My brain needed a short break from routing, so I started digging through my ‘datasheet’ folder (a haphazardly organized collection of oddities) and came across some old papers I filed away from different researchers I found interesting at some point. I was quite interested in wearables and home automation a while back, and Matthai Philipose (currently Microsoft Research, formerly Intel) had some really interesting papers on this (ex.: Wireless Wearables for Detecting Use of Objects). It had me wondering what other people in the research community get people thinking and inspired to come up with creative solutions to existing problems. Anyone that inspires you? Publish some links to their research below, and maybe everyone else can gets some balls rolling in their head!
We just deployed another simple, but important update to the Adafruit Learning System. Downloadable guide PDFs now have links auto-generated and displayed, after the actual link using the adafru.it API. See the image above for an example. We are constantly tweaking these auto-generated PDF downloads to make them easier to use, and bug free. Let us know what you think. Go to http://learn.adafruit.com, click on any guide, then click on the ‘Download PDF’ link in the left column.
Every question, curiousity and doubt anyone has ever had about Peltier cells seems to be addressed in this FAQ from Tellurex. I stumbled across it over the weekend, and yes … it’s marketting material, but there’s still a lot of good information in there if you want to keep your favorite that beverage nice and chilly, or scavanage free energy using a heat differential. If you didn’t know about Peltier cells, now’s a great time to look them up and figure out some fun things you can do with them (post the details below … I love these things)!
…from 1900 to 1930, the golden age of piano making, American factories churned out millions of them. Nearly 365,000 were sold at the peak, in 1910, according to the National Piano Manufacturers Association. (In 2011, 41,000 were sold, along with 120,000 digital pianos and 1.1 million keyboards, according to Music Trades magazine.)
The average life span rarely exceeds 80 years, piano technicians say. That’s a lot of pianos now reaching the end of the line.
Piano dealers also blame other changes in society for a lack of demand in the used-piano market: cuts in music education in schools, competition for practice time from other pursuits, a drop in spending on home furnishings with the fall of the housing market.
Whatever the reason, people in the piano world agree that disposals are mounting.
O’Mara Meehan Piano Movers said it takes 5 to 10 pianos a month to the debris transfer site here. The company was founded in 1874 by the great-grandfather of the brothers Bryan and Charles T. O’Mara Jr.
We like to talk a great deal about the merging of art and science — because both are ultimately creative practices, there is considerable overlap between them. Many art pieces strive to use scientific tools and processes to develop expressive works, and some of them even succeed. This piece: “The Great Work of the Metal Lover” by Adam W. Brown is just such a work. He writes:
The Great Work of the Metal Lover speaks directly to the scientific preoccupation with trying to shape and bend biology to our will within the post biological age, essentially questioning the ethical and political ramifications of attempting to perfect nature.
I like the connection he’s made with the cultural and historical thread of Western alchemy, as reflected in the title. The “great work” or “magnum opus” of the alchemists was the medieval equivalent of the modern unified field theory concept — it’s was the asymptotic goal of all alchemists to solve this problem.
In addition to the artistic narrative, it’s also got some very interesting science going on — the extraction of metallic gold from compounds using microbiological agents. The second part of the piece involves gold leaf applied to microphotographs, in an imitation of classic illuminated manuscripts. The result is a very coherent piece that is both mysterious and familiar.
The folks at Tinkercad (a simple web-based 3D app where I made the model) asked me to do a guest post for their blog, which was posted today. If you’re interested in reading the whole thing, you can check it out here.
3D printing is a concept I’ve always found interesting, but my lack of knowledge in 3D modeling made it a bit out of my reach. I’m sure I’d have little difficulty learning a 3D program, I just don’t have the time to commit to it. Thankfully, I discovered Tinkercad – not only was it extremely easy to learn, it allowed me to start building the things I imagined in my head in no time. Somehow, the idea came to me that I should try to build a model of Brewster station with these newfound skills. It seemed like a great way to learn Tinkercad and make my first 3D model (actually, my first model period – as real-life modeling is another facet of the railfan community), but also to experiment in printing 3D with Shapeways.
All of my requirements sheets are geared toward high school environments. If you require either easier or harder requirements feel free to make a request! My objective on the requirements sheet is to have the students familiar enough with the component that they can use it effectively in their designs and troubleshoot problems when they arise. Please feel free to modify the sheet to fit your needs.
A few years ago or so, Microsoft introduced myTechEd Badge Rewards program as a way to reward their community for participating in things like “participating”, “sharing” and “interaction.”
TechEd wants to reward you for engaging with our content and sharing it with your peers. You’re already doing that, right? myTechEd Badge Rewards lets you earn credit for your actions and gives you access to special incentives, including virtual badges and points.
Don’t let go of your data! You’ve built up quite a cache of resources for yourself here – partners to connect with, sessions to revisit, discussions to follow, etc. We like to see that, so we’ll reward you with some points.
You like to learn and you know it! Earn points for exploring all the great content on the TechEd site and enhancing your skill set with archived sessions on-demand, live webcasts, featured videos and more.
Get your gab on! Community is all about conversation, so talk it up on myTechEd, whether it’s through direct messages, via in-person meetings, or on the TechEd Blog and Discussions. Talk about TechEd, technology, techniques, or techno music, and earn some points.
Getting to know you! Tell us more about who you are, the techy stuff you crave, how we can find you online, and what you do when you’re not learning the hot new technologies.
Sharing is caring! Tell your peers about TechEd and earn points doing it.
Call it a “massive open cookout.” Coursera, a company that is working with more than a dozen elite universities to help them run MOOC’s, or massive open online courses, held its first official “meetup” here on Saturday for students and professors to connect in person over burgers, chips, and soda. It was a chance for even the company itself to learn more about what motivates students to take its courses, which bear no official academic credit. With some 900,000 students registered for its courses, everything the small company does seems to get big quickly.
This video is a demonstration of two robots, the 160g Tailbot (a 4 wheeled robot) and the 8.1kg XRL (a RHex hexapedal robot), using their inertial tails to perform aerial self righting behaviors. This work was presented at CLAWAR 2012, and the paper can be found here: http://kodlab.seas.upenn.edu/Aaron/CLAWARTails
Python is a powerful and expressive language that has very simple syntax. If you’re unsure of which programming language to learn, then Python is a great choice. The language is used in a variety of disciplines: application, web, and game development. Python can do it all and you’ll be well on your way to mastery at the end of this track.
One you go through the lessons, award yourself or someone who also deserves it, one of these!
Python – Skill badge, iron-on patch. You’ve learned the Python programming language! Python is an easy-to-learn and programming language that’s popular for its powerful capabilities and human-readable code. The Python logo is used with permission from the Python Foundation.
Adafruit offers a fun and exciting “badges” to celebrate achievement for electronics, science and engineering. We believe everyone should be able to be rewarded for learning a useful skill, a badge is just one of the many ways to show and share.
Today we’re launching an important new feature on DIY. We call it Skills.
We’re starting small with our first 8 Skills: Circuit Bender, Fort Builder, Gamer, Gardener, Instrument Maker, n00b, Rocketeer, and Weaver.
Skills are made of Challenges, which are awesome project ideas that Makers can solve by uploading photos and videos of their own inventions.
Each Challenge is paired with the most inspiring creative projects we could find on the web. These references teach techniques and generate big ideas for your own project. We think there’s a need for the very best of the web to be curated into an ultimate resource for Makers and parents – so we’ve collected the clearest how to’s and the coolest project ideas all in one spot. I also made a few myself.
We’re building Skills and Challenges around what the community is already making. So the Elastic Band Guitar made by Griffon will solve the “Make a String Instrument” Challenge and will become a reference for it too. As we continue to release more Skills (there are hundreds coming – a handful per week) we’ll be influenced by what you all are making on DIY. Our Skills will seek to represent and reward all the different kinds of creativity within the DIY community.
OK, stop reading and go make something awesome!
PS: Many of you might be wondering, specifically, how a Maker can “earn” a Skill. That’s coming really soon! Hang tight.
So you want to dump a ROM, but don’t have a breadboard? Use a Teensy, some female-female jumpers and if you have one, a ZIF socket. The power and ground wires have been cut and three additional leads soldered to each one to provide hard-wired values for for Vpp, !PGM, !CS and !OE signals. To make wiring easier, prom.c maps the address lines sequentially down the left side of the Teensy, and the data lines sequentially down the right side. Up to 14 bits of address line are supported, allowing up to 16 KB PROMs to be dumped.