Hardware Homebrewing - electronic projects

As a high school freshman in 1978, I idolized Steve Ciarcia. Ciarcia was a hardware hacker who wrote a column in Byte Magazine before it went down the tubes, back when an 8" floppy drive cost as much as a decent used car, and interfacing a cassette player to your computer for non-volatile storage was an incredibly worthwhile thing to do. His articles seemed so elegant and understandable to me, and were directly responsible for making me want to learn how to do things with TTL 7400 quad-NAND chips.