BAMF2011: chipKIT is Arduino to the power of 32

If you’ve been hungry for more power for your microcontroller projects, but reluctant to dump your investment in Arduino shields or the libraries and community knowledge that go with them all, Digilent has you covered. Their new chipKIT boards are built around the Microchip PIC32 MCU…a powerful 32-bit chip that until recently was left out of the cross-platform scene. A majority of code and quite a number of Arduino shields will work “out of the box” with the chipKIT, and the familiar development tools are available for all three major operating systems: Windows, Mac and Linux.

We first mentioned these a couple weeks ago, but the software was unavailable at the time. Seeing the development tools in action was quite unexpected…

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Bay Area Maker Faire: Hackaday has arrived!

It’s a madhouse already at the 2011 Bay Area Maker Faire. Though the show doesn’t officially start until tomorrow, Friday is “Education Day”, a special preview for local schools. As makers scramble to set up their displays, a thousand impressionable young minds seek the most cacophonous mixture of taiko drumming, ArcAttack’s musical Tesla coils, and the beeping and booping of the R2-D2 Builder’s Club.

Maker Faire is returning for its sixth year at the San Mateo Event Center, and is shaping up to be bigger and zanier than ever. We’ll do our best to provide some live updates through the weekend. As always, check out the official site for pointers on hours, admission, parking and especially public transit options.

(Photo: Colossus, the death-defying centerpiece of the Midway area of the Faire.)

Ladyada to be featured in WIRED magazine

ladyada_wired_cover

If you haven’t seen the news already, prolific maker [Limor Fried/Ladyada] is set to grace the cover of WIRED magazine in the upcoming April edition.

Not only is it a great day for the hacking/maker community as it puts a bright spotlight on the things we do every day, it’s a big day for female engineers as well. While WIRED has been around for 18 years as of this past January, this is the first time a female engineer has been featured on the cover. [Phillip Torrone] put it pretty well when he said, “She’s one of the most talented people in the world, she works harder than anyone else I know, she puts more value in the world than she takes.” – We couldn’t agree more, nor can we think of a better spokesperson to represent the community and inspire budding hackers around the world.

We would like to congratulate [Limor] on her accomplishment, and we encourage everyone to pick up a copy (or at least leaf through it at the bookstore) when it comes out.

If you’re still unconvinced as to how awesome she is, take a gander at some of her work we have featured in the past:

Kinect Open Source driver bounty

Non-lethal weaponry

The Wave Bubble

Minty Boost

Bay Area Maker Faire 2010 video

Since the previously-posted stills can’t quite convey the chaos of last weekend’s Maker Faire, here’s some video from the event to help get you through hump day. It’s like three liters of Jolt Cola in a two liter bottle.

One thing even video can’t adequately capture is our gratitude toward our readers at the show who took time to express their appreciation for the blog. You guys and gals rock our world. Thank you!

Bay Area Maker Faire 2010 in pictures

Just when you think it couldn’t possibly get any bigger and crazier, they manage to outdo themselves again. The Bay Area Maker Faire wrapped up Sunday evening, but we have so many story leads that we’ll probably be busy until next year’s event. In the meantime, here’s just a tiny, random sampling of the countless delights that greeted visitors this past weekend.

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Read about trash-hackers… for free

makers-novel-cover

[Cory Doctorow] has published a novel about the near future and a couple of hackers who can make anything from the stuff lying around. We like a good sci-fi novel, and have no shortage of recommendations (go read Snow Crash) for those who need them. We’re adding ‘Makers’ to our must read list.

Not only is this book about you, but its release most likely agrees with your life philosophy. You can download this book, right now, for free, legally. This is because it has been release under the creative commons license. Best of all, if you like the book and want to make a donation, you are directed to purchase a book on behalf of a school or other program that has requested a copy but doesn’t have the funds to acquire it themselves.

So, buy the book if you want a physical copy, download it if you prefer that method, but either way we think this is better than stealing the printed word.

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