Member Since: September 11, 2009

Country: United States

  • Creative Computing was a much-loved magazine in the early days of microcomputers (late 70s-early 80s). Very nice to see the name back in use.

  • “You’ve heard of the tweeting office chair, right? Well wait ‘til Dick Costolo gets a load of this dog bed!”

  • Great to see my home town library in the news!

  • I do not understand your point regarding copyrights. Even the GPL is copyrighted, and may not be changed except by the FSF. The point of the copyright in each case is to set a definition to prevent deceptive rhetoric, and to reserve the right to make changes–which is critical for something described as “Common”. Just as individual developers are free to adopt the GPL or not, individual states are free to adopt Common Core standards or not, based on a judgement of benefits and costs.

    As for the math standards, this is from William McCallum’s testimony before a Wisconsin joint legislative committee on Common Core standards (

    “The definition of college readiness in the [mathematics] standards is readiness for entry-level, credit-bearing courses in mathematics at four-year colleges as well as courses at two-year colleges that transfer for credit at four-year colleges.

    The high school standards consist of easily three years of mathematics at the level of Algebra II. This certainly fits the definition of college readiness. But college readiness and STEM readiness are two different things. The mathematical demands that students face in college will vary dramatically depending on whether they are pursuing a STEM major or not. Students who intend to pursue STEM majors in college should know what is required. That was true before the Common Core, and it remains true today. States still can and still should provide a pathway to calculus for all students who are prepared to succeed on that pathway—not only because it is at the heart of many STEM fields, but also because the calculus is one of the greatest intellectual developments in human history."

    Common Core standards are fully described at

  • A nice little kit. After losing and finding one of the 0.1uF caps for the SECOND time I abandoned the recommended soldering method in the guide. Instead I fluxed both pads, maneuvered the cap onto the pads with tweezers and held it down, and then carried solder on the iron to the component leads.

    Some thoughts on the kit:

    1) The covering tape for a few components were brushed with a bit of color, but there was no info on what component was used with each color. The coloring also obscured the component markings, which meant that, if you go in order of the guide, you might have to open several packages to find the next component. 2) The front page of the guide mentions that flux is needed to complete the kit, but its use is never described in the instructions. I think flux is essential, esp for the microcontroller pins. 3) Two other items are needed for completing the kit: a good source of magnification (10x is nice), and good lighting.

    My hunch is that this kit is typically used in a guided setting, with one or more instructors offering pointers. As a result the guide is not quite all there for people flying solo.

    All in all I’m very pleased, but then I watched a pile of YouTube videos on SMD soldering before trying this kit. If I had less experience it might have been more frustrating. Flux is your friend!

  • Robert briefly considers whether he is actually on the set of Portal or Battlestar Galactica.

  • Hmm…something with a 0.1% probability per year should probably be called a 693-year event, as that’s when the probability of it happening at least once crosses 50%. Not terribly comforting when you can call the event “Last Month”, however. Good luck to your community with cleanup; we here in New England understand your challenges.

  • Men do if they’re older than 40.

    “I want to stress the importance of being young and technical. Young people are just smarter. Why are most chess masters under 30? I don’t know. Young people just have simpler lives. We may not own a car. We may not have family. Simplicity in life allows you to focus on what’s important.” –Mark Zuckerberg

  • Are you honestly asserting that the reason for the lower percentage of women in STEM fields relative to the general population is because women, generally speaking, lack character?

  • My son and I had a great time walking, flying rockets, controlling robots, and soldering with the Lab B team. It was a pleasure to meet a few of the Sparkfun gang, too.

No public wish lists :(