Member Since: February 19, 2009

Country: United States



Back in 2003, I was in need of a Microchip ICD but didn't want to spend big money on it. I found a company called Olimex that made a clone and Sparkfun was the only distributor in the US. I've been a customer ever since.


SparkFun Forum Moderator

Programming Languages

A dozen Assembly languages, C, C++, VB, VHDL, Verilog


Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) 2002


Embedded electronics, signal processing, motion control, automation, etc.


Motorcycles, electronics, marksmanship

  • My first order was in 2003 for an OLIMEX clone of Microchip's OG ICD. I was uneasy about buying it from overseas so Sparkfun fixed that obstacle. Being a less than affluent recent college graduate at the time, I was also unwilling to spend the money on a real one. It's been awesome to watch Sparkfun grow into the company it is today. Here's to your continued success! Cheers Nate!

  • 201 LEDs and diodes are the biggest hassle on Earth since they are directional and some packages don't clearly illustrate which end is the anode or cathode. You have to rely on its orientation as you removed it from its tape packaging. I usually check them with a meter after placing them on a white piece of paper so I don't lose them. If you look too hard at them, they can move and you have to test them again. If you drop them, just let them go because they're gone! Then you get to actually solder them and the surface tension of the solder on the iron will pick up the part and swallow it whole. If you use hot air and you don't melt the two pads at the same time, the surface tension of the one that melts first will stand it up on end so you have to use a pick or tweezers to push it back down all while wondering if you are going to overheat the board.

  • When is the expected availability of the shoulder mounted laser?

  • Believe it or not, that barely slows them down. On the Sparkfun forums you need to solve a captcha that involves you doing a menial task like dragging "food items" into the refrigerator. This eliminates most spam but daily I still see several spammers attempting to post which means a human is involved somewhere in the loop. Since the traffic in the forums isn't as high as on the main Sparkfun site, we've chosen to moderate the first post of all new users. 99/100 times the spammer will get right to business and their first spam post is caught and we can ban the account. Once in a blue moon they play the game long enough to get normal access to the board and then start spamming. The user base is pretty diligent at finding and reporting it so it can be dealt with quickly. Overall I'm pretty happy that the normal user on the forum will see no spam in their daily surfing of the board.

  • Wound a little tight aren't we?

  • Oskar Blues - Ten Fiddy. So delicious and readily available in New Hampshire!

  • I still have my Olimex ICD clone that I bought from you back in the middle of 2003. It's been great to see the success that SparkFun has accomplished in the marketplace. I'm also proud to be trusted with the forum moderation (and then some) even though I'm not an employee. Here's to another 10 great years!

  • Hey Nate... Your lights are showing!

  • I've had the privilege of working outside the US in the UK and Denmark and the attitude towards alcohol is amazingly different. In the UK it was fairly routine to walk across the street and have a couple of pints with lunch. In Denmark beer, wine, and assorted snacks were served every Friday around noon and the rest of the afternoon was effectively a beer social. In both cases work continued to get done and employee morale remained high. The idea of happy employee being a productive employee (even outside of having a beer) is so foreign in the American workplace it's borderline rediculous. At least when I travel for work, they can't control where I go to eat!


  • I'm still kicking myself for not taking their tour when you guys had me up for your Christmas party last year. I had no idea they were just up the road.

No public wish lists :(