Member Since: November 13, 2011

Country: United States

  • News - Your March Caption Contes… | about a month ago

    “And let this be a lesson to all of you about what happens when you drop your dog off at work and go to the bar thinking we won’t notice!”

  • Product DEV-12720 | about 3 months ago

    The headline here is definitely x86 which makes it now possible to economically port some older software. Note that this is a Pentium class chip. That sounds good to our modern ears used to Pentium 4’s and the like, but it is not that architecture. The Pentium name here would seem to mean that this is compatible with the Pentium that came before the Pentium Pro (1993). That said they have baked in a lot of peripherals to make the chip stand well on its own. This means if you want to put an OS on the board you will be limited to DOS or an embedded OS, but you should be able to accomplish a lot with a true embedded OS.

  • News - Enginursday: I <3 Pyth… | about 6 months ago

    I’ll put in my 2 cents for Python. My first language was C, and when I went to college and had to take an introductory programming course in Python. I thought that I would be making little command line programs and that the course might get to building a simple database program but nothing more. Little did I know that the we would be making 3D pictures and working with all sorts of graphical applications

    Once you have your data into Python through pySerial or something else, try matplotlib as a way to plot the data.

  • Product DD-12012 | about 8 months ago

    My haul seems to be fairly average here. 4 Olimex dev boards, a Olimex pic programmer, an IPhone screen, and a yellow RaspPi case. Intriguingly, none of the Olimex boards are pics, so the programmer is not exactly useful, but having a full pic programmer can be a good thing.

    At first glance everything seems to work. The dev boards look useful, but only time will tell if I have a use for them or have the time to learn how to use them or a way to program them. The lack of documentation and community support for these boards is quite evident and is likely why they are not all being sold here, so it is going to take some time to get into using them. They may also get donated to the dev board closet at my college for some honors student to work with as a project.

    All in all it certainly gave me something to learn and yet another thing to dump my time into. The total retail value of everything would be in the hundreds of dollars, so it definitely was a good deal in that regard, and at 1.53 pounds Sparkfun met their commitments 102%.

    Oh wait I almost forgot I got a little fabric butterfly with three blue sewable LED modules sewed on. The stitching is kind of messy, but it is slightly cute in a strange way. I didn’t know what kind of battery to hook up to the terminals, so I just used my current limiting supply to light it up. I’ll take a picture and reply with a link here before I salvage the LEDs.

  • News - SparkFun in 3D | about 8 months ago

    With all of the 3D models out there it would be cool if they could be exported as a 3D PDF and placed on the product pages so one can get a quick look at the product in 3D. It wouldn’t replace the models, as you can only look at a 3D PDF, but it would be nice browsing from a computer without cad software.

    I think it is TE Connectivity that has just started using these PDFs on their product pages, and it is quite helpful in getting the right product. The 3D PDF I saw also had a measure tool, so it is a bit more functional the Github’s viewer.

  • Custom Page - dumpster_dive | about 8 months ago

    Little did you know there was a built in intelligence test

  • News - July Caption Contest | about 10 months ago

    Sparkfun’s Next Kickstarter: The Nuclear Powered Soldering Iron (NuPSI). Stretch Goal 1: Critical Mass, Stretch Goal 2, Off Switch.

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

    I agree that a lot of people try to get into FPGAs thinking that they are just supped up microcontrollers and that is simply not the case. They are far closer to a cpld (complex programmable logic device) than they are to a microcontroller.

    I find that the way I solve problems is much more in line with VHDL than with a traditional procedural language. I recently wrote a pong game on an FPGA for school and I found that while it was harder than doing it in Python or something like that, I liked how I could solve the problem more. On a processor I have to worry about when I do each thing and if I have enough clock cycles to get through the gameplay math so I can update the visuals. On an FPGA I can solve each issue independently. I can make some signals that represent the players and then write a different bit of code that continually displays them and another that moves them. They all get synthisized to separate logic circuits that inherently run all the time. Think of it like building a circuit with code.

  • News - New Product Friday: Take … | about 11 months ago

    I learned on a DE-2 (More buttons and stuff) by Altera. We used it with VHDL which is probably what I would recommend, but be warned that the DE-1 and DE-2 have very little support besides the 1000 page manual for the FPGA itself.

    If you’ve never used an FPGA before it is totally different that a microcontroller. An FPGA is a device which can be programmed to implement logic functions. So you could have it represent a logical AND gate, or in the case of the DE2, 30,000 AND gates. This would be crazy to design with a schematic, though you could do it, so one uses a hardware description language like VHDL or Verilog to design the logic. You can even get enough logic to build a microcontroller in the FPGA which you can program and have it interact with your other logic. It all gets very complicated, but if you are doing something that needs to be very fast or massively parallel you can’t beat an FPGA. (Except with an ASIC, but lets not go there)

  • News - The Moment of Truth | about 11 months ago

    For high power circuits or if I don’t have a current limiting supply at hand (a sad day) I like the Switch ‘n Feel method. I begin by turning on the power for as little time as I can

No public wish lists :(