Thursday, October 25, 2012

Next Projects: More and Less Power

Arduino is part of my life and has been for years now: I constantly use the homemade, Arduino-based appliances in my home the same way I use appliances other people made. But while I'm hooked on building out my world the way I like it, sometimes a project only needs a handful of pins, so I just ordered a few ATtiny85 and 2313's to try my hand at [gulp] proper AVR programming. It's too bad that Arduino is going toward the high end with the Due instead of toward the low end with smaller, simpler circuits and chips, but I'm happy to go elsewhere to learn. I could hot-wire the Arduino environment to program an ATtiny, but I'd like to try transitioning to a more fully-featured IDE for future development anyway, so programming an ATtiny will be a good sub-project.

Speaking of "the high end," the $25?! (OK really $50 but still!) Raspberry Pi has been on my radar, maybe for something using some cameras and image analysis-- things an Arduino would struggle with. I'm especially excited lately after hacking around with a $25 WiFi access point and OpenWrt... wow! Amazing how much power can be had for so cheap, and how many how-to's can help you along.

What do you think? Have you left the "safe" space that Arduino provides, and moved to different processors and IDE's? please leave a comment.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

MaKey MaKey: I Want One!

Jay Silver's "MaKey MaKey: An Invention Kit for Everyone" raised over a half million Kickstarter dollars (above a $25K goal) and he deserve the crazy success-- the video is a brilliant demo/sales piece that on its own inspires you to make things... and of course buy a Makey Makey. Just awesome stuff, and at its core: an Arduino! I'm adding it to the spreadsheet... after ordering one or two...:)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

New Fritzing Parts Editor

Fritzing just announced version 0.7.9 of the new parts editor: "Blog: new parts editor released".

I've tried Fritzing a few times and get pretty far along quickly, only to get my nets tangled up-- not connected where I thought they were. Then I manage to crash it while I try to figure it out. This time, I'm going to try a tutorial and actually stick to it, and see how far I get!