MAKE’s “Ultimate Guide to Kits” is out and it’s one of the best things they have ever created for tinkerers, makers and hackers. To promote it and their new Kit Reviews site, they’re running a “Kit-A-Day” giveaway that includes thousands of dollars in Maker Shed merchandise between now (last Friday, actually) and Xmas. Included are 5 Makerbots– 1 was already given away, but 4 are left. The guide has the biggest selection of open-source hardware in one place!
Each week for the last couple years we do a new products segment when we add new things to the Adafruit store – our video editor George edited up a segment that’s just new products for the folks who have asked for this, enjoy!
Getting Started with Parallax. This is a really impressive wiki filled with examples, code and more. Parallax is hands down one of the best “documenters” of learning electronics – they’re also including Arduino code examples too…
Welcome to the Parallax KickStart wiki! Here you’ll find dozens of programming examples to help you jump start your use of Parallax sensors and accessories sold through retail stores such as RadioShack, Microcenter, and Fry’s Electronics.
These KickStarts give you hands-on help for connecting R/C servos, GPS modules, accelerometers, digital compasses, ultrasonic distance sensors, XBee wireless radios, and more to three of the world’s most popular microcontrollers: the BASIC Stamp 2, Parallax Propeller, and Arduino.
KickStarts are basic, no-frills coding samples, made so you can get started, fast. Each example takes no more than a few minutes to set up and try.
Many of the Parallax sensors and accessories offer enhanced features and functionality not covered in the example code. So when you’re ready to move on and explore more, follow the links at the bottom of each KickStart example page for additional info.
KickStarts provide working code and connection diagrams for the Parallax Propeller QuickStart, BASIC Stamp 2 HomeWork Board, and Arduino Uno.
In most cases, the programming code will also work for variations of these microcontroller development boards, such as the BASIC Stamp Board of Education. Adapt the wiring connections as needed.
If you subscribe to MAKE and you’ve received MAKE Volume 28 in the mail, you’ve likely noticed a little something extra that came with it. It’s the first-ever Maker Shed print catalog! We spent many hours putting our great products into a browsable print format for your viewing pleasure. The Maker Shed Catalog is packed with 45 pages of microcontrollers, kits, and gift ideas, as well as a soldering tutorial, maker profiles, and more! It’s perfect for finding holiday gifts for yourself and others (or do what I do and circle items and leave it for others to find).
I live and work about two blocks from Wall Street in NYC, so it’s been an interesting and charged few months — even more than the usual New York City amplifier. Besides my role at MAKE, I help run an open source electronics factory, Adafruit Industries. During the 2008 financial crash, we were able to get a fairly large space when the financial folks were leaving in droves, and since then we’ve witnessed many changes in the area. Some have been good and some I’ll call challenges. Over the years, a common question I get asked is “Why New York City?” And then there’s “Why run a business there? It’s so hard/expensive/crazy/weird/intense.” Also, “Just move to Vegas — no taxes!” And that’s what this week’s Soapbox is all about: “If you can make it in NYC, you can make it anywhere.” I’m going to talk about why I think this is the best city for me, for now, to run a business. My goal is for the maker businesses out there, from one person to many, to post up in the comments on why their city is the best city to run a maker business. Let’s get started.
A special issue of MAKE, the Ultimate Kit Guide 2012, is hitting newsstands this week!
In it, we review over 175 different kits, ranging from rockets, robots, and remote control, to cocktails, kombucha, and cured meat. This wide-ranging kit guide is something I’m really excited about. The MAKE staff and our friends spent a lot of time with a great number of kits, and we picked the ones we feel really good about recommending to others. It reminds me of the Whole Earth Catalog, which was a mind-blowing, life-changing publication for me. I hope the kits in MAKE’s Ultimate Kit Guide will inspire a new generation of people to become active creators of the things that they use in their life.
A while back I was bored and wanted to take a look at the gRaphael JS library, so I made a quick dot chart of our order totals by day of the week. Here it is!
Join us Wednesday evening for the next episode of Make: Live, our streaming show and tell! This episode is our Ultimate Kit Episode, in honor of the new Special Issue of MAKE, The Ultimate Kit Guide.
Make: Live 20 – Ultimate Kit Episode
Wednesday November 9th, 9pm ET/6pm PT
Watch at makezine.com/live or on UStream
Please join us in the UStream chat or mark tweets with #makelive to interact live with the show.
There are a lot of Angry Birds products out there, but most of them aren’t officially licensed. Angry Birds is now the most copied brand in China, and we get a lot of inspiration from local producers.
Right now, we’ve proven that there’s demand, and we’re going for 100 million downloads this year for Angry Birds, and again the same demand for the physical products.
The way we look at it is, of course we want to sell the officially licensed, good quality products, but at the same time we have to be happy about the fact that the brand is so loved that it is the most copied brand in China.
It’s great for us to see the demand, and that’s why we’re building our own stores here. And actually we’re building our first stores here, and not in Helsinki…
We hope to have quite a few over the next 12 months.
This is the Stella amp, an amplifier that I’m in the middle of designing. I wanted a battery powered amplifier that was a little more versatile than all of the LM-386 amps that are out there. So I made my own.
At any rate, I have to say thanks Adafruit for having this great kitbiz resource. You guys are amazing, I cannot thank you enough. I never would have done any of this without you.
…during the recent economic slump, more Americans have started businesses than at any time in the past 15 years, according to the Kauffman Foundation. The Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, an indicator of new business creation in the U.S.,shows that .34 percent of American adults created a business per month (or 565,000 new businesses) in 2010. That’s not entirely surprising given the state of the economy: Entrepreneurship is often a choice for people who were laid off and can’t find work.
We are seeing more one-person shops starting kit businesses as well lately.
We really like scales here at the Adafruit factory, we use them extensively for weighing packages for shipment. We also like scales for counting components, especially small ones, like LEDs or pogo pins. There’s nothing more tedious than counting out bunches of LEDs for SpokePOV kits or LED packs. Using a scale is both fast and precise, leaving us more time for designing kits and writing tutorials!
Our new favorite scale! We just picked up a MyWeigh i601 and it is by far our favorite counting scale. I’m so in love with it, I’m going to get another. Its an ideal counter for small components!
Last night I had the pleasure of co-curating an all-night concert of Chiptunes music at the TIFF Bell Lightbox as part of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche. (Clearly, I’m not too great at this whole “promotion” thing: note that this happened last night.) Nonetheless, it was an amazing event, and I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to participate. Thanks to all our amazing artists, TIFF staff, and volunteers!
My main role was in designing, manufacturing, and building small noisemakers to give out to the crowd. There were four different colour-coded notes, and during one performance the audience was prompted with coloured cards to play along.
“Lady ada, how the hell am I supposed to know what the HST code is for my products!?!?!?”
And I’m all…
“I’m not an import/export attorney, but there’s a lot of places you can research to get the best match!”
This mini tutorial will cover how to find the best tariff code to match your product. Finding the right code is annoying but you only have to do it once, and getting it right will help you get your product through customs faster!