Member Since: October 23, 2009

Country: United States

  • What happened to #42? Hang on, let me find my towel.

  • I haven't thought deeply about this, but the "shape" that pops into my head from this discussion is several "base stations" (Redboard SIK, Redbot SIK, Lilypad SIK, an audio SIK, communications SIK, power SIK), with add-ons to take learners beyond the first experiment guide.

    The audio SIK might be built around a small amplifier and speaker, with tone generators, Atari punk console, and microphone (piezo? speaker-as-mic?) experiments. The add-ons could be a (modular/expandable) keyboard, recording/playback (digital or analog), filters, frequency analysis, mixing signals, etc.

    Power SIK could be tough to do safely, but something like power monitoring, DC-to-DC converters, battery management? Some of this seems pretty advanced ...

    Communications could be wired, light (visible and IR), and low-power radio, analog and digital signals, with add-ons for error correction, security, range improvement, data rate improvement.

    I think that by the time someone worked through a base SIK and three or four add-ons, it would be hard to stop them from plotting their own learning course after that.

  • What? It's Fashion Week, right?

  • For a name, how about "Leadsmith". It's almost spelled out right there on the panel, it kind of describes what it does (modulo lead-free solder paste), and it sounds like a snarky name for a gunslinger.

  • It is still exponential decay. What is decaying is the difference between the input signal and the output signal.

  • Think about the physics of a capacitor: It is two conductors separated by a non-conductor, and your body (or the rat's) is a pretty good conductor. So, unless you are in a Faraday cage, your body (or the rat's) is always "capacitively coupled" to the local ground. Even if that ground is not explicitly a part of your circuit, the gap between your body and the ground will "fill up" with an electric field (of infinitesimally small magnitude,) causing the voltage at the sensing end of the resistor to exhibit that exponential decay.

  • Check out the ShapeOko at You can get started with just a mechanical kit for < $400, or get a complete kit with motors and electronics for a couple of hundred more.

    Now I just need to finish building mine ...

  • Production still from a new fan-made sequel to "The Road Warrior".

  • Why adjust stop bits (1, 1.5, 2)? Back in the day, the hardware wasn't always fast enough to get one byte out of the way and to the next stage of processing in just one bit-time. After all, at 110 BPS, that's less than a tenth of a second!

    Similarly for start bits. Sometimes it took more than one bit-time to get the shift register loaded.

    Now I miss the ASR-33 I had hooked up to my Commodore 64. What a friendly sound!

  • Oh, this reminds me so much of Steve Ciarcia's digital imaging games in Byte, back in the mid-80's. He wasn't getting color, and his images were elongated by the geometry of the DRAM he was using, but that was when I knew that film cameras were doomed, at least for casual point-and-shoot usage.

No public wish lists :(