Great chat! Thanks for coming out – we figured out some interesting “challenges” with the new Flash player as well as what happens when it doesn’t work! Thank you to everyone who came out and asked great engineering questions, we’ll see you next week! 10pm ET Saturday night!
“Ask an engineer” is Saturday night 10pm ET – 1/16/2010 and for another week in a row going to spend a lot of the evening experimenting with a new multi-camera set up (3 cameras!), picture-in-picture and push pre-recorded video in to the LIVE stream. This is all in preparation for more features, segments and fun with our weekly show! We’ll still answer your questions and we’ll still have a give away, we’ll just be playing “live” with a lot of video stuff. Just keep in mind, it all might not work
Visit our new “chat” section on Adafruit at 10pm ET, Saturday nights
McGrew: “We have three tables — the Wave, the Ripple, and the Pulse — with the same lighting on the inside. They see change and light up in response. If you set something down on it, it lights up, but then calms down and stops twinkling. When you move that item, it will light back up again.”
Northrup: “We wanted to showcase two different ways you can use light. The Wave typically has a glass top, so you’re seeing everything — the circuit board, the LEDs, the patterns they’re making. The Ripple and the Pulse are more of a secret because they have this frosted top that just looks like a really nice table. When you interact with one of them, it becomes more than a table. You get this second, wonderful experience.”
McGrew: “The two big problems LEDs have always had — they weren’t very bright and were very expensive — are going away. We’re leveraging whatever we can get our hands on to help us make cool stuff.”
What’s behind the name of her company, adafruit? What follows is my conjecture. Way back in the dark ages there was a object-oriented programming language named Pascal which was also one of the first programming languages compiled for the Apple II computer. My youngest son Jason and I bought it for $525 (ouch!). It was, in due course, followed by a programming language named Ada. Seems that the name Ada (Lovelace) is revered by Geeks. “In 1953, over one hundred years after her death, Lovelace’s notes on Babbage’s Analytical Engine were republished. The engine has now been recognized as an early model for a computer and Lovelace’s notes as a description of a computer and software.” [Quote from here and much more on Ada's history.] In short, her notes include (Section G), in complete detail, a method for calculating a sequence of Bernoulli numbers with the Engine, which would have run correctly had the Analytical Engine ever been built. Based on this work, Lovelace is now widely credited with being the first computer programmer and her method is recognized as the world’s first computer program. So we take “ada” + “fruit” and we have a name along the lines of bearing fruit from Ada’s original work some 160 years ago. That ought to be geeky enough for the most uber geek out there. Hat’s off to Ms Fried and all the giants upon whose shoulders we attempt to stand on.
Is 2010 – Year of the iChat, video Skype, Ustream… (video conferencing) ? Maybe for us! One of the important goals for us this year at Adafruit is using some of the great video technology out there to do more things with more people (and less going to airports, and talking on speaker phones) – It would be impossible to do an engineering conference each week with up to 500 people, but we do a weekly online video chat called “Ask an Engineer” 10pm ET every Saturday night. Last week we had Mitch Altman on the show, inventor of TV-B-Gone, a 3 camera set up and played clips from MAKE TV of Mitch and Ladyada – it’s really a great way to reach the electronics community and we answer engineering questions for a full hour each week. We also give away a kit, have a discount code and MOSFET the cat shows up.
We use iChat and for some upcoming LIVE video chats we’ll use Skype, while also broadcasting over Ustream. We have some work to do to get this all working, but so far so good. As we get stuff cooking we’ll post what hardware and software we’re using and hopefully that will help others who want to do similar things.
This Friday we’re going to have dinner over Skype with the Instructables folks. We’ll see how it goes and if our USB grill works
So – are any of you out there using video conferencing? Post in the comments, we’re curious how many people *actually* do this on a regular basis!
Despite hundreds of researchers working worldwide in the area of robotics, their development efforts tend to be proprietary. Researchers may be working on similar problems but they rarely share code or hardware. Willow Garage was founded in 2006 with the idea of creating an open-source hardware and software platform. In addition to its hardware prototype, Willow Garage has also developed the Robot Operating System (ROS), which originated at Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. ROS is based on Linux and can work with both Windows and Mac PCs.
For a long time I’ve been interested in electronics, it comes with the geek territory. So when I read about the Arduino electronics platform and it’s ability to be programmed via Processing I was very excited. However, I decided to start small and build up my non-existent electronic skills.
To develop my skills I bought a MiniPOV v3 kit, this is a little kit designed to teach soldering, programming micro-controls and is just fun play with. In total, the kit took around five to six hours to construct and flash.
At first the soldering rather difficult and resulted in a few messy joints, but over time I got better, with faster and cleaner solders. While not perfect, it did work first time. I decided to document the process with a serious of photos and videos.
If you’re looking for some science and making-things related podcasts PT just posted up his round up over on MAKE. Included are the Adafruit casts’ as well as a lot of sciencey shows. As we continue to work on “Ask an engineer” we’ll be adding some recorded segments online, just hang tight
Last week we said we would donate 10% of our sales for Thursday to the Red Cross for the Haiti earthquake relief, now – we’re going to do more… it was a slow sales day and not a lot of orders for the day (after the holidays, January slump) so we decided to donate $1,000 total – we don’t (yet!) make $10k in sales a day but we wanted to donate what we could for those who need the most help right now. We want to thank everyone who did make a point to donate directly and/or ordered during the day. Our thoughts are with the victims, friends and family of the people of Haiti. Thanks everyone, …we’re all in it together.. Photos from the tragedy, warning – graphic.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist and prominent leader in the African-American civil rights movement. His main legacy was to secure progress on civil rights in the United States, and he has become a human rights icon: King is recognized as a martyr by two Christian churches. A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president. King’s efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. There, he raised public consciousness of the civil rights movement and established himself as one of the greatest orators in U.S. history.
In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other non-violent means. By the time of his death in 1968, he had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and opposing the Vietnam War, both from a religious perspective. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and Congressional Gold Medal in 2004; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. national holiday in 1986.
That was a great chat! We had a special guest Mitch Altman (inventor of TV-B-Gone, amongst other things). We answered your engineering questions and we gave away a TV-B-Gone pro SHP generation 4! The Ustream stats are down so we can’t post the viewer report yet – but we think it was a record night with over 500 viewers!
TV-B-Gone Pro SHP is a tool for the true TV-B-Gone professional, a model citizen that ensures the safety of themselves and the people all around them, everywhere they go in the world. The TV-B-Gone professional makes the world a better place for everyone!
Here are just some of the features of the TV-B-Gone Pro SHP:
Super High Power—turn off TVs up to 110 meters away!
Includes all Gen3 TV-B-Gone POWER codes for North America and Europe, covering well over 90% of all TVs in the world!
As easy to use as the TV-B-Gone keychain!
Touch activated switch!
Both models are easily switched between North
American and European databases!
Small, light-weight, looks like a small MP3
8 Infra-Red emitters!
With small powerful rechargable battery (comes
TV-B-Gone Pro SHP works the same way the TV-B-Gone keychain works, but it is way more powerful because it has more emitters and uses a bigger battery. Instead of the batman-like keychain, it comes in a lightweight case that looks like a small MP3 player. It is easy to trigger whenever you desire with the switch on its front. A dim visible light lets you know when the TV-B-Gone Pro SHP is transmitting (Stealth-Mode is available with double-click activation). Like the TV-B-Gone keychain, TV-B-Gone Pro SHP has Instant Reactivation Feature so that you can turn off many TVs in quick succession.
We have two models for the TV-B-Gone Pro SHP:
NA model—includes battery charger with US style AC power plug
EU model—includes battery charger with European style AC power plug
The only difference between the two models is the style of the AC power plug on the included battery charger.
2.75″ (height) x 2.06″ (width) x 0.26″ (depth)
7cm (height) x 5.2cm (width) x 0.65cm (depth)
Click here to view a PDF of the TV-B-Gone Pro SHP User’s Manual