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.