Manuel Aristarán

Manuel Aristaran

I am a developer with more than 15 years of professional experience. I've built big websites, desktop apps, mobile apps and software for embedded platforms.

Millón de Monos

Recent Work History

Graduate Student at MIT Media Lab
September 2014 — Present

I'm building and researching visualization tools as a member of the MacroConnections group at MIT Media Lab under the direction of Dr. César Hidalgo

Knight-Mozilla OpenNews fellow
February 2013 — December 2013

As one of the eight 2013 OpenNews fellows spread across newsrooms worldwide, I worked together with the data team at La Nación building innovative approaches to news, training journalists, designers and developers, and speaking in conferences worldwide.

Selected Projects

Software engineer at Satellogic
February 2011 — January 2013

Satellogic is one the first argentinian aerospace startups. I spent 2 years there, working from the INVAP compound (in the beautiful town of Bariloche, Argentina) as a jack-of-all-trades developer designing and implementing simulation software, writing C code for hardware drivers and building a ground station and ground support software for the CUBEBUG-1 satellite, successfully launched on April 26th, 2013.

Software engineer at Container Consultants and Systems
August 2009 — December 2010

I spent 3 months living in the City of Knowledge, an ex-US Army base by the Panama Canal that now serves as a cluster of universities, tech companies and NGOs, working with a development team as an architecture consultant and trainer to build the first version of Mv-Fleet, a tool for helping shipping companies optimize their container rotation costs.

Software engineer at Popego
October 2007 — April 2009

Popego (now merged into Grupo 42) was an argentinian internet company building AI and innovative UIs.

I was the company's first hire in 2007 and worked with them until 2009. I wore a lot of hats there: Python and frontend development, sysadmin and helped build the hosting cluster on Amazon EC2. I even did some product management!

Developer at Area 17
August 2006 to August 2007

I was flown to Paris in August 2006 to work as a Ruby on Rails (version 0.13!) developer on the relaunch of Madame Figaro's (leading women's magazine in France) website. We built a custom CMS from the ground up. It remained in production until mid-2010.

From April 2007 until August 2007, I worked as the lead developer for Design 21 Social Design Network, a website commissioned by Felissimo Corporation in partnership with UNESCO.

Selected Open Source Projects


Tabula is a tool for liberating data tables embedded in PDF files. I started the project in late 2012 and it quickly generated a lot of interest in the data journalism and open data communities. It is now being developed in collaboration with ProPublica, La Nación DATA, The New York Times and Knight-Mozilla OpenNews. Available under the MIT License.

Gasto Público Bahiense

Launched in mid-2010, Gasto Público Bahiense scrapes and republishes the expenditure data published by the government of Bahía Blanca, Argentina, my hometown. It is one of the first grassroots projects of technology applied to government transparency in Latin America. In 2013, the government of the Buenos Aires province awarded it the annual "Innovation in Government" prize. Available under the GPL version 3 license.

I was invited to the 2013 edition of TEDx Rio de la Plata to speak about the story, challanges and impact of this and other projects I've developed over the last couple years. Watch my talk!.


During my stint at Satellogic, I became interested again in ham radio (I've been a licensed radioamateur since age 15). As an excuse for learning the Android platform, I took Thomas Sailer's multimon, wrapped it inside JNI and coded a simple frontend. It now serves as the FSK decoding backend for the APRSDroid project. Available under the GPL version 2.

Why jazzido?

Back in the early nineties, when Acid Jazz was all the rage, I got connected to the Internet for the first time. I had, of course, to choose a handle: 'jazzido' is a portmanteau of jazz and ácido (spanish for 'acid').

I'm also a jazz musician since age 11, when I picked up the tenor banjo. I switched to the bass a couple years after, and have been making music ever since. Here are some videos of me playing, if you feel like watching some live music.