Who are you?My name is Aly Merchant. Scroll to the bottom of the page if you are interested in emailing me.
I am currently a student at the University of Toronto studying computer engineering. My research is in the area of computer security. Before I started research I was still doing computer engineering and was still at the University of Toronto.
Before that I was in high-school at Woburn C.I.. There I spent most of my time programming or in robotics. There are some links to programming contests around this site, most of them can trace there way back to Woburn's CS department.
I also volunteer for some community projects from time to time. This tends to be my only exposure to the outside world. I've participated in organizing projects like the 10K Run for Charity, the World Partnership Walk and a couple of others that have neither recognizable names or websites.
Why are you here?I've put up this site as a listing of projects I've worked on. I've also written some tutorials when I was a teaching assistant in high-school. I am hoping that someone might end up using code or tutorials here for some useful purpose. Also, some of the code can be quite entertaining (e.g. our stupid car for the 2003 ICFP contest). Sometimes this is due the the way it is coded (or hardcoded), sometimes due to the way it behaves after being coded (see previous example) and sometimes due to the clever remarks found in the comments.
InterestsThis section describes all my technical interests. I do have others (really) but they aren't listed here.
ProgrammingI've been programming since 1994 (and this way I don't have to update this paragraph every year). A list of languages and libraries which I use should give a good idea of what I'm interested in. At some point I have used (and enjoyed using): Pascal, Delphi, C, C++, Java, Python, Lisp, Scheme, Haskell, OCaml. I have also worked with the following libraries: OpenCV, SDL, PyGame, IRClib, DelphiX, FLTK, wxWidgets, valgrind, PIN (the last two are instrumentation tools).
Free SoftwareIf you have any doubt, I am a big supporter for free software and open standards. I am unsure if it is possible to banish all closed/non-free software from the face of the Earth and I'm not entirely sure if that's a necessary step but I still see a lot of potential for free software to grow.
GNU/LinuxWow, that's probably the only place on this site that you'll the GNU/ prefix on Linux. I'm doing it just this once to recognize the contribution that GNU makes to every Linux distribution but it's far too convenient just to leave it off.
I run a variety of distributions: Ubuntu, Debian (testing), Gentoo and Slackware. I'm convinced that diversity is good, but I probably wouldn't be too sad to see RPMs get out-evolved.
There's more. If you have a copy of PGP or GPG around you can put my key to good use. If not, you should get a copy (it's free).