[lerneaen hydra] sent in his version of the ubiquitous nixie clock. Rather than gut his counter for the tubes, he used an Atmel Mega88 to pulse the clock to display the time. Additionally, the LED matrix on the case outputs the time in binary. His past projects are worth checking out. He milled the case on his converted CNC mill, retrofitted an old CNC lathe and seems to enjoy putting supercaps in everything (including his clock).
[Drew Endy]’s Programming DNA talk was by far the most interesting talk we saw at Chaos Communication Congress. No, DNA doesn’t have much to do with computers, but he points out that hacking principles can be applied just the same. Right now engineers are reversing genetic code and compiling building blocks for creating completely arbitrary organisms. This talk was designed to bootstrap the hacking community so that we can start using and contributing standard biological parts to an open source collection of genetic functions.