To all you EEs out there: Be Afraid.

Be very afraid.

A software guy – a dedicated, user-land guy – is playing with hardware. This is surely one of the 7 Signs.

I’ve been thinking for a while about getting an Arduino, which is basically a little computer on a board. They make it pretty easy to program and poke at the different pins and stuff.

The Arduino Uno on the right of the above picture came with a SparkFun Inventors Kit, a nice collection of sensors, motors, LEDs and stuff (plus documentation) that seemed like a really good way to get started in this area. This was waiting for me when I got home from Botacon 0 yesterday. W00t.

The Fez Panda on the left,  also purchased from SparkFun, came all by its lonesome (well, plus a USB cable) and arrived today. Double woot.

The Panda in particular is something I’m truely excited about. Both of these little beasties cost about US$35 but the Panda exposes a lot more pins AND it’s based on the .NET Micro Framework which means I get to code it in C# and use Microsoft Developer Studio.

I’ve been writing code for a living for 20+ years and C# is, by far, the best language I’ve ever used. When I go back to having to write code in C or C++, it’s just painful – sooooo much crap to do so little work. And ask anybody who’s ever used MSDEV how it compares to other dev environments – it totally spanks them. Every single one. Totally. By a long, long way. SPANKS!

I’m truely psyched about this. Really.

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4 Responses to To all you EEs out there: Be Afraid.

  1. Markus Klink says:

    Congrats! Having bought an Arduino awhile back, I can assure you, that it will turn your life upside down. And don’t think to much about the programming language. The C/C++ used for the Arduino has so comfortable libraries and high level access, that it is really fun to write code for it. And for many problems you will discover that procedural programming is just a perfect concept 🙂 Happy new year, Markus

  2. Thaed says:

    In a way, the Thing-o-Matic is just the mother of all Arduino projects. I dove into Arduino prior to my ToM adventure. If I hadn’t, I’d be even more lost now than I am.

  3. Dave Durant says:

    Don’t worry – there’s still plenty of stuff to get lost in, Thaed! 🙂

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