If you have any interest in either electronic circuits or micro-controllers, you have probably heard of the Arduino. Unless you have actually worked with the Arduino, you may only have a vague idea of what all the excitement is all about. If you are one of those who have wondered what the Arduino is, would like to know more about it, this article will answer most of your questions and give you a good grasp of the concepts.
Since this article is geared toward those with no or little prior knowledge of the Arduino platform, you may be inclined to skip it if you are more experienced. There is however, some useful information for the more experienced. You may often find yourself at a loss for words when describing the Arduino or your Arduino based projects to your family and friends. In that case, you might find this tutorial provides a good framework for improving your communication.
What is an Arduino?
The Arduino is a microcontroller based platform. It is not a microcontroller, but is an entire development/engineering environment and eco-system based on a family of microcontrollers from the Atmel corporation.
There are many microcontrollers from various corporations available, and … Read the rest
In these tough economic times, good jobs are hard to find. Even if you find one, the pay may not be so great. This article provides ideas for 37 different sidelines. These ideas are better than most and can also inspire you to think of some of your own as well.… Read the rest
Posted in Job
Tagged business ideas
Izhar Gafni should be an inspiration for us all. He made a bicycle out of cardboard. Everyone thought he was nuts – impossible they said. The idea kept bothering him, so his wife encouraged him to try – he wouldn’t have peace until he at least tried it. You can see the results in the video from this article.
Don’t let naysayers discourage you from pursuing your ideas or dreams. Just do it – what have you got to lose?… Read the rest
Posted in Living
Tagged bicycle, motivation
Unfortunately, there are no real standard sizes in the industry. Plugs & compatible jacks can vary by barrel diameter, pin diameter and barrel length. Even the polarity is non-standard. Some appliances actually use the center pin for negative/ground and the outer barrel for positive. You can determine which one is used by the pictorial representation found on the side of a gadget. It will show the pin and outer barrel and the polarity of each.
Even though there are two diameters that determine the size of the jack/plug, usually only the pin diameter is specified. For example, the popular 2.1mm jack has a barrel diameter of 5.5mm. The barrel diameter is assumed in most cases.
Despite the total lack of standards for household stuff, for the hobbyist, some popular sizes have emerged.
For low power connections, the pin diameter is 2.1mm and the barrel diameter is 5.5mm.
For higher current connections, having currents greater than 2.0 amps, the pin diameter is usually 2.5mm with a barrel diameter of 5.5mm.
Barrel length on the plugs seems to have settled at about 9.5 to 12mm long. The length match is not as critical as long as the plug is sufficiently long to … Read the rest
Posted in Tech
Section: Product Info
I love to build and sail wooden boats when I have the time. One of my favorite boat designers – Ross Lillistone, has written a very encouraging article on how to deal with obstacles and mistakes made when working on a project.
Although the article is geared toward boat builders, it contains good advice for all of us. Frequently we make a big mistake in our project. It then leaves us frustrated and we often abandon the project. Abandoned projects are very hard to come back to. Instead of being stymied by setbacks, we should correct the mistake as best as we can and continue on. It is the overall quality in a project that makes the difference – not the absence of any mistakes. Don’t let perfectionism stand in your way.… Read the rest
Posted in Living
A new study (NOTE: link is invalid, see update at end of article) from mainstream sources has not only confirmed that chemotherapy does more harm than good, but discovers the mechanism by which chemotherapy almost ensures death by cancer. This finding is nothing new to those who have much experience with the medical industry’s track record in treating cancer. The typical process experienced by most cancer patients is as follows:
- Get biopsy confirming cancer
- Become scared and sign up for whatever treatment the doctor recommends – usually chemotherapy
- Endure months of living hell (from the chemo) and withdraw from normal life
- Doctor declares the cancer is gone and a new day dawns
- Six months to a year later, the cancer returns
- More chemo, radiation, etc. – nothing works now and despair begins to set in
- Doctor says nothing more can be done and gives up
- Patient looks to natural alternatives and usually heads to Mexico
- By this time, even natural methods don’t work and patient finally succumbs
I don’t have exact statistics, but I would venture that this scenario is played out with some variation about 90% of the time or more. As I mentioned in this article, as … Read the rest
You’ve just got to love this. Steve Wozniak uses a pad of $2 bills in sheets as spending money. It is real money, but perforated and glued on top like a regular pad of paper. See the interview and read Woz’s own account for how he uses these for laughs.
You can buy your own currency sheets in many demonations ($2 ones are sold out right now), but unless you have deep pockets like Woz, it isn’t practical for most people. One thing is for sure – Wozniak sure has a creative mind. No wonder he is so successful.… Read the rest
Posted in Living
I recently tried to login into my Google account that hosts my YouTube channel. I had set the channel up a few years ago, and only used it once, so I had forgotten the e-mail address associated with it. Google however, lets you login using your channel name so that is what I tried to do. The problem was that since I had set up the channel, I also added a gmail address with the same username.
To my surprise, whenever I tried to login into my YouTube channel, it logged me into the gmail account, and that account had no YouTube channel. After some forum posts, a lot of research and trying a lot of things, I finally recovered my YouTube channel. For those in the same boat, there is a way to recover your YouTube channel, but the standard advice is a bit sketchy, and doesn’t really help without an understanding of what is going on. Here is how Google handles accounts:
Google Account Rules
The way Google sets up accounts, you provide a username and an e-mail address. The wrinkle is the fact that gmail accounts are also Google accounts. What is not obvious, is that they … Read the rest
Posted in Tech
Tagged security, youtube
A new study shows that eating 2 slices of cheese a day cuts the average person’s risk of type 2 diabetes by 12 percent. Of course such findings seem to be causing the health authority mentioned in the article to have a cow:
We recommend a healthy balanced diet, rich in fruit and vegetables and low in salt and fat. This study gives us no reason to believe that people should change their dairy intake in an attempt to avoid the condition.
The reason being according to the article:
The findings go against current health guidelines, which advise cutting back on dairy products and other high-fat foods to help prevent the illness.
The current low-fat high-carb diet recommended by health authorities is just nonsense. For example, the study also showed similar reductions in diabetes when subjects ate yoghurt instead of cheese. The facts are that quality whole foods such as cheese and yoghurt are not the health demons they are claimed to be. Rather, these are the very foods that will keep us the most healthy.
It is no mere coincidence that the incidence of diabetes began to skyrocket when fat consumption was demonized. Eating healthy fats are how you … Read the rest
When you finish the design and prototyping of your project and you want to make a PCB, you need to use some kind of PCB layout software. While there are a plethora of commercial products, most of them expensive – very expensive, there are relatively few that are low cost or free for the open source designer. This guide will look at the options available and make recommendations based on the author’s knowledge and preferences.
NOTE: There may be some other applications than the ones I have mentioned. Since I use Linux on my PC, I have only looked at the packages than run under Linux. I believe the ones listed run under all three mainstream operating systems, but I am only certain about Linux versions.
Online PCB Software
Some commercial PCB fabricators offer their own free online software. While some of these products may be quite capable, they suffer from one huge drawback – you are locked into their services. If you want to have your PCB made elsewhere, you are out of luck. For that reason I don’t give these programs a second look.
The Eagle CAD package offers both schematic and PCB layout programs. It … Read the rest
Posted in Tech
Tagged electronics, pcb