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SparkFun will be closed on Monday for Memorial Day (5/27). Orders placed after 2pm MT on Friday (5/24) will process and ship out on Tuesday (5/28).

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Mr Electrical

Member Since: September 18, 2010

Country: United States

Profile

Bio

I am an electrical engineer and work for one of the top US companies that automates breweries, beverage companies, pharmaceutical companies, and nearly all food manufacturers. I am constantly making SOMETHING, be it a Roomba with machine vision, designing custom EMG software and hardware, or developing on my Raspberry Pis and Beaglebones.

Organizations

IEEE

Spoken Languages

English, some Spanish, some German

Programming Languages

C, C++, C#, Perl, Python, Visual Basic, Assembly Code, Wiring, Processing, Java

Universities

Colorado State University

Expertise

Embedded systems and firmware, machine vision, product design, steel fabrication, industrial robotics, industrial automation

Interests

Electronics, piano, stringed instruments, physics, knitting, tarantulas

  • Quaking? You make it sound like Nate and Co. are sobbing in the corner and having a meltdown. Knowing these guys, they aren't happy with it, but will move on in stride. The point of the blog post was to show the effect that tax policies have on businesses, not that they are suddenly going under.

    Unless you are doing high volume manufacturing, none of this affects any of Sparkfun's costumer base. A few extra dollars on a typical order is not a big deal.

    "Buy[ing] direct from the source [to] eliminate wasteful middleman overhead" is also extremely imbecilic. The reason we have an open source hardware community is because of folks at companies like Sparkfun, Adafruit, and Seeed Studio. Purchasing their designs from companies that don't pay the creators for their designs is a HUGE slap to the face and harms the community - why would Sparkfun (or other companies) continue to put out the designs you love (and Chinese companies copy) if they don't make money from them?

    Beyond that, if YOU buy "direct from the source" from outside companies, you'd be paying the same tariff. Surprise! No money saved.

    So, do yourself and everyone else a favor - coddle the hand that feeds, don't bite it. Sparkfun has given us an insane amount of great things in the last several years and will continue to unless dumbasses like you stop buying from them.

  • Labels are a double edged sword. While they can certainly serve to drive people apart, they can also do a lot to bring folks together. They allow people to describe a lot of things about themselves in a very short amount of time.

    For example, rather than saying "I really like math...and physics...and videogames...and puzzles...and building things...and sci fi....and...." (you get the picture), you can just say "I'm an engineer!" While it's true that not all engineers like those things, there are enough that do that it forms an archetype/stereotype that you can use to describe yourself.

    This allows people to come together over common goals pretty easily. For example, if you wanted to get a bunch of like-minded people together to refurbish an old comicbook shop, you could simply put out a posting of "CALLING ALL COMIC-BOOK NERDS!" and folks who care about comics and comic culture would come running.

    When it comes to the LGBT community, while there are certainly is a lot of diversity between people and their likes and dislikes. What brings us all together is the want to be treated well, to be able to marry the one we love, and to coexist without disdain amongst those around us. While that is becoming more and more true every day in some parts of the world, we are still far from anything like that in the rest.

  • I don't know if it was intentional or not, but your comment came off as rather rude and forceful. Sparkfun is a relatively small company and not a massive OEM like Phillips or Bose; minor mistakes either on the product pages themselves or in the IT infrastructure are bound to happen from time to time. Perhaps rephrasing to something like the following would be better:

    "The LED ribbons are a really neat idea! Have you folks looked into an addressable version?

    "Also, just a heads up, but it looks like some of the data sheets and electrical ratings are missing on the LED ribbons ;)"

    I've met nearly everyone that works at Sparkfun at one time or another - while Sparkfun is certainly a business that makes money, the main goal of everyone on the team is to make and sell great things that allow folks to get the best out of their projects. This is a company and group of people that has sent out free revision boards at great cost of themselves when something as minor as a screen printing mistake or a wrong version of a bootloader is found (both things that are easily fixable by users). Please be nice to them :)

  • Here's the fun thing: no one is forcing you to read the blog ;)

    Also, nothing in the blog post said anything about you being threatened with the label of "hater" or was trying to "disengenuously educate" you. It was an inclusive article that listed resources. That was it.

  • ^^And this is why I love your company. I've met you, your wife, and nearly all your staff and I have to say that all of them are wonderful.

  • 1) You are wrong: https://blog.adafruit.com/2016/06/26/a-neopixel-necklace-to-celebrate-lgbt-pride-her_nerdiness-pride2016/

    2) If you've actually been watching Adafruit, the only new, exclusive products are the Feather line which are arduino clones which they have been making for years, just a different form factor. And if you want to get nitty gritty, a lot of those feather shields are charlieplexed LED shields based off of an attachment Shawn Hymel made for his Badgerboard that given away at Makerfaires and maker cons.

  • I understood your comment perfectly. You are wanting to depoliticize electronics. However, the Maker community is inherently political as it reaches to bridge the gap between cold hardware and a warm, vibrant community. Given there ARE LGBT folks in engineering and they ARE alienated, putting out a small blog post about inclusion is a fantastic thing.

  • As an electrical engineer and a gay gentleman, I appreciate this very much. Engineering communities are traditionally very conservative which can make it very lonely at times. I was very surprised and happy to hear about the makerspace in Oakland - I recently moved to California and have been looking for a community with like interests, so this is a great place to start.

    Thank you very much for the post. Just another reason I love Sparkfun and will support them the best I can :)

  • Sparkfun is advocating the inclusion of all communities and making resources known to underserved communities, not making a specific moral stand. By showing support for the LGBT community, they can only be serving their demographic. Your counter examples are erroneous as well - until Sparkfun shows you how reanimate a fetus with an Arduino, create an automated illegal immigrant detector, or how to stop bullets Magneto style, they will remain irrelevant to engineering and the Maker community.

    By the way, if you are going to hate on Sparkfun for this, go hate on Adafruit as well - they are VERY outspoken about LGBT issues and change their logo to a rainbow theme every June in support of LGBT month.

  • Oh shove it. Sparkfun's job in the community is to bring people together over tech and education. The beauty of open source hardware and software is that it allows people from all walks of life to come together to make something great. By serving and including all communities, you only make the maker community stronger.

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