This is our final issue for 2016, and it’s been an exciting year for us. The Recompiler completed its first four issues, and we celebrated by running a Kickstarter campaign to fund our first book, The Responsible Communication Style Guide. The book will demonstrate how to bring inclusive language to technology businesses and applications, on the topics of race, religion, gender, sexuality, and health/well-being. This feels especially timely to me in the midst of an American presidential election that’s brought white supremacy and rape culture into the foreground of public life. It’s horrifying to watch, and highlights so many problems we experience in my local community and beyond. [We finished publishing this issue after the election, so I want to add that The Recompiler will be focusing more heavily on topics around security, surveillance, and marginalized groups in coming months.]

It’s also well-timed that we’re publishing an issue about hardware, as everything from self-driving cars to wifi-connected lightbulbs demonstrate the social impact of how hardware is created. The recent Internet of Things-driven DDoS attack on DNS servers makes this impact even clearer.

Our authors for this issue have many things to say about creating hardware projects, and what happens when you take them apart. If you ever wanted to know how to design a circuit board, what goes on inside your computer’s multiple cores and processors, or how corn can talk about global warming, we have you covered. I’m inspired by how often our contributors’ hardware careers started by asking what was inside the everyday devices they used, then taking things apart to learn how they work.

I encourage you to start your own explorations by reading on. If you find inspiration in these pages, we’d love to hear about it. Email us project photos or a link to your blog post, and if you’re interested we may share it with other readers on the site.