The state of the Arduino ecosystem

*** The following is a “bitter old engineer” rant.  You’ve been warned.

At this ripe old age, I have come to value most the quality of a toolchain. I’ll go a step further and say that the coherency and consistency of the umbrella that toolchain inhabits is a most prized quality.  And what spurred this revelation?  Why the obtuse declaration?

I have seen the other side, brothers and sisters. I have felt the greener grass on the knoll of Arduino, and I’m here to tell you something: it ain’t that green.

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Truth and Stories

To talk about my thoughts of the excellent documentary “Stories We Tell” in any detail would be robbing you of the joy of seeing it for yourself, of letting its layers unfold like slowly blooming petals.

Generally speaking, it’s a remarkable achievement for Sarah Polley, who only recently migrated from acting to directing.  She has quite an eye for editing and honing in on her subject matter.

Ostensibly, her film is a vivid dissection of her family’s past.  Yet with each act, it becomes much more.  She balances the telling between mawkish and clinical, simply allowing each family member to tell the story of the family “from beginning to end.”

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Frozen vs. Watchmen

It seemed obvious to me that the character of Queen Elsa from Disney’s excellent Frozen had glimpses of similarity to Dr. Manhattan from Snyder’s excellent The Watchmen. Both had nearly infinite power, which detached them from their humanity and fellow humans. Each secluded themselves far away in a self-made palace as a way of both escaping and saving the people close to them. Both had trouble containing their power.

That said, I don’t think I remember Dr. Manhattan ever breaking out into song.

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The STEM gap

There’s a great info-graphic and article on Adecco, concerning the widening gap between available Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM) candidates and those job vacancies waiting to be filled.

I have much to be thankful for this year.  In particular, I have Adecco to thank for placing me at a great, international science-based company — Thermo Fisher Scientific.  Our relatively small local branch is a great group of people to be working with.  It’s challenging, new, exciting, and growing.

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Failure analysis on the HoMedics Lullaby Soundspa

We have one of these little do-dads for our kid: HoMedics SS-3000 Soundspa Lullaby.  It’s a nifty little product, makes different simulated white noise sounds and projects these images from a spinning disk apparatus.  Like I said, nifty.

But also fragile, and prone to breakage.  The company, HoMedics, replaced our first one because its little motor that turns the disk just quite one day.  Well, the replacement now has the same symptom.

So enough was enough!  Time to tear this thing apart.

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