XKCD Takes A Swipe At The Arduino

This XKCD comic takes a playful swipe and almost everything, including the Arduino. We’ve heard people claim that we have some sort of favoritism toward Arduino, and we don’t. People just submit a LOT of projects with them. But there is one point that we’ve seen a few times that should be addressed. In our categories we have an “Arduino hacks” section. That will not be going away, again, because we get so many submitted. However, shouldn’t we also add some categories for other stuff? Should there be a “pic hacks” category, or maybe just “microcontroller hacks” category?

Let’s not making this an Arduino bashing thread. Instead, give us some good ideas on other categories you would like to see for sorting.

[via littlebirdceo]

97 thoughts on “XKCD Takes A Swipe At The Arduino

  1. How about a little bit more…
    Instead of static sections one should be able to select (multiple) tags to limit what one is looking for.
    See sourceforge and other websites who recently upgraded towards this kind of dynamic selection.

    Allow little tiny nasty cookies to be saved to remember the settings and all the arduino-haters and lovers can life in peaceful coexistence.
    BTW. I don’t think more static sections are helpful, if you open up a PIC section, the ARM people might shout and the 80C51 oldtimers, and the Japanese Motorola-people, and if the have enough power the TI MSP430 will try to argue as well…..

    Expand tagging and make a more flexible selection possible

  2. I agree with Torstein. A hashtag system like Gawker uses would be easier to keep up with, and you wouldn’t be stuck with a pile of static categories to dig through and manually keep up with.

  3. There’s nothing wrong with the arduino. It makes hacking and custom projects accessible to everyone. Just because people aren’t coding these things by hand in binary doesn’t mean it’s any lesser. Haters can suck it.

  4. @jacob… hacking in binary what are you talking about… microcontrollers are programed in C for the most part and a few times assembly which isn’t as hard as you might think.

  5. I saw it. It was funny. I might get me a ‘duino.

    p.s. How is this a hack? OMG there are ads on the page, how is that a hack? They use HTML, how is that a hack? I’m viewing this on my Windows PC in Internet Explorer, how is that a hack? I’m using the Human eyes I was born with to view the web, how is that a hack? I breathe oxygen, how is that a hack?

    1. the eye is just a hack of a bunch of photosensitive cells, windows is just a hack of a hack of a hack of the BASIC language for the altair 8800, internet explorer….come on…do i need to say anything? and..everything in biology is a hack of a hack of a hack…

  6. Ummm HaD already has dynamic tagging… not sure what the other posters are on about…

    I don’t see why you need a section for each micro, just groups: simple micros like arduinos, mindstorm, basic stamps, propeller, etc.. and hard core I programmed I with a magnetized needle and a steady hand (or in c) micros like avr, pic, 80xx, arm, etc..

  7. @Mikey or maybe do it like eBay or Amazon where you click on a category tag, then from there you can either just view results or select a sub-category (i.e. Microcontroller Hacks > PIC Hacks)

  8. Dynamic tagging, hashtagging, and logic searches (ie: linux AND avr NOT arduino) would all be great, but that wouldn’t mean we should necessarily drop the static sections. What might help would be some hierarchical static sections. You could, for example, have one top level section for microcontrollers, and then you could have pic, avr, ARM, and arduino as subsections.

    I am well aware that what goes where could likely cause flamewars to develop EVERYWHERE, but the conventions as _where_ to include _what_ would be better discussed in its own thread. I am sure that everyone will have their own opinions, and we all know what they say about opinions….

  9. @cb88

    …I believe jacob was trying to make a joke. When you program in C, it all gets converted into binary anyway. C is just something we use to make it easier. Same thing for the Arduino. It’s all a microcontroller, the Arduino is just a framework that makes it easier to use. So I believe Jacob’s point was that complaining that an Arduino makes it too easy is like complaining that programming in C makes it too easy.

  10. xkcdsucks.blogspot.com

    Ultimate XKCD haters blog that is pretty horrible at dissing xkcd, which makes it pretty entertaining. Also their bad insults have spawned several xckdsuckssucks blogs

  11. @CorporalAris: I don’t hate Arduinos, I just hate most of the ways they’re reported as being used (and to think, I don’t even complain that “it should only be used for prototyping, not the final project!”).

  12. I have a link to a news article where Atmel was in the Red (owed money) so just imagine the cartoon if they went bankrupt; “Yikes! I don’t know how to program that other microcontroller.”

  13. I like the idea of being able to filter out or search based on multiple tags. It doesn’t have to necessarily mean NOT to add more categories tho. I mean, whatever makes sorting easier and more practial sounds like a good idea. While you’re at it how about something to moderate/vote/collapse comments from asshats? I’m so sick of seeing 50 morons post “durrr! oh noes! not more ardweeeno!” just to get to a few good/constructive comments. If people don’t appreciate a free place that they can go to view multiple new posted projects per day, and are just intent on shitting on everyone, they should get kicked in the ballsack IMO. It’s disrespectful to the people who put the time into the projects as well as the people who take the time to submit/report/write about them on here.

  14. 1> Gags
    2> Equipment
    3> Rants
    4> Reviews
    5> other than electronic hacks
    6> Arduino/Mattel/Fisher-Price/Vista
    7> Avr
    8> Xmega
    9> PIC (P, IC??)
    10> Electronics 101 (Formulas, theories, examples)
    11> Biological hacks (5a?, Atkin’s Diet, ph leveling, EEG, EKG)
    12> Dangerous Electronics (high voltage, high power LASER)
    13> ham
    14> Dangerous other (explosives, DIY Chemistry)
    15> Household hacks
    16> DRM breakage
    17> Nudity (exposing chip internals)
    18> Reverse Engineering

    I’m spent.

  15. I did find that a “MICROCONTROLLER” hacks section was missing ever since I found hackaday for the first time.

    I see Arduino as an accessible microcontroller playing thingy…(both as complexity and price). It’s overkill for most projects, but it provides a simple way of getting the job done. It’s there for a fun project, so don’t get lost in getting the maximum efficiency. Though, I don’t use the Arduino platform. Or any other development board for that matter. I like my projects with dedicated hardware.

  16. I sugest to use less word “hack”. What do you mean with “PIC hacks”? Personaly I have seen only few PIC hacks on internet, one of them was, when Russians burned some inputs to use them as diode.
    IMHO when something is used for what it’s manufactured (PIC, AVR, arduino …), it dosn’t count as hack.

  17. Well, no matter what changes are made to the categories, there should be a prominent category at the top that would function as a filter for the word “Arduino.” No post containing the word “Arduino,” be it in the title, description, write-up, or even in the comments, would be able to reside in that category. The category itself should not even be named “Arduino-free,” as merely the sight of the word would cause undue duress to the most intelligent, capable, and deserving visitors to this sight.

    Imagine – once the word “Arduino,” or anything related, pops up in a comment, that post is automatically removed from the category. Our elite friends will be free to live their lives free of anguish and high blood pressure.

  18. Well….

    Microcontroller based projects section is the best idea and is not racist because the word “microcontroller” include STM08, Zilog, PIC, Atmel AVR, ARM, MPS430, and a large etc. Then if the section is flooded with AVR projects (Most of them with Arduino board I think) who cares? it will remain as microcontroller section.

    Almost forgot: Arduino is not a microcontroller!!!!! is a project board based on AVR microcontroller.

  19. On a less aggressive note, I have to agree with ohmsresistance. It would be nice to see page number selection capability added to the pager, and to have this browsing tool located at both the top and bottom of the web page.

  20. XKCD is routinely hilarious, but this may be the funniest one yet.

    I love the 1 mi antenna, the ‘Omit this if you’re a WIMP’ wire, and the ‘not a resistor, wire just does this v^v^v’

    OMG! @ the huge ball of resistors. Teachers have actually made me calculate stuff like that for exams.

    Also holy crap @ 500v AC vibrator…

  21. @Torsten: No 6502 sections, or maybe Z80?

    As you say, there could potential problems there. If we really want that, then a section for microcontrollers and a section for microprocessors ought to be sufficient.

  22. Sodor,

    Could you please explain your comment:

    “Almost forgot: Arduino is not a microcontroller!!!!! is a project board based on AVR microcontroller.”

    It sounds interesting.

    Does Hack A Day reject microcontroller hacks that aren’t arduino?


  23. I guess nobody realized the irony that it made it on a blog site for the soul reason that it even mentioned the Arduino. I find this hilarious for how there is a serious response to a innocent joke. I would honestly not take it personally and enjoy the fact that the Arduino is on the way to replacing lego mindstorms for kids as well as entry level hobbyists.

    As for how to organize the site, it would be nice to see a PIC section… especially once someone finds a homebrew ICD3 with a linux driver, but I’m not holding my breath.

  24. Way to get HaD to create a category:
    1. Get a blog. If you already have one, excellent! Skip this step. If not, go to blogger or wordpress and make a free one.
    2. Write post which could fit into desired category.
    3. Submit story to HaD.

    Seriously, they’ve posted more of my stuff than not. I got a little tired of the Arduino stuff too, so I stopped using Ardunios in the projects I submit. Bam! Less Arduinos.

  25. @joseph and all…

    I don’t think the problem is so much with the Arduino as it is with they way they’re used.

    They’re not a replacement for knowing what you’re doing. At least, they’re not supposed to be. If you’re using a $60 Arduino in place of a LDR and maybe a transistor, to make a LED dimmer (or whatever other basic device)… you’d be better off with Google than with anything else. It’s easy to misuse them.

  26. ROFLMAO!!!!!! :)

    kudos for the flux capacitor..

    On the flip side, i came up with a circuit similar to this using ONE quad comparator (MC34004P) that does something impossible.
    Converts the first two LVDS signals from an LCD panel output (using an aspire one as the panel is easy to get to) into red and green LED outputs depending on both colour and scene brightness.

    No clue how it works but somehow it does.
    according to the datasheet this chip can’t handle much more than 5 MHz so its a factor of ten too slow.

  27. guys, i just built this. that clump of resistors magnetized, except for the actual resistor part (just the wires turned into a magnet)

    it like, latched onto my keys. I mean, it _latched onto my keys_ and it wouldn’t come off. I tried sliding it off and everything, but it just wouldn’t budge.

    It got really hot, then my arduino vanished. I don’t know what’s up, but this circuit is strange, man. Just strange.

  28. I’ll never understand the Arduino-bashing. I don’t own one, will never do. I use the bare µCs, because I know how to. But the Arduino gives the option to people to do µC-stuff without getting too deep into the matter, people who would have never thought they could do µC related stuff. And that is a good thing. I wonder if half the haters even know how to program anything…

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