Vrmithrax

Member Since: November 8, 2011

Country: United States

  • News - Your SparkFun January Cap… | about 3 months ago

    And thus ends our demonstration of why geeks should never EVER attempt to stage dive…

  • News - New Product Friday: Actob… | about 4 months ago

    Excellent addition to your catalog! Now I won’t have to constantly flip back over to places like Servo City to grab mechanical items… Those ServoBlocks alone are an awesome addition to complement your servo selection, they are lifesavers when you have some potential lateral loading on your servos.

  • News - July Caption Contest | about 10 months ago

    Here at Microsoft, we have decided that touch is soooo 2012. The future is now stylus input!

  • News - So You Want to Learn FPGA… | about 10 months ago

    I’m in the same boat as many… FPGAs are all over, but I don’t really fully understand them. Ironically, I use them constantly! And, my case is probably a good example of how they are becoming pervasive while removing the difficulties in implementing them…

    You see, I use National Instruments Compact RIO controllers for specific control applications, as very high speed replacements to old PLC technology. The interesting thing in the cRIO is that it has an FPGA backplane built into the unit, which you can directly access and leverage when programming in LabVIEW. So, I can take my LabVIEW program, pick specific routines or code that would benefit from running at FPGA speeds (and experiencing true parallelism for execution), and just make a few conscious tweaks or planned adjustments while creating the code. When I deploy my code into the controller, it handles all of the direct programming and configuration of the FPGA, and I don’t have to think about it. It’s like some kind of cyber-magic… And the speed bump in the processor that I get by pulling those functions out of the CPU and right into the FPGA can be amazing!

    I think, if more and more programming and development platforms can make it easy and seamless to integrated FPGAs, they will continue to grow and become even more pervasive. Sometimes, the trick is to just make tools to let people use them, without having to understand them. I mean, how many people actually know how a computer CPU works, vs how many people use one every day? Or how many circuit or board designers know the specifics of how every chip they are using works, as opposed to just knowing the functionality and general specs? It may be that a little less hardcore understanding of the intricacies of FPGA and a little more “ignorance is bliss” could make many lives so much easier… Heh

  • News - Engineer Thursday - Bring… | about 11 months ago

    My company builds laser products… On one wall in our production facility, somebody with a sense of humor made up a new warning placard that says:

    “Danger! Do not stare into laser with remaining eye”

  • News - July Caption Contest Time… | about 2 years ago

    The good news? Fred’s invention to materialize his thoughts into reality finally worked!

    The bad news? Apparently, that LSD hadn’t completely cleared his bloodstream yet…

  • News - Little Box Stores | about 2 years ago

    I was about to suggest these guys as well. Great little shop, I find all sorts of odd trinkets for my mad scientist tendencies. They are at least familiar with Arduino, and they carry a great selection of LEDs and other assorted goodies. Always found it odd that it is so hard to find a good electronics store within spitting distance of Intel and so many other high-tech companies in Hillsboro.

    Coming at it from the hobby shop side of things, I might also suggest Tammie’s Hobbies, a popular shop in Beaverton, OR. (http://tammieshobbies.com)

  • News - Free Day 2012 is Under Wa… | about 2 years ago

    Ah well, a whole day of trying to win down the tubes.

  • News - Free Day 2012 is Under Wa… | about 2 years ago

    Ah, I just had a curiousity moment there. I know my brother (who has severe dyslexia) hates Captchas with a passion. Didn’t know if it was just him, or a real issue with dyslexia in general.

  • News - Free Day 2012 is Under Wa… | about 2 years ago

    I wonder, how cruel is this continuous high-speed Captcha requirement to dyslexics?

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