Member #640140

Member Since: January 19, 2015

Country: United States

  • UNTIL SPARKFUN CEASES POLITICIZING THEIR BUSINESS, CEASES DIVIDING AND DISRESPECTING HALF THEIR CUSTOMER BASE, AND APOLOGIZES TO ALL THEIR CUSTOMERS FOR DOING SO, I SUGGEST A BOYCOTT OF SPARKFUN.

    SparkFun already charges you insane markups on their products. Now I've tolerated this for shipping convenience, as well as some of the tutorials they post. But when they disrespect us like this, this is what I suggest:

    Buy direct from Chinese on ebay. You can buy in bulk and cut out the middleman. I bought 10 atmega328p's for < $20 shipped. At that price I can use them in disposable projects. Any component you're looking for, almost always you can find it cheaper by buying direct on ebay. You can also find a lot of components that sparkfun doesn't even carry. Need some nixie-tubes? eBay has tons of selection - for cheaper than sparkfun can ever hope to offer (amazon also has some available).

    Buy on Amazon. Amazon is always convenient and they always have excellent selection of products to choose from. Most common components are available, and at competitive prices. Need 100 LED's? You can have them in any color or an assortment with 2 day shipping for ~$5 - $10 on Amazon. Need 50 NE555's? $4 and free shipping. SparkFun charges you $1 / chip + shipping. Stop letting them rip you off! Looking for an SBC or arduino for your next project? Amazon has those too, and a much better selection of SBC's. Looking for a Paralella? An orange-pi or banana-pi? Amazon's got em'. Looking to get into FPGA's? Consider an Altera Cyclone II. You can get the board, a programmer, and a how-to book, all for ~$50 shipped on Amazon.

    If you're looking for components in bulk, consider a supplier such as mouser. They offer bulk discounts and their pricing is far superior to SparkFun. They have selections so you can find the specific version of the part you need, in the form factor you need. Datasheets are always conveniently available.

    Are you looking for motors, servos, controllers, rc-parts, or LiPo batteries? My go to source for these parts is hobbyking.com They have better selection and the parts they offer are higher quality than what SparkFun offers. Need some seriously high torque metal-gear servos? Need them in a slim form factor? HobbyKing has them. Getting into quadcopters / drones? HobbyKing has a nice selection, as well as parts selection. And their LiPo selection is one of the best I've seen. Also consider your local hobby supplier - they may be able to get you a better deal.

    IF SPARKFUN IS GOING TO DISRESPECT THEIR CUSTOMERS, SPARKFUN MAKES IT CLEAR THEY DON'T WANT US AS CUSTOMERS. DON'T GIVE THEM YOUR MONEY AND DON'T TOLERATE THEIR BLATANT DISRESPECT! UNTIL SPARKFUN LEARNS HOW TO OPERATE A BUSINESS THEY DESERVE TO GO OUT OF BUSINESS. SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST!

  • Can we please get some more interesting videos / projects / tutorials from some of the classic sparkfun presenters like Nick (the beard guy)? "Creative Technology" videos shouldn't be ONLY leds and variations of leds and el-wire on clothing but lately it's like that's all that comes out of sparkfun. Back like 2013 - 2014 projects used to be more fun, and more.... engaging (I remember the video where Nick was building an rc plane and it didn't really work but it was fun watching him try).

  • So PRISMATIME is essentially an rgb led + rtc breakout board?? And this is the level of technical qualification that can be expected of a sparkfun "creative technologist"? Honestly I question the technical qualifications of most of Sparkfun's "creative technologist" staff. How many of them have spent "countless hours" writing their own stl compatible containers, writing their own iterators, and more "countless hours" debugging when they end up segfaulting? I wonder how many of them also refer to using the "arduino programming language" rather than c / c++?

    Can we please get some more interesting videos / projects / tutorials from some of the classic sparkfun presenters like Nick (the beard guy)? "Creative Technology" videos shouldn't be ONLY leds and variations of leds and el-wire on clothing but lately it's like that's all that comes out of sparkfun. Back like 2013 - 2014 projects used to be more fun, and more.... engaging (I remember the video where Nick was building an rc plane and it didn't really work but it was fun watching him try).

  • That's not such a huge leap in logic to make after reading the article. Did you even check out the links?? (e.g., Girls Who Code specifically calls for gender parity in the field by 2020). Like you, I don't care if there is some natural change in the demographics. I don't like when this is forced though, and if you check out the links, their explanation boils down to "We want gender parity because this is a social change we want." That's not meritocratic and it hurts the field as a whole.

    And my argument still hasn't changed. Science and engineering are fundamentally meritocratic, focus and attention should be given to those who are interested and those who are able.

    Treating girls differently / specially && creating "girl friendly spaces" and girl-only-groups (like the links in the article) shortchanges both boys and girls. It misrepresents reality for girls and it takes away attention and opportunities from boys. I mean, in that e-textiles example you even agree she gets shortchanged by being shuffled straight to e-textiles.

    That's great that you guide your neighbor's daughter. That kind of mentoring and outreach is what people point back to and say "This is where I got started..." I think we can both agree education and exposure to the sciences is important, regardless of gender. Well then, why not instead of Sparkfun posting an article on how to get GIRLS interested in STEM, write an article on how to get KIDS interested in STEM. Better yet, maybe post links / walkthroughs / videos on cool projects that parents can do with their kids. Maybe Sparkfun could get someone like Sophie (that drawbot girl?) to do a special with them - it'd be a great opportunity for her, and kids seeing other kids doing something cool encourages them to do the same.

    Have the last word and have a nice day.

  • It's very relevant to this article. The title is "Supporting Women in Engineering" (not "Making Science Interesting for Girls") and it talks about ways to get girls interested in engineering... the inevitable conclusion (if successful) being, girls growing up to work in the field. It seems then that the author wants to change the demographics of the field to bring in more women BECAUSE they are women.

    And so my question still stands, when did science and engineering stop being a meritocracy?

    ALL kids should be exposed to science and engineering. Those that show interest should be encouraged and supported in the field. On what basis do you claim that boys are more supported or encouraged than girls? Could it not be that they are simply the ones who (in aggregate) exhibit more interest in the field?

    And as for girl-unfriendly environments, I don't know what you're talking about. There is no royal road to the technical fields. The only way to learn math or programming is by doing math or programming. Those that are interested will do it regardless.

  • When did science and engineering become not a meritocracy??

    Why should anyone be hired not on account of their competence and the merits of their ideas, but rather because of their race / gender / sexual orientation? That is itself the DEFINITION of discrimination. Why does Sparkfun support discrimination?

    Is it not insulting to suggest that women need "support" in engineering? That they can't do it on their own?? Why are women so increasingly being robbed of the opportunity to be judged on their own merits??

    Women already have equality of opportunity - as the author admits, nobody is stopping girls from entering technical fields. I find it especially illuminating that at least one person here in the comments suggests that it's a "severe cultural issue that needs correcting". This is cultural marxism, plain and simple.

    Sparkfun you used to be a decent supplier of cool / useful parts. These last few years I've noticed the increasing influence of SJW's on your business and I can guarantee you it's already hurting your profits. I actively avoid buying from you now and I'm not the only one who does.

No public wish lists :(