A difficult and unfortunate truth for any hobbyist is that there is only so much time in a single human lifespan. I have wanted to continue to play with JIT compilation, not only because it is useful and an interesting mental challenge, but because it’s a great way to disconnect from the world. Sadly, time does not permit this to happen.

I hope to one day again come back to the hobbyist programming world. It was a difficult decision this year to not attend RubyConf for the first time ever (until this year, I was one of four remaining nine-time attendees). But all good things must come to an end, and ends make way for new beginnings. In my case, new beginning include racing in the 24 Hours of Lemons, building a minivan drag car, and the possibility of entering medical school.

As for the minivan, I would like to make it ruby-powered. K-cars (including the caravan/voyager) are really simple machines, and for a few hundred dollars, every sensor in the vehicle can be datalogged. This is a must for building reliable power: if the engine is not running efficiently, then it’s not producing as much power as it potentially could; worse yet, at high boost it could damage the motor. (yes, you read that right — this minivan has a turbo).

Datalogging a drag-run should be straightforward. I’ve never done anything like this, so what sounds simple when I read about it may turn out to be a PITA. But once I get the datalogger hooked up, how much fun would it be to write a ruby library to intercept the data in real-time? And how much more fun would it be on top of that to visualize this data in real-time using an opengl frontend? Lastly, how slick would it be to take this opengl display and project it onto the windshield ala a heads-up-display?

I’ve wanted to get back into graphics programming for quite a while; now I have an excuse. All I need now is some spare time.