Share Your Projects: Leave Breadcrumbs

I’ve talked about a low-effort way to document your projects by taking plenty of pictures, and about ways that your PCBs could be documenting themselves. Today, let’s talk about a quick and easy way that you could help other hackers as you go through your own hacking adventures — leaving breadcrumbs.

In short, breadcrumbs are little pieces of crucial information that you had to spend time to figure out. They are solutions to problems that another hacker just like you could stumble upon in the future, something that you perhaps wish you didn’t have to figure out on your own, and certainly something that others won’t need to spend time figuring out.

Breadcrumbs are about saving time, for you and others. It helps if you think of your solved problems in terms of time spent. If you figure out a small problem and then publish your solution, you might be saving half an hour, a full hour, or a good few hours of time another hacker that’s could even be less experienced in debugging than you. In fact, your breadcrumb might even make a difference between someone completing a project and abandoning it!

However, there’s also the trade-off of taking time to document something. If you can’t publish your solution in a few minutes’ time, it might become much harder to persuade your brain to publish the next time you have something notable. Here’s a guideline: if you’ve just figured out a cool terminal command that helps you solve a certain kind of problem, you should have a quick way to publish that command within a minute. The good news is, the internet has a hundred different places you could easily share your findings, depending on the kind of problem you’ve solved! Continue reading “Share Your Projects: Leave Breadcrumbs”

One Hackaday Reader’s Experience Going On The Ben Heck Show

In the Hackaday Froums, [Colecago] shares his experience collaborating with [Ben Heck]. They were building some “Robot Luggage”, and you can see the episode after the break below. The idea was that they would build a piece of luggage that would follow you through an airport instead of having to be dragged.

[Colecago] shares a little about the “behind the scenes process”. There’s a surprising amount of work that goes into a very little amount of video. From what we can gather, this video took over a month to make. [Jesse/Colecago] was quite embarrassed to have run into a mistake that he called “UART Dislexia”, where he repeatedly wired the circuit incorrectly. We say, don’t stress, it happens to everyone.

Another point he brings up is how much of a pain in the butt the Arduino was in this process. While people in the comments often argue about the use of the arduino, [Jesse] explains how this specific case would have been much easier without.

Continue reading “One Hackaday Reader’s Experience Going On The Ben Heck Show”

The Joy Of Forums

[John Park] over at Make posted a short story about coming home from vacation to find his espresso machine non-functional. After beating his head against the wall for a while he joined a forum and posted a video. As has happened so many times, another user had seen this exact issue and was able to send him in the right direction.

We realize that this is just a simple capacitor replacement, though we understand his frustration, the original looks perfectly fine. The point here, is that there is usually someone out there on a forum that has experience with whatever your problem is. So don’t waste any time, go join the most awesome forum on the planet and get hacking!