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October 20, 2011
News - November Caption Contest
Pete Pan launches himself to Neverland.
about 2 weeks ago
I like the connectors you have chosen for power and micro USB. Good added value! This is an affordable alternative to the Zero for folks who don’t need EDBG support.
I don’t like the fact that you made the board without the headers. Is there a chance that you can offer the full version as another SKU?
News - Enginursday: Doing Away w…
about 2 months ago
That’s nice, but why not get rid of the Setup/Loop paradigm altogether?
Empty your .ino file and add a .cpp file to your project that has the main() program, this file must have a different name than your .ino file.
(1) Your .cpp file(s) must (each) #include <Arduino.h>
(2) To use the Arduino timer libraries you must call init() first thing in main().
(3) Your .ino file must have the includes for all the Arduino libraries you are using, otherwise they won’t be brought in, e.g., #include <SPI.h> and nothing else, no setup() or loop()
(4) To use C++ in all its glory you will need .h files to declare all your classes and functions, and .cpp files for the implementations. This means 2 or 3 times the lines of code over the simplistic Arduino approach, but your executable image size won’t increase.
The Classical Arduino Programming model is based on polling. Also, it dumbs down the c language (e.g. no need to declare forward references, no need to define types or fiddle with makefiles, etc.) in order to make it easier to learn and focus on problem-solving. Then, through the magic of open source, the student is able to read all of the library code and move to a higher level. Along the way we are exposed to the magic of c++ classes.
Another approach to the problem of riding a bike and chewing gum at the same time is the Scheduler Library. This takes more memory, but as we move into the SAM chips we have more memory.
We could also look at the Arduino IDE as an easy step into the more professional Atmel Studio IDE. The programming model there is somewhat different, with more emphasis on interrupts and semaphores, and with many more options than the beginner needs.
There is more than one way to skin an elephant.
News - SparkFun and the Future o…
about 8 months ago
The “Zero” shown by Arduino.cc a year ago is different from the “Zero Pro R3” being shown by Arduino.org this year. The differences that I see are:
The Arduino.cc Zero is a darker shade of blue and the silkscreen on the back says “MADE IN EU”, also it has 3 electrolytic caps, one located near the power connector.
The Arduino.org Zero Pro R3 is the traditional Arduino Teal, says “MADE IN ITALY” and has the map of Italy, and does not have the 3rd electrolytic.
From the pictures it looks like there are some minor differences in layout and routing. Both boards seem to have the Atmel debug chip.
In my opinion the Zero Pro R3 is overpriced and without massive community software support its future is unknown. I would suggest using the Teensy 3.1 because the price is lower, it will take 5 volt digital inputs without blowing, and it has software support.
I understand the preference to omit supplier information, business flexibility, second source, and all that.
However in this circumstance the ethical thing to do for your community should be to provide this information. When the picture shows the back of the board saying “arduino.cc” your customers would be rightly distressed to receive a “arduino.org” board, or some overseas knock-off for that matter.
Alternatively, you could indicate sourcing in the text, e.g., “licensed from Arduino LLC” or “generic”.
This is a vote from a member of your community.
Thank you Nate for commenting on this.
All that Google has shown us so far is “information”. It’s now up to the courts and jury to turn this into “facts”. I haven’t seen much from the other side of the battle, but ramping up hardware manufacturing takes capital and supply chain relationships can be problematic, so they will probably spin a good story. With appeals and lawsuits on both sides of the pond it could take years to settle down.
We are moving into the ARM Cortex era, and SparkFun could help by offering a licensed “Redboard Zero”, if you can get the LLC group’s software support.
Sparkfun should also help by indicating the manufacturer source of its Arduino boards, and using different SKUs for the different suppliers. A picture of a .cc board should not result in delivery of a .org board, truth in advertising and all.
An alternative would be to just walk away from Arduino boards and go with a new generation of the Teensy, again the software is more important than the hardware.
Just another rambling from this old man.
News - SparkFun Fast Company Fea…
about 8 months ago
Makers have been around for a long time. Fueled by Government surplus from WWW2 and Korea. This movement spawned HeathKit, Eico, RadioShack, and other long gone companies. In the 50s, folks were using point-to-point wiring and vacuum tubes, and parts made in the USA. I built my first radio transmitter out of parts scavenged from an old B&W TV. (5U4 for Power supply, 6L6 for Amplifier).
Some years later, the Z-80 and the S-100 bus gave the movement another jolt, with CP/M being the top software. This was followed by IBM PC and its clones, and Microsoft.
Integrated circuits, offshore electronic manufacturing, and throw-away thinking slowed the movement, but now it’s come back. I don’t know how long it can last, we’re in for surface mount, fewer nanometers and whole systems on a single IC, encapsulated in plastic, with nothing to solder onto.
Just a rambling from this old-timer.
News - SparkFun's Rapid Prototyp…
about a year ago
Certainly such organization is vital in an area that is shared, such as a school or club.
However, in a personal space not a showplace some slack might be in order. I can instantly locate the Jacobs Chuck wrench or any other tool that I bought 40 years ago, I use labeled shoeboxes for parts and have separate toolboxes for my most common tasks. Between my ears lies a marvelous card catalog.
A (totally) clean desk is a sign of a diseased mind.
about a year ago
What capacity & class will this handle? Some SD readers only go up to 2GB, others max out at 32GB.
No public wish lists :(
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