I intended to get to the speech commands for openz-wave this weekend but I ADDed completely.

Ali and I picked up an Arduino Uno, some sensors, and a ‘soldering for beginners kit‘ and decided that we were going to learn to build some hardware devices over the rainy weekend.

One thing to mention, before going on any farther about my amazing weekend with Ali, I destroyed about 10 six year olds at laser tag yesterday. Thanks Jackson! Hope you had a happy birthday.

The ‘MAKER’ world pretty much escaped me during my time in school. I have played with a few servos and motors here and there but I have never created anything cool from the hardware up. I plan to change that. Reading the tutorials as a complete noob, I was reminded of an xkcd.com comic that stresses how cool it is to always try new things and be involved in a community that encourages new members rather than laughing at the first time fails.

While I would like to say the first soldering project turned out to be a success in functionality, I would be lying. We made lightOne LED stays on permanently and the other flickers. Ali and I were not disappointed at all thought. We made light from a little plastic piece. We have the “I AM THE SMARTEST MAN ALIVE” high that goes with completing any new project. When that feeling wears off, I guess we will go back and troubleshoot the problem or at least do a quick google search.

We discovered that soldering the random boards and projects were fun, but breadboards and Arduino are a lot easier and faster to get up and going. The coding aspect also feels more natural to me and being able to compile and test before committing to a solder is wonderful.

I was very impressed with how easy the whole setup is – reminds me a lot of the Lego Mind-storm without the ‘candy’ layer.


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