Day 3: Arduino setup

This post is part of the GaSiProMo challenge.   You can read more about this here.

I’ve had a bad experience with Arduino.  But perhaps I was just cranky that night.  I was also unlucky with a defective Uno.

The good news is that for my new project (which has a deadline), my new Arduino Mega is not in fact defective.  I can attest its functionality tonight, at 10:45pm.

This platform is pretty slick.  They cleverly have positioned it between full language control and  GUI-only.  The syntax is mostly C strict.  But there are abstracted functions and methods that keep the very low-level hardware constructs from mucking up the works.  In a word, Arduino has “de-engineered” the sometimes maddening experience of working in firmware on any given microcontroller.

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Day 1: setup

This is day 1 of the GaSiProMo challenge.   You can read more about this here.

I got the display mounted to a breadboard. How about that, it’s green!

The display has a self test diagnostic mode built in, which is incredibly handy. Saw little cute LED bits flashing and twinkling. So the thing appears to be alive, after all these years!  Here is some video too:

The majority of my project frustrations seem to revolve around toolchains.  I hate changing tool sets because the learning curves are so steep.  After a few hours, I finally sided with an Arduino Mega board.

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GaSiProMo

I’m a notorious task-starter, and not a great task-finisher.  My garage is littered with old projects that are collecting more dust than accolades.  I can lean on the old, dependable excuses but really that’s lame.  If every moment is the new normal, then there aren’t any excuses.  Our hobbies define us, and I love my hobbies.  So it’s time to get serious about some side projects.

One thing that I’ve always responded to positively when it comes to my side projects is a good deadline.  Nothing motivates like external pressure.

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Modernizing my email

A few months ago, I did an overhaul of my digital life.  Those posts were all about switching smartphone platforms from Apple iOS to Android.  What was most revealing to me was not the hardware and software differences, but just how I get things done now.

In the end, I’m not unhappy with my switch.  I tend to get things done better on Android.  That’s not a light admission, as I’m a longtime Apple product user.  So to begin the switch away from the Apple ecosystem is somewhat shocking to me.

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Attack of the Robots

Is it just me, or have there been a lot of robot-themed movies lately?  I suppose it’s not really that surprising, as science fiction is one of the best barometers of cultural zeitgeists.

From iOS to Android, part 2: ecosystem shock

Last time, I talked about two key aspects of technology that tend to make loyal customers: platform ecosystem and user experience.

It was a natural transition from owning Macs for the better part of a decade to iPods and then finally iPhones.  Apple has done well to keep the user experience very fairly consistent between all the platforms.  That is probably their single greatest contribution to the technology world: coherent ecosystem.  In other words, the way you work on a Mac tends to be naturally the way you would work on an iPhone.  And that’s a good feature.  It makes for loyal customers.

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