October 2, 2010
News - Oh Barbie, You've Missed …
about 5 months ago
I find this interesting… Several comments here about how, basically, people come to Sparkfun for parts, not social/political commentary.
I wonder why there wasn’t any comments along those lines on this Sparkfun post about Network Neutrality: https://www.sparkfun.com/news/1572 - after all, I know I don’t go to Sparkfun to read about Network Neutrality - heck, Sparkfun doesn’t even sell internet access or video streaming. Even people who disagreed with Sparkfun’s views didn’t say “I didn’t come here for this” - they just made their points. Interesting.
Also - there would be nothing wrong with her saying she did game design (the “ONLY” conveys something else) in a book that says, “I can be a game designer!” But just as “I can be a surgeon” probably wouldn’t show a surgeon not being able to unclog a drain, change oil in a car, or represent a client in a law case, an “I can be a game designer” shouldn’t show “But I can’t code, and am someone who knows so little about technology that I spread viruses and take credit for other people’s work.” Hardly a flattering picture for game designers.
The book was sexist. That’s obvious.
Wow, amazed at some of the comments from other men here. There are plenty of good ones, but too many bad ones. This book is terrible. It’s sexist. Duh.
The idea that women just aren’t interested is bull, from people who don’t want to acknowledge that women have a hard time in technology - and it’s been getting worse (after all, for a while in the past, MOST programmers were women - clearly they aren’t opposed to the idea of working in technology; what changed is that programming started paying good and suddenly it became man’s work rather than women’s work).
Sparkfun, keep at trying to bring electronics, making, and coding to the masses - which includes pointing out the sexism that makes your market smaller than it should be.
about 5 months ago
It works fine, although I agree with everyone else - rotate the relay 180 degrees! I’d also replace the clear LED with a diffused one (anytime you have an LED visible directly, it should be diffused - the only time you should use clear ones is when you are sending the light through something else) - but that’s not a particularly big deal (and easily user-swappable!). FWIW, I’m switching it with 3.3V but powering it with 5V, and that seems to do just fine.
about 9 months ago
Any chance of you all carrying the X-stick from Digi? That’s basically an X-bee and USB interface in a USB stick (with plastic cover around it, for people who don’t want raw circuit boards sticking out of their computer (I know, I know, who could possibly not want circuit boards sticking out?!).
about 9 months ago
Maxim chips sure are expensive in small quantities! But you’re cheaper than Digikey - they want $11 per chip (unless you order 100 or so of them).
about 9 months ago
I can read it clearly at the same distances I can read text printed on paper. I wouldn’t think, at least not without some optics, that this would be good to mount on glasses.
These are very cool - I’m using them with an FPGA project (pretty simple to run from there), but they would be simple with a microcontroller too. I’m strobing each digit on a 25% duty cycle 50 times a second or so, using a transister (2N2222) to switch the cathodes (which is a good idea unless you know your IC’s output pin can sink 40ma on a 25% duty cycle. I don’t know why Sparkfun suggests putting resisters on the cathodes in their hookup guide - resisters are cheap, so put them on the anodes and don’t worry about your “8” looking dimmer than your “1”. So…Buy one. You want one.
about 10 months ago
Awesome! I’ll keep watch for the new board - I certainly will be interested in a few. This kind of responsiveness to customers is one reason you have loyal customers (the other is your effort at education - I learned enough to be comfortable with the Xbees and their datasheets from the Sparkfun Xbee course).
This may be the first time Sparkfun has let me down. Besides for the price ($30?! Really?!), the physical size (again, really?!), the location of the RSSI/DIN/DOUT LEDs (this huge board and you put them under the xbee?) and the placement of the power adapter on the same side of the board as the DB9 (thus preventing you from just plugging it directly into a router or computer without using a cable), lack of a silkscreen or other easy marking to determine how to orient an XBee in the socket, not to mention not mentioning whether this is DCE or DTE (hint: it’s DCE - so you need a straight through cable to connect to a computer), the thing was broken when it arrived. The power LED’s SMD resister was only soldered to the board on one side. Fortunately I can do hot air rework and was able to fix this, but, really, this seems like something SFE QA should have caught. And to think I was complimenting SFE on the extremely high production quality of their products the other day! You can do better - this board is due for a redesign, ideally with a DTE and a DCE version produced (or, even better, switchable, maybe via jumpers - if you have a big board, use it!). Alternatively, post the Eagle files for this and I’ll fix it for you. :) From the comments on this thread, it is also clear that people are not aware that this needs a power supply, even when cabled to a remote RS232 port - you might want to update the description - I can see where someone might not understand that you need the power adapter. I am still waiting on a cable (from a different supplier) so I don’t know if this actually works as a serial adapter yet - hopefully that part works good. :)
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