My name is Hunter Davis, and this is my website. I write books, release software, hack on hardware, ponder ideas and generally have a good time.

A 2012 Update:
The bottom copy has been up here for so long, even dating back to my 2002 collegiate website. Things have kind of changed since then.

  • I do still play guitar, and for a time I worked at a music teaching company. Oh and I built my own guitar back in 2010!
  • I’m still a vegetarian, though on doctor’s request I eat fish.
  • Though a drunk driver took me out on said motorcycle, I kept riding it for 5 more years until the nerve damage (and the Seattle weather) were enough to convince me to sell it.
  • You can still snag that resume copy here.
  • The absolute best ways to find out about me are to read the archives, check out my interactive resume, or trawl my GitHub page.
  • Enterprising hackers have ported a number of my software projects to Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile/8 and many more.
  • add Hunter Davis on Google+
  • You can also connect with me professionally on LinkedIn and StackOverflow.
  • I have cured my own sleep paralysis, and you can too.
  • Ko-Nami Code

hunterdavis.com copy dating back to the early 2000s —->
In a nutshell, I’m a motorcycle driving, guitar playing, software writing computer scientist.
But it’s so much more complex than that isn’t it?  I’m a vegetarian, hard rocking, code generating, hairless monkey.   You can snag a somewhat outdated copy of my resume here, or just browse around and snag some free GPL software.  Whee!

25 thoughts on “About

  1. Help, I was hacking my zipit Z2 and Somehow, the gspi.bin and gspi_helper.bin were not backed-up by yours truly… any idea where i can get them?

  2. Hi! When I am doing some research on hacking Zipit Z2, I arrive here! It is amazing. I will grab one soon!
    But I am wondering how to roll back to factory default? Would you mind provide some information on it? Since I afraid it will become brick if I keep on flashing different firmware.

  3. Kraftnux: As long as you are only going to be up/down-grading the kernel then the only /safety/ measures you really need to take is that

    1. you keep a back up of the original kernel and application partition
    2. perform the serial mod

    Other than those then reflashing is just a matter of dd’ing the new/old kernel into the right place. and for the first upgrade you shoudl use the autoflasher so that it is dome correctly and a backup of the original kernel is made.

    Once you get onto upgrading the bootloader then although you can do it without it is best to have the jtag mod but basically the technique for up/down grading the bootloader is the same. just dd it to the right place remembering that if you want to roll back to the original kernel and application you’ll also have to downgrade the bootloader too if you have upgraded it.

    if you need further help/info then the best place to ask is in the zipit irc channel #zipit. there are lots of friendly and helpful people there although we also have our share of unfriendly and unhelpful people too 🙂 but only when there is a bluemoon or we haven’t had our coffee

  4. Hey Kraftnux,

    RK answered better than I could 🙂 Thanks RK! And Good luck Kraftnux! RK is right, the folks in #zipit are genuinely nice and quite helpful, and the most knowledgeable resource around. Hope it goes well!

  5. RK and Hunter, Thanks a lot for answering my question. Time to get some more practice on dd command!
    I come from Hong Kong actually. Now I am waiting my friend to grab one for me. I will drop into #zipit irc in case I have trouble on it. 😉

  6. Hi. I’ve read through a LOT of articles about hacking the Zipit Z2 and gave it a shot. I managed to flash it, then it shut down and gave me a black screen. Since I read that was what’s supposed to happen, I didn’t worry. I then formatted my SD card to ext2, wrote the .bin image, coppied the firmware to /lib/firmware/libertas and tried powering on the Zipit. All I got was a quick flash of the keyboard lights and the two LEDs at the front turned on, but the screen stayed black and had no indication of doing anything. What I would like to know – have I bricked my Zipit and is there any chance of recovery? Or perhaps I’ve totally missed something… 🙂 Thanks!

  7. Hey Matiss,

    When you boot the Z2 without the SD card installed, does it ever come up with a linux logo? What command did you execute when you flashed it? No matter how borked, there’s always a chance of recovery, depending on how much work you’re willing to put in. Are you handy with a soldering iron?

  8. Nope, no Linux logo… I just used the auto-flasher script following the instructions at http://hunterdavis.com/archives/227.
    Foxx on the #zipit channel suggested the Serial Mod, so I’m guessing that’s why you mentioned the soldering iron, right? It’s just hard to find a good step-by-step article explaining how to accomplish that.
    Is there anything else I could test out before resorting to soldering?

  9. Hey Matiss,

    Sounds like you may have flashed the incorrect file? If nothing comes up with the SD in or out, and the power cable in or out, it’s probably serial mod time, good luck!

  10. Hunter: you wouldn’t happen to have an eprom eraser or know someone in the NYC area who has one who would be willing to erase some psion organiser II datapaks would you? I now have a couple of psion organiser II’s and some datapaks which are eproms but they are full of junk that needs erasing so i can use them and i don’t have an eprom eraser at the moment.

  11. Hey RK,

    Hrm can’t say that I do off the top of my head. Maybe somebody who reads this will have one? I’ll ask around when I head into DLabs on Monday. Sounds like a fun project is brewing!

  12. Thanks. I always like the psion org2 when they came out but i never had a chance to get one when they first came out. many more priorities for my salary. beer budget, rent to parents, dinners with girlfriends and travel….. but i was googling around a couple of months ago looking for something to do and managed to pursuade someone to give me a few bucks in my paypal account so i picked up a couple just for the hell of it. if nothing else they make great weapons, you clobber someone in the back of the head with one and they stay clobbered. i’ve found a couple of interesting sites where someone has made one into a bikeputer http://home.c2i.net/trygveh/english/gadgetman/pocket/psion/index.html which might be a fun simple project and another where someone made an expansion box for the top slot for running a few sensors and controling a camera that looks pretty simple http://www.strickling.net/orginter.htm

    i’m sure i’ll think of a few more things to do with them too.

    [also picked up some other retro hardware in the last few weeks, i love it when older friends decide to have a clear out — ended up with a psion series 3a (needs a new flexicable), a mint poqet pc, a Zilog Super8 dev board, a Zilog Z8 dev board and a metric s***load of Iomega Zip Disks which i’m sure i’ll think of something to do with them, possibly some arts and crafts]

  13. Hey RK,

    Sorry, couldn’t find one for ya. sounds like a really interesting project though. Not sure what you can do with zip disks, though I can think of some interesting case mods for the cartridges…. good luck 🙂

  14. i’m thinking that the zip drives might be usable for arts and crafts. maybe notebook covers, tote bag or wallets. hadn’t thought about case mods using them but that’s a pretty good idea. they probably have enough room in them for a pcb or two. everything is on hold at the moment though as i made a boo-boo on my blog — wiped the db by accident and had a corrupted backup so having to redo the posts by hand 🙁 — lost all the comments though 🙁 — note to self: read the effing instructions and then reread them and then get the kid to read them and explain them to me in words of one syllaba and then don’t so it anyway

  15. Mini tote bags out of cartridges sounds very fun. I’m pretty sure you could fit an arduino and an ethernet shield in one as well. Sorry to hear about your comment wipe! Your host might let you do a direct mysql database backup but otherwise WordPress has some nice backup facilities built in. Hope the project goes well!

  16. Hi,

    Somewhere on the internet I read about hacking the ZipIt with linux, so I thought I should give it a try and learn something. I ordered one yesterday, but until it arrives I’m trying to figure out the steps that I need to hack it. I’m not computer challenged but when it comes to linux I quickly get lost in the directions that are posted on the websites.

    I know there are a few versions of linux that I can put on it. Which one is the most user-friendly and easy to use? Is there a particular version that is easier to flash/boot than others? Is it pretty easy to connect the device to home wireless. If you could just point me in the right direction it would be great. Thanks again in advance.


  17. Hey Oleg,

    I would check out the newest debian tutorials and userlands that have been coming out. Anything with apt-get installed and working is an easier transition from the desktop imho. It’s very easy to connect to wireless, and many have custom scripts or graphical frontends to make it easier. Hope you get it soon, and the flashing goes well.

    Good luck!

    • Hey Purp,

      You have have me confused with another Los Angeles based “Hunter Davis”. He’s in the Safe Auto commercials and the gandalf impression videos on youtube. I’m in the hacking videos on youtube.

  18. Hello,
    You have a very informative hunterdavis website and would like to work with you!
    I would like to know if you accept pre-written blog post with links! Could you please give me the general rates?
    I hope to hear from you soon!
    Kind Regards,

  19. I spoke with you at Appy Hour last week. It was my first time, and I believe yours as well. I shared an idea that I had, with you. You ended up giving me some amazing advice on who to talk to and what I should do about it. Now I am looking into what it takes to be a program manager/ product owner. I am really optimistic about what I’m learning about it. Well, if you do ever have time. If your up for it I’d like to meet up for coffee, next time your available. My treat.

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