Hackaday Links: The Last One Of 2014

The guy behind the Microslice, a tiny Arduino-controlled laser cutter, has a new Kickstarter out. It’s called the Multibox PC, and it’s exactly what you need if you want to turn a Raspi, Banana Pi, HummingBoard, or Odroid U3 into an all-in-one desktop. 14″ 1366 x 768 LCD, and speakers turns dev boards into a respectable little Linux box.

If you’re learning to design schematics and lay out PCBs, you should really, really think about using KiCAD. It’s the future. However, Eagle is still popular and has many more tutorials. Here’s another. [Mushfiq] put together a series of tutorials for creating a library, designing a schematic, and doing the layout.

Another kickstarter wristwatch. But wait, this thing has a circular display. That’s really cool. It’s a 1.4″ 220×220 pixel, 262k color display. No, the display doesn’t use a polar coordinate system.

[Jari] wrote a digital logic simulator, Atanua, started selling licenses, and figured out it wasn’t worth developing on his own anymore. As promised, Atanua is now open source. If you want to look at the finances behind Atanua, here you go.

In 1970, you didn’t have a lot of options when it came to memory. One of the best options was Intel’s 1405 shift register – 512 bits of storage. Yes, shift registers as memory. [Ken Shirriff] got his hands on a memory board from a Datapoint 2200 terminal. Each of the display boards had 32 of these shift registers. Here’s what they look like on the inside

There’s a lot of talk about North Korean hackers, and a quick review of the yearly WordPress stats for Hackaday puts a tear in our eye. This year, there were fifty-four views from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. That’s just great. It’s awesome to see the hacker ethos make it to far-flung lands and through highly restricted firewalls. There’s still a long road ahead of us, though, and we’ll redouble our efforts on bringing the hacker mindset to Tuvalu and Saint Helena in the year 2015.

9 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: The Last One Of 2014

    1. I think we’re coming full circle to the good old days, where many computer enthusiasts WERE electronics hobbyists. There was a great divergence, but the accessibility of both hardware and software development tools has improved massively in recent years. Large communities exist for hobby electronics and hobby software development, and the ability to participate in large, self-managed projects is becoming commonplace. We’re seeing a lot of crossover in both directions, and there are more software developers who really understand what hardware developers need, and vice versa.

      1. I agree and that’s why I come here. If I wanted to learn something useful I’d do it but thankfully the burden of useful information is buried under post after post of LED clocks! Sometimes I accidentally read a useful comment but the community is quick to shut down those info blasting trolls.

        Later guys I’m going to go look up how to build an arduino time keeping machine. I only know how to follow instructions and don’t actually understand the underlining concepts so if I mess something up watch for further questions in the comment section!

  1. KiCAD has a long way to go. Push and shove is nice, but you can’t turn on rats nets while doing so. Why is there even two video modes?

    Open GL mode for push and shove means a decent video card. My NC8430 runs Altium fine, can support KiCAD push and shove.

    But hey, the price is right and I wish them all the best if luck. Until its more refined, clients insisting on KiCAD get charged by the hour (KiCAD tax).

  2. Another vote for Kicad. I started with Eagle, but if you design boards, you’re eventually going to want to go over 4″ and the price jumps up.

    I agree that Kicad has rough edges, but I found both Eagle and Kicad painful to learn and I wish now that I had started with Kicad and just learn one set of quirks.

    In both programs, the key to happiness seems to be drawing your own footprints (either for obscure parts or so you can have them the way you like them). If, like me, you’re going to end up using Kicad anyway some day, you might as well start building your footprint library there. The pain of loosing the library you designed for some other program can be avoided.

    1. But why is there not a peer-reviewed part library mechanism? Or at least package mechanism? The part library creation is the second reason I continue to struggle through with the bird-based-brained software – I can download schematics from adafruit/sparkfun and have it just work*

      The first is that it doesn’t work on Mac without a _lot_ of compiling and (*nix) computing knowledge.

      *As much as any Accipitridae-named application works for a casual user**, anyway
      **Which is not very much, due to the amazing quirkiness, the archaeic interface (reskinning for version 7 does not count), the useless documentation, the required but undocumented keyboard shortcuts, the dubious mac translation (Command is not Control)

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