choice for its extremely fast development cycle, and the high modularity and extensibility available. I am quite well acquainted with many of the core developers of PHP. I've been writing PHP for about 4-5 years now, and absolutely love it.

My goal in the future is to become a High School teacher, specialising in Computer Science; I think that Computer Science should be a major subject in schools, and I find that most IT teachers are teachers from other subjects who happen to have a little bit of word processing experience. We need IT teachers who really know their stuff, who can show teenagers that computers are a very cool tool, which anyone can become an expert with.

I absolutely love teaching, so if you have any questions whatsoever about Linux, PHP, or computers in general, don't hesitate to ask me at the meetings, by email, by IRC or here on the forums.

See you all next month!

private message
I totally agree with your opinion on highschool computer courses. They don't teach anything related to computer science, computer maintenance or security. In my IT courses we did a lot with Photoshop and Macromedia Flash, which as cool as they are, aren't very useful tools for me.


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