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Adafruit Industries - Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers!

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POV Display with #DotStars and #ItsyBitsyM0

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-23 16:00, modified on 2019-01-22 16:25

From HomeMadeGarbage on hackster.io:

I made a full color POV (persistence of vision) display using a wireless charging module and DotStar LED tape.

Read more and see more on vimeo

The iconic Apple ad “1984” turns 35 today #Apple #Advertizing #Distopia @apple

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-23 15:33, modified at 15:28

35 years ago:

On January 22, 1984, Apple introduced the Macintosh (Mac) to the world during the iconic US football championship – the Superbowl, where many eyes are focused, and ad rates are astronomically expensive.

At the end was:

Apple 1984 ad phrase

Via Wikipedia:

1984” is an American television commercial that introduced the Apple Macintosh personal computer. It was conceived by Steve Hayden, Brent Thomas and Lee Clow at Chiat\Day, produced by New York production company Fairbanks Films, and directed by Ridley Scott. English athlete Anya Major performed as the unnamed heroine and David Graham as Big Brother. It first aired in 10 local outlets, including Twin Falls, Idaho, where Chiat\Day ran the ad on December 31, 1983, at the last possible break before midnight on KMVT, so that the advertisement qualified for 1983 advertising awards. Its second televised airing, and only national airing, was on January 22, 1984, during a break in the third quarter of the telecast of Super Bowl XVIII by CBS.

Ad apple 1984.jpg

In one interpretation of the commercial, “1984” used the unnamed heroine to represent the coming of the Macintosh (indicated by her white tank top with a stylized line drawing of Apple’s Macintosh computer on it) as a means of saving humanity from “conformity” (Big Brother). These images were an allusion to George Orwell‘s noted novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, which described a dystopian future ruled by a televised “Big Brother”. The estate of George Orwell and the television rightsholder to the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four considered the commercial to be a copyright infringement and sent a cease-and-desist letter to Apple and Chiat\Day in April 1984.

Originally a subject of contention within Apple, it has subsequently been called a watershed event and a masterpiece in advertising. In 1995, The Clio Awards added it to its Hall of Fame, and Advertising Age placed it on the top of its list of 50 greatest commercials.

Happy 35th birthday to an ad that may have saved Apple from the likes of IBM.

See more on Wikipedia.



Introducing Darkstar: A Xerox Star Emulator #VintageComputing #Xerox #Emulation

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-23 15:06, modified at 15:01

Via libingcomputers.org: Josh Dersch writes about research into the Xerox 8010 Information System (codenamed “Dandelion” during development) and commonly referred to as the Star. The Star was envisioned as center point of the office of the future, combining high-resolution graphics with the now-familiar mouse, Ethernet networking for sharing and collaborating, and Xerox’s Laser Printer technology for faithful “WYSIWYG” document reproduction. A revolutionary system when most everyone else was using text based systems.

Josh goes into detail in his article about the hardware which required emulating, no easy task given functions were wired on circuit boards with dozens of chips each.

One of the major issues I was confronted with nearly immediately when writing the CP emulation was one of fidelity: how faithful to the hardware does this emulation need to be?

The result is an excellent emulator which Josh named Darkstar.

Darkstar is available for download on this Github site and is open source under the BSD 2-Clause license.  It runs on Windows and on Unix systems using the Mono runtime.  It is still very much a work in progress.  Feedback, bug reports, and contributions are always welcome.

You’ve downloaded and installed Darkstar and have perused the documentation – now what?  Darkstar doesn’t come with any Xerox software, but pre-built hard disk images are available on Bitsavers (and for the more adventurous among you, piles of floppy disk images are available if you want to install something yourself).  Grab http://bitsavers.org/bits/Xerox/8010/8010_hd_images.zip — this contains hard disk images for Viewpoint 2.0, XDE 5.0, and The Harmony release of Interlisp-D.

You’ll probably want to start with Viewpoint; it’s the crowning achievement of the Star and it invented the desktop metaphor, with icons representing documents and folders.

Read up here for the full article including history, emulation strategies, and especially what to set the date to so the software doesn’t get deactivated by 30 year old ambitious copy protection.

MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA) Adopts MIDI Capability Inquiry (MIDI-CI) Specification for MIDI 2.0 #MIDI

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-23 14:45, modified at 14:40

MIDI-CI specification available for download

MIDI has been a successful tool for music transport for more than 3 decades. The features of MIDI 1.0 that we “know and love” continue to work well. The basic semantic language of music does not change and as a result the existing definitions of MIDI as musical control messages continue to work.

However, MIDI has not changed to fully take advantage of the new technical environment around it. The 2018 MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA) wants to expand the feature set of MIDI capabilities. At the same time, they recognize there are several key hurdles and requirements to consider as they make any additions to MIDI:

• Backwards compatibility is a key requirement. Our users expect new MIDI devices to work seamlessly with MIDI devices sold over the past 33 years.

• All MIDI Status Bytes are defined. The opcodes and data payloads are defined. It is difficult to define any new message types or change the format of the existing MIDI messages.

Expanding MIDI with new features requires a new protocol with extended MIDI messages. To protect backwards compatibility in an environment with expanded features, devices need to confirm the capabilities of other connected devices. When 2 devices are connected to each other, they use MIDI 1.0 and confirm each other’s capabilities before using expanded features. If both devices share support for the same expanded MIDI features they can agree to use those expanded MIDI features. MIDI-CI provides this mechanism.

MIDI-CI: Expanding MIDI while Protecting Backwards Compatibility:

MIDI Capability Inquiry (MIDI-CI) is a mechanism to allow us to expand MIDI with new features while protecting backward compatibility with MIDI devices that do not understand these newly defined features.

MIDI-CI separates older MIDI products from newer products with new capabilities and provides a mechanism for two MIDI devices to understand what new capabilities are supported.

MIDI-CI assumes and requires bidirectional communication. Once a MIDI-CI connection is established between devices, query and response messages define what capabilities each device has.

MIDI-CI then negotiates or auto-configures to use those features that are common between the devices. MIDI-CI provides test mechanisms when enabling new features. If a test fails, then devices fall back to using MIDI 1.0 for that feature. MIDI-CI improves MIDI capabilities in several key areas.

MIDI-CI allows devices to use an expanded MIDI protocol with high resolution and multiple per note controllers. It allows for incremental adoption of new MIDI features by providing a fallback to MIDI 1.0 devices in all cases.

MIDI-CI Includes Queries for 3 major areas of expanded MIDI functionality:

  1. Protocol Negotiation
  2. Profile Configuration
  3. Property Exchange

Read more from MMA here and the full MIDI-CI spec here. You can see a demo video below.

ICYMI: Python snakes its way to Makerdiary nRF52840, it’s full of stars, LumiDrive, and more…! #Python #Adafruit #CircuitPython @circuitpython @micropython @ThePSF @Adafruit

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-23 14:30, modified on 2019-01-22 19:15

ICYMI (In case you missed it) – Tuesday’s Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter from AdafruitDaily.com went out – if you missed it, subscribe now!

Next one goes out in a week and it’s the best way to keep up with all things Python for hardware. It’s the fastest growing newsletter out of ALL the Adafruit newsletters!


CircuitPython support for the Makerdiary nRF52840 MDK added

Support for CircuitPython has been added to the Makerdiary nRF52840 MDK USB dongleGitHub.

The nRF52840 Micro Dev Kit USB Dongle is a small and low-cost development platform enabled by the nRF52840 multiprotocol system on a chip (SoC) in a convenient USB dongle form factor.

The nRF52840 Micro Dev Kit USB Dongle features a programmable user button, RGB LED, up to 12 GPIOs and a 2.4G Chip antenna on board.

The USB dongle can be used as a low-cost Bluetooth5/Tread/802.15.4/ANT/2.4GHz multiprotocol node or development board. Alternatively the USB dongle can be used as a Network Co-Processor (NCP) with a simple connection to a PC or other USB enabled device.

Thanks gpshead!

To the stars! 800!

Thank you Luciano for being the 800th person to star the CircuitPython repo on GitHub!Twitter.

CircuitPython snakes its way to the SparkFun LumiDrive LED Driver

More boards are supporting CircuitPython! Check out the SparkFun LumiDrive LED Driver. Here’s how and why SparkFun chose CircuitPython for their latest board, the LumiDrive LED Driver.

“CircuitPython is Adafruit’s version of MicroPython. What pray tell, is MicroPython? MicroPython is Python 3 for microcontrollers. MicroPython takes the power of the wildly popular Python interpreted language that is easy to use, easy to read, and powerful and makes it usable for microcontrollers. It feels familiar in the way you declare and use pins but unlike Arduino, you don’t have to compile or upload your code. This is because your microcontroller acts like a USB drive when you plug it into your computer. The code simply lives as a file that you modify directly and when it’s saved, it is automatically loaded. Algebraic! It’s also compatible with the Python 3 you have on your computer so that you can develop seamlessly on your desktop! Why are we using Circuit Python? Circuit Python has the advantage of having many libraries built in by default that are catered toward entry-level hobbyists. In the case of the LumiDrive, we’ll be utilizing the DotStar library, Adafruit’s library for APA102 LEDs.”

LumiDrive Hookup Guide, Product Showcase: SparkFun LumiDrive LED Driver video, and product page.

CircuitPython in 2019, thank you!

For 2019, we asked what everyone in the CircuitPython community to contribute by posting their thoughts to some public place on the Internet, and you did! Thank you! We’ve collected them on the blog, tagged #CircuitPython2019 – Adafruit.

Soon, we’ll draft an overarching vision post for CircuitPython in 2019 and discuss it in the weekly CircuitPython meetings on Discord, 2pm ET, every Monday.

See the blog post for more details.

News from around the web!

How to control motors from Raspberry Pi with Adafruit DC Motor Controller and CircuitPython – hackster.io. SciJoy learned how to control DC motors with a Raspberry Pi Zero W and an Adafruit Feather Motor Controller board using CircuitPython. They learned how to use the TB6612FNG chip to drive the motors. That chip has two full H-bridge circuits to control the direction of the motors. The Feather also has a PCA9685 chip, which is a PWM driver. It communicates with the Raspberry Pi over I2C. The robot uses the Blinka library to translate between Python 3 and the CircuitPython libraries – YouTube.

arofarn extend their Trellis M4 board with 2 NeoTrellis (seesaw)… here is the simpletest for multi-Trellis module working! – GitHub & video.

St. Mary’s Episcopal School 6th grade class is using the CircuitPlayground Express for coding – Twitter.

Hackaday.io has a curated list of CircuitPython projects, check’em out – hackaday.io

Chris Osterwood, CEO of Capable Robot Components, announced that the SenseTemp, their Open Source four-channel temperature sensor for instrumenting electronics is now available on Crowd Supply. It’s based on the Adafruit Feather using CircuitPython firmware that is easy to adapt to your test needs.

Geek Mom Projects made a game of four-in-a-row on the edge-lit matrix. Coded in CircuitPython on a Circuit Playground Express – Twitter.

“The Stress Management Mask 1000” made with CircuitPython and Mu by Teachingpython – Twitter.

Owain made a fun Saturday morning project, a remote controlled bell dinger using CircuitPython – Twitter.

In 2019 iTapArcade plans to focus on getting makers excited to code in CircuitPython based on creating embedded games and wirelessly interacting with mobile games leveraging CircuitPython and Circuit Playground Express. iTapArcade plans to add Bluetooth to the current Game Shield Kit for Circuit Playground Expressitaparcade.com

micro:mag Issue 3 is out! This issues features “10 Amazing micro:bit Projects” and has a review of the Adafruit CRICKIT, 9 out 10! – micromag.cc & PDF.

Python creator, Guido van Rossum, is enjoying GPIOzero. We love it too – did you know that the API that we designed for CircuitPython is inspired by GPIOzero? That’s why there are so many similarities in the abstractions – Twitter.

Ben added a documentation page for people migrating from RPi.GPIO to GPIOzero – readthedocs.io

Newt-Duino: Newt on an Arduino, looks like Keith managed to get a super tiny version of Python on an Arduino Duemilanove – keithp.com

fridgedoorhack is a MicroPython program that plays an alarm if a door was left open. It plays RTTTL (Nokia) ringtones on a piezo buzzer and logs events to a file. It also plays a confirmation sound if a door is closed. It uses uasyncio for co-routines – GitHub.

Installing MicroPython on the Sipeed Maix range of RISC-V 64 boards – Robot One Zero.

Using the Wii Nunchuck controller with MicroPython on ESP8266 – MCHobby Blog.

Python on Hardware community hub on hackster.io – Based on MicroPython, a new lean and efficient programming language optimized to run on microcontrollers and in constrained environments – hackster.io

LoRa with MicroPython on the ESP8266 and ESP32 by German Gensetskiy.

Parallax asks “What language would you like to focus on in the classroom for future Propeller-based learning?” in a Twitter online poll, so far MicroPython is leading with 50% of the votes. Parallax is also answering questions about learning Python with their new “Ask Miguel” series.

Getting started with picamera using Python – projects.raspberrypi.org

Rainbow Vomit is for driving WS2812 LEDs from a computer using PythonGitHub.

micro-jpeg-visualizer is a JPEG visualizer in just 250 lines in easy to read Python 3.0 code – GitHub.

PyDev of the Week: Nina Zakharenko – Mouse vs Python. Nina will be doing a talk “Light Up Your Life – With Python and LEDs!” which includes CircuitPython at PyCascades!

How not to be afraid of Python anymore. A dive into the language reference documentation by Neil Kakkar.

Python Lessons Learned. Read This Before You Start Building a Distributable Python Package – jongallant.com

Yellowstone Sound Library – This warehouse collects the public sound library of Yellowstone National Park (USA). These sounds contain the sounds of the natural environment and animals. Contains MP3s, photos, and more. Including the Python code used to fetch’em – GitHub.

JupyterLab is the next-generation web-based user interface for Project Jupyter. Try it on Binder. JupyterLab follows the Jupyter Community GuidesJupyterLab Documentation.

A new Python kernel for Jupyter by Martin Renou.

How to unzip a file, extract single, multiple, or all files from a ZIP archive using Python – thispointer.com

Machine Learning in Python – pyimageresearch.

What you should know about Python list by Yasufumi Taniguchi.

Dockerizing Python Applications – Stack Abuse.

Automated Machine Learning in Python by Derrick Mwiti.

howmanypeoplearearound calculates the number of people in the vicinity using the approximate number of smartphones as a proxy. A cell phone is determined to be in proximity to the computer based on sniffing WiFi probe requests. Possible uses of howmanypeoplearearound include: monitoring foot traffic in your house with Raspberry Pis, seeing if your roommates are home, etc. – GitHub.

Python Discord is the official Discord server of r/Python. It’s a large, friendly community focused around the Python programming language, open to those who wish to learn the language or improve their skills, as well as those looking to help others – Discord. Additionally, they also have a handy resource page.

#ICYDNCI What was the most popular, most clicked link, in last week’s newsletter? CircuitPython on the SparkFun SAMD21 Mini Breakout.

Happy Mu Year 2019! Mu, version 1.0.2 is here!

This is a bug fix release with numerous contributions from the growing community of volunteer developers. Collectively, the Mu community has fixed and improved many of the things users have been requesting.

Adafruit specific updates: More devices for Adafruit mode along with a capability to work with future devices which have the Adafruit vendor ID. The update also adds Particle Argon, Boron and Xenon boards to Adafruit mode, since they’re also supported by CircuitPython.

Please see the release notes for details of the fixes made – MadeWithMu & download.

Coming soon

Metro M4 WiFi Express, SAMD51 with all the goodies you expect for CircuitPython + ESP32 co-processor (caboose?) on the SPI bus to do SSL, WiFi and maybe even BTLE! Best o’ both worlds 🙂

We’re previewing a fun CircuitPython powered IoT device, in testing we’re using some APIs to get live data, including sites like hackaday. The in-progress project is posted on hackaday.io and there’s a post about it! HACKING HACKADAY.IO FROM CIRCUITPYTHON

Here’s what Hackaday had to say about the project, and specifically CircuitPython – “We’ve been seeing a lot of CircuitPython code lately. Just in case you’re not familiar with it, CircuitPython is Adafruit’s version of Micropython, a Python language targeted at embedded processors. While it sounds like something concocted purely to make old-school embedded-C programmers grumble, it’s actually powerful and convenient for embedded prototyping and development. Fueled by the speed of the latest inexpensive microcontrollers and a rapidly growing set of libraries that take the sting out of using integrated peripherals and common hacker-friendly parts, it offers a solid alternative to older embedded frameworks. There are lots of examples around if you want to get started.’

GitHub resources for all

GitHub Learning Lab has a ton of excellent resources if you just starting out with using GitHub or if you’re a pro!

Aaaand! On the Adafruit Learning System we have Contribute to CircuitPython with Git and GitHub by Kattni.

New Learn Guides!

Music Box with Dancing Adabot from Dano Wall

Grand Central Soundboard in Ten Minutes from Mike Barela

LoRa and LoRaWAN Radio for Raspberry Pi from Brent Rubell

Introducing the Adafruit Grand Central M4 Express from Kattni Rembor

Updated Learn Guides!

Welcome to CircuitPython! from Kattni Rembor

Updated Guides – Now With More Python!

You can use CircuitPython libraries on Raspberry Pi! We’re updating all of our CircuitPython guides to show how to wire up sensors to your Raspberry Pi, and load the necessary CircuitPython libraries to get going using them with Python. We’ll be including the updates here so you can easily keep track of which sensors are ready to go. Check it out!

Adafruit 16-Channel Servo Driver with Raspberry Pi

Adafruit PCA9685 16-Channel Servo Driver

CircuitPython Libraries!

CircuitPython support for hardware continues to grow. We are adding support for new sensors and breakouts all the time, as well as improving on the drivers we already have. As we add more libraries and update current ones, you can keep up with all the changes right here!

For the latest drivers, download the Adafruit CircuitPython Library Bundle.

If you’d like to contribute, CircuitPython libraries are a great place to start. Have an idea for a new driver? File an issue on CircuitPython! Interested in helping with current libraries? Check out this GitHub issue on CircuitPython for an overview of the State of the CircuitPython Libraries, updated each week. We’ve included open issues from the library issue lists, and details about repo-level issues that need to be addressed. We have a guide on contributing to CircuitPython with Git and Github if you need help getting started. You can also find us in the #circuitpython channel on the Adafruit Discord. Feel free to contact Kattni (@kattni) with any questions.

You can check out this list of all the CircuitPython libraries and drivers available.

The current number of CircuitPython libraries is 127!

Updated Libraries!

Here’s this week’s updated CircuitPython libraries:

PyPI Download Stats!

We’ve written a special library called Adafruit Blinka that makes it possible to use CircuitPython Libraries on Raspberry Pi and other compatible single-board computers. Adafruit Blinka and all the CircuitPython libraries have been deployed to PyPI for super simple installation on Linux! Here are the top 10 CircuitPython libraries downloaded from PyPI in the last week, including the total downloads for those libraries:

Repo Last Week Total
Adafruit-Blinka 1623 15683
Adafruit_CircuitPython_CharLCD 864 6769
Adafruit_CircuitPython_BusDevice 776 7736
Adafruit_CircuitPython_RFM69 562 4914
Adafruit_CircuitPython_seesaw 315 2362
Adafruit_CircuitPython_74HC595 304 2428
Adafruit_CircuitPython_TCS34725 303 2305
Adafruit_CircuitPython_MPR121 300 2654
Adafruit_CircuitPython_RFM9x 299 2310
Adafruit_CircuitPython_Crickit 298 2548

Upcoming events!

PyCascades 2019! February 23 — 24, 2019, Seattle. WA. PyCascades is a two-day Python conference that will be held in the scenic coastal city of Seattle, Washington (USA).

Nina Zakharenko will be doing a talk “Light Up Your Life – With Python and LEDs!” which includes CircuitPython!

Organized by members of the Python communities in Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland, they aim to bring together Python users and developers from the Pacific Northwest and around the world – 2019.pycascades.com Tickets are on sale now!

May 2019 Cleveland, Ohio! The PyCon 2019 conference, which will take place in Cleveland, is the largest annual gathering for the community using and developing the open-source Python programming language. It is produced and underwritten by the Python Software Foundation, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing and promoting Python. Through PyCon, the PSF advances its mission of growing the international community of Python programmers – PyCon.

Latest releases

CircuitPython’s stable release is 3.1.2 and its unstable release is 4.0.0-alpha.5. New to CircuitPython? Start with our Welcome to CircuitPython Guide.

20190121 is the latest CircuitPython library bundle.

v1.9.4 is the latest MicroPython release. Documentation for it is here.

3.7.2 is the latest Python release.

815 Stars Like CircuitPython? Star it on GitHub!

Call for help – CircuitPython messaging to other languages!

We recently posted on the Adafruit blog about bringing CircuitPython messaging to other languages, one of the exciting features of CircuitPython 4.x is translated control and error messages. Native language messages will help non-native English speakers understand what is happening in CircuitPython even though the Python keywords and APIs will still be in English. If you would like to help, please post to the main issue on GitHub and join us on Discord.

We made this graphic with translated text, we could use your help with that to make sure we got the text right, please check out the text in the image – if there is anything we did not get correct, please let us know. Dan sent me this handy site too.


jobs.adafruit.com has returned and folks are posting their skills (including CircuitPython) and companies are looking for talented makers to join their companies – from Digi-Key, to Hackaday, Microcenter, Raspberry Pi and more. FEATURED JOB: 3D Generalist, and 3D Environment Artist, Iridium Studios Los Angeles, California – jobs.adafruit.com

Join the 10,000+ community!

The Adafruit Discord community where we do all our CircuitPython development in the open reached over 10,154 humans, thank you! Join today! https://adafru.it/discord

ICYMI – In case you missed it

The wonderful world of Python on hardware! This is our first video-newsletter-podcast that we’re trying out! The news comes from the Python community, Discord, Adafruit communities and more. It’s part of the weekly newsletter, then we have a segment on ASK an ENGINEER and this is the video slice from that! The complete Python on Hardware weekly VideoCast playlist is here.


The CircuitPython Weekly Newsletter is a CircuitPython community-run newsletter emailed every Tuesday. The complete archives are here. It highlights the latest CircuitPython related news from around the web including Python and MicroPython developments. To contribute, edit next week’s draft on GitHub and submit a pull request with the changes. Join our Discord or post to the forum for any further questions.

Face Changer: Building a Personal Countermeasure against Biometrics #Privacy #FacialRecognition #SmartCities #Biometrics #InfoSec

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-23 14:15, modified on 2019-01-22 22:50

Face Changer: Building a Personal Countermeasure against Biometrics

Via TechAcute: many people today feel a privacy disruption from traditional CCTV cameras. If they are hooked up with facial recognition, machine learning, and people directories, this gains a whole new dimension in information privacy invasion. Not everybody wants to be read-out like a piece of data, but what can you do to protect yourself from that?

In the clip below, you can watch maker Naomi ‘SexyCyborg’ Wu building a proof of concept for a device that is able to prevent biometric scanners to identify you or calculate your emotion based on your expressions.

You can find out more about the technology in a paper on arxiv.org


Seismic Powered Clothing #Wearablewednesday

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-23 13:00, modified on 2019-01-18 20:53

Seismic powered clothing

Via Wearable-technologies

Seismic, a Menlo Park, CA-based startup, is taking on the wearables market with their fashionable Powered Clothing.

Seismic, who was speaking at the WT | Wearable Technologies Conference 2018 USA in San Francisco, wants you to know that this is not an exoskeleton but instead fashionable clothing with a combination of robotics and sensor technology. The Powered Clothing made its first official appearance at TechCrunch Disrupt, followed up by CES 2019 in Las Vegas.

The Powered Clothing™ integrates discreet robotics, designed to help you move better by working in collaboration with your body to give you strength, stability, and power. The clothing is designed to help people with daily activities like, standing up, carrying and lifting items, extending standing, sitting down, walking and more.

Learn more!

Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

This Headdress is Sound Activated! #Gemma #Neopixels #WearableWednesday

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-23 12:00, modified on 2019-01-22 16:25

From Catherine Euale on vimeo:

Cleopatra headdress with Gemma control board, circuit sewn using a microphone sound sensor and a neopixel ring

See more here and here

Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

Ralph Lauren launches NASA-inspired wearable tech #Wearablewednesday

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-23 11:00, modified on 2019-01-18 20:52

Ralph lauren

Via fashionjournal

Paying homage to the Apollo 11 moon landing (2019 marks the 50th anniversary) two puffer-style designs mimic the pressure suits worn on space missions.

Each jacket comes with a built-in heating component, which you can control wirelessly via Bluetooth through an app.

A battery plugs into the jacket’s inside pocket, which can be charged with a Mophie power bank or USB power source. As an added bonus, the battery can also be used to charge phones, with a three-hour battery life in total.

Read more!

Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

Band Monitors Unborn Baby While You Sleep #WearableWednesday

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-23 07:00, modified on 2019-01-22 14:08

via Engadget

The Owlet Band is a soft, thin circle of fabric that wraps around an expectant mother’s abdomen and lower back, and it has a small plastic sensor front-and-center. Using passive ECG technology, the Band is able to read and record the baby’s heart rate, count its kicks, identify contractions and track the mother’s sleeping position. Essentially, it’s a sleepy-time peace-of-mind machine for anxious parents-to-be.

See more!

Virgil Abloh Goes Fiber Optic With New Louis Vuitton FW19 Bag and Sneakers #WearableWednesday

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-23 05:00, modified on 2019-01-18 19:08

Louis Vuitton FW19 Fiber Optic Bag and Sneakers HYPEBEAST

Some RGB light up features made a runway appearance. Via Hypebeast:

Virgil Abloh’s second collection for Louis Vuitton proved to be an exemplary infusion of retro-vintage inspiration, with the designer channeling his inner Michael Jackson for the uniquely designed runway show. While the clothes were packed full of unique cuts that donned a refined finish, the fiber optic-infused monochrome bag and light-show-bearing sneaker stole the show.

In a unique power-move for the designer, one part of the show included a black-out of the venue’s runway lighting, with 5 models stacked in a diamond formation showcasing the collection’s new monochrome-print bag and newly created sneaker. As spotlighted in a recent Instagram post from the brand, the new high-top shoe totes a color-changing detailed upper with a tongue that hosts a morphing Louis Vuitton logo.

Read more!

Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

Feeder Frenzy

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-23 03:52, modified at 03:45

We get our feeders for our pick and place(s) repaired at Feeder Frenzy – Lewis and Clark. Putting this here as a resource for others and for the cool logo.

24918194306 173162D532 K

Our pick and place(s) and a Ladyada.

Free Computer Science Curriculum in Teams with MakeCode @msmakecode @MicrosoftEDU #Bett2019 #MicrosoftEDU #STEM

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-23 03:46, modified at 03:38

Makecode 190111

What’s New in EDU – Bett Edition: Free Computer Science Curriculum in Teams with MakeCode

Free Computer Science Curriculum in Teams with MakeCode!
This month, we’ll kick off a beta which will allow teachers to access MakeCode, Microsoft’s free platform for creating engaging computer science activities directly within Teams Assignments. Teachers can help students get started building their own programs using drag-and-drop block coding or JavaScript. You can even provide feedback to students and grade.

Read more.

Ladyada @adafruit @OriginalFunko :) by @ceciliahillway

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-23 01:43, modified at 01:47

Yay! – Twitter.

Updated Guide: FloraBrella with Circuit Playground and MakeCode

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-23 00:24


One of our most popular Flora guides has been updated.  Make a color-sensing, glowing umbrella with Circuit Playground and MakeCode.  This awesome guide by Leslie Birch has just gotten easier.  Add your own color effects and customization, or simply download our code for a fun weekend project.  Keep the rain off in style.

Take a look and make your own on the Adafruit Learning System:


John Park’s Workshop — LIVE! 1/22/19 @adafruit @johnedgarpark #adafruit

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 23:11

JOHN PARK’S WORKSHOP — LIVE! Coming up at 4pm ET / 1pm PT this Thursday. LIVE TEXT CHAT IS HERE in the Adafruit Discord chat!


This week’s project: Garnet’s Fusion Gems

Plus, MakeCode Minute, Product of the Week, Tools & Techniques, and more.

The live video will be on Youtube LIVE, Twitch, Periscope (Twitter) and Facebook.

Join maker John Park in his workshop each week as he builds, demos, hacks, and mods projects live on air! “John Park’s Workshop — LIVE” is the place to see creative projects come to life, as John uses a wide variety of tools and techniques to make everything from mystery boxes to pinball controllers to drink robots, using digital fabrication, hand and power tools, microcontrollers, and more. Come on into the chat to participate in the fun! Every Thursday @ 4pm ET/1pm PT!

Open Source Radio Telescopes #OpenSource #Astronomy

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 22:44, modified at 22:38

Open Source Radio Telescopes

Open Source Radio Telescopes is a database and collaboration center for radio astronomy telescope construction at any level. They invite participation in building telescopes and joining in the conversation on their wiki page.

Recently, Richard Prestage gave a talk about the Open Source Radio Telescope followed by a talk by John Makous on “Digital Signal Processing in Radio Astronomy – a Research Experience for Teachers”

You can see the slides for this talk here.

Horn Telescopes

And here is a YouTube video (below) on Open Source Radio Telescopes. Looks like something many can build and have fun with!

The horn telescopes described here are designed to detect the 21 cm radio waves transmitted by neutral atomic hydrogen (HI) emitted by interstellar hydrogen in the galaxy.

NEW PRODUCT – Joy Bonnet Pack without Soldering – Includes Pi Zero WH

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 21:05, modified at 20:38

Raspberry pi gaming 3464 iso demo ORIG

NEW PRODUCT – Joy Bonnet Pack without Soldering – Includes Pi Zero WH

The Joy Bonnet Pack for Raspberry Pi Zero WH sets you up with the fully assembled Pi Zero WH, and our Joy Bonnet – our most fun Bonnet ever! This Bonnet fits perfectly on top of your Raspberry Pi Zero (any kind) and gives you adorable hand-held arcade controls. Once you install our script onto your Pi, the controls will act like a keyboard, for easy use with any emulator or media player.

This pack is plug-and-play, no soldering or hammering required, so you can get to your gaming in minutes! Perfect for use with MakeCode Arcade

Raspberry pi 3464 06

Raspberry pi 3464 05

This pack includes:

You will still need an SD cardHDMI cable and power supply to complete your kit! But you probably already have those around the house, so we don’t include them.

4085 kit ORIG 2019 01

Check out our Joy Bonnet learn guide for help with installation and usage – you’ll be gaming in no time!

In stock and shipping now!

Koka’s Beat Machine No. 5 #ArtTuesday

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 21:00, modified at 15:27

Great project from nikoladze on vimeo:

Koka’s beat machines are electromechanical musical instruments, which are programmable and produce different kinds of rhythmic and melodic patterns.

See more

Screenshot 4 2 14 11 48 AMEvery Tuesday is Art Tuesday here at Adafruit! Today we celebrate artists and makers from around the world who are designing innovative and creative works using technology, science, electronics and more. You can start your own career as an artist today with Adafruit’s conductive paints, art-related electronics kits, LEDs, wearables, 3D printers and more! Make your most imaginative designs come to life with our helpful tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System. And don’t forget to check in every Art Tuesday for more artistic inspiration here on the Adafruit Blog!

Food delivery robots arrive on the George Mason University campus @GeorgeMasonNews

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 20:23, modified at 20:17

There are robots on campus—here’s what you need to know

Starting Jan. 22, 2019, anyone on the campus of George Mason University in Virginia will be able to order from several campus eateries:

Blaze Pizza, Second Stop, Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks are available through the Starship Deliveries app—which can be downloaded from their website—for delivery by one of 22 robots on campus. ​Service is available from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Students can pay by credit card or various campus currencies.

The robots move at about 4 mph, and customers are expected to get their food within 30 minutes. The robots will not be able to enter buildings, so customers must meet the robots at the door. People must not forget to bring their phone—the locked robots can only be unlocked through the app. ​

The small robots can hold up to three pizzas, along with a few salads and drinks. They are temperature controlled, so your pizza will stay hot while your salads will stay cold. ​

The fleet of robots even has their own Twitter and Instagram accounts—their handle is @StarshipGMU—so students, faculty and staff can keep up with the latest updates about new restaurants, changes of hours and more. ​

It can be a challenge to navigate it all, but these robots are smart. If faced with a navigation challenge, a robot will alert Starship Technologies in Washington, D.C., where an employee can remotely navigate the robots. Once one of the robots learns a new path, it will alert the rest of the fleet. ​

The robots look both ways before crossing a street and can detect people walking around them. They are not likely to run into a person standing still, but if something does happen, incidents can be reported to campus police.

See more on the campus online news.

Daisy Dodd-Noble Creates Imaginative Landscapes #ArtTuesday

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 20:00, modified at 15:27


From Creative Boom:

But it isn’t all made up; Daisy does use a dash of observation to inspire her many artworks, which are created on canvas or linen. “The work explores ideas of consciousness, light, colour and space, depicting natural landscapes and dramatic outdoor settings,” Daisy tells Creative Boom.

Read more and see more from Daisy Dodd-Noble

Screenshot 4 2 14 11 48 AMEvery Tuesday is Art Tuesday here at Adafruit! Today we celebrate artists and makers from around the world who are designing innovative and creative works using technology, science, electronics and more. You can start your own career as an artist today with Adafruit’s conductive paints, art-related electronics kits, LEDs, wearables, 3D printers and more! Make your most imaginative designs come to life with our helpful tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System. And don’t forget to check in every Art Tuesday for more artistic inspiration here on the Adafruit Blog!

David Henry Nobody Jr’s Resemblage #ArtTuesday

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 19:00, modified on 2019-01-17 22:43

via Creative Boom

Known for transforming himself into bizarre characters using masks and wearable sculptures comprised of food and consumerist detritus, the artist calls this practice “Resemblage”, a term he coined to describe his unique conceptualisations, humorously and disturbingly exploring the dark side of American pop culture and politics. His pieces aim to question humanity, the modern day and aims to incite the imagination, exploring notions of “the self” in the narcissistic world around us.

See more.

Screenshot 4 2 14 11 48 AMEvery Tuesday is Art Tuesday here at Adafruit! Today we celebrate artists and makers from around the world who are designing innovative and creative works using technology, science, electronics and more. You can start your own career as an artist today with Adafruit’s conductive paints, art-related electronics kits, LEDs, wearables, 3D printers and more! Make your most imaginative designs come to life with our helpful tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System. And don’t forget to check in every Art Tuesday for more artistic inspiration here on the Adafruit Blog!

Why do printers print 132 columns on 14 7/8″ paper? It’s history #VintageComputing @kenshirriff @IBM

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 18:49, modified at 22:52

Accounting machines, the IBM 1403, and why printers standardized on 132 columns

You may have a printout from a printer with you now, characters forming lines of up to 132 characters, fitting on paper that is 14 7/8″ wide. But why that many characters and that wide a paper? Ken Shirriff (@kenshirriff) does the historical work to find out:

After researching this question, I’ve concluded that there are two answers. The first answer is that there isn’t anything special about 132 columns. In particular, early printers used an astoundingly large variety of line widths including 50, 55, 60, 70, 73, 80, 88, 89, 92, 100, 118, 120, 128, 130, 136, 140, 144, 150 and 160 characters. This shows there was no strong technical or business reason to use 132 columns. Instead, 132 columns became a de facto standard due to the popularity of the IBM 1401 computer and its high-performance 1403 line printer, which happened to print 132 columns.

The first printer to use 132 columns appears to be the IBM 1403 line printer, which provided output for the IBM 1401 business computer. The IBM 1401 was the most popular computer of the early 1960s, largely due to its low price…. the IBM 1401 could be rented for $2500 per month, opening up the market to medium-sized businesses that used it for payroll, inventory, accounting and many other business tasks. As a result, over 10,000 IBM 1401 computers were in use by the mid-1960s.

Because the IBM 1403 printer was so popular, its 132-column format became a de facto standard, supported by later printers and terminals for backward compatibility. The 14 7/8″×11″ green-bar paper that it used and remains popular to this day, available at office supply stores.

Ok, so due to the likes of IBM we have 132 characters as a “standard” – but how did it get to 132? and what about the 14 7/8 inches for the paper?

Well, we won’t spoil repeating Ken’s hard work, but it involves machines back from the 19th and the first half of the 20th century. Great work Ken!

Check out a fascinating read on Ken’s blog.

What If People from Famous Paintings Were Modern-Day Instagrammers Taking Selfies #ArtTuesday

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 18:00, modified on 2019-01-17 20:02

Selfie portrait paintings classicool dito von tease 19

The art of the selfie interpreted through historic paintings. Via My Modern Met:

Titled Classicool, the ironic series depicts iconic artist subjects such as Lisa Gherardini (Mona Lisa), Frida Kahlo, and “the girl” from Girl with the Pearl Earring posed in flattering angles with “selfie arms” that extend beyond the frame. “In Classicool the subjects of the paintings abandon their classical pose by literally taking the canvas to ‘paint themselves,’ ” explains Von Tease. “[They] are not just memes shared on social networks, but finished and detailed artworks, like real paintings go the past, showing subjects in authentic and modern selfie poses.”

Selfie portrait paintings classicool dito von tease 23

Selfie portrait paintings classicool dito von tease 1

See more!

Screenshot 4 2 14 11 48 AMEvery Tuesday is Art Tuesday here at Adafruit! Today we celebrate artists and makers from around the world who are designing innovative and creative works using technology, science, electronics and more. You can start your own career as an artist today with Adafruit’s conductive paints, art-related electronics kits, LEDs, wearables, 3D printers and more! Make your most imaginative designs come to life with our helpful tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System. And don’t forget to check in every Art Tuesday for more artistic inspiration here on the Adafruit Blog!

Time Travel Tuesday #timetravel a look back at the Adafruit, maker, science, technology and engineering world

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 17:57

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1867 – Jewish-Austrian physician Gisela Januszewska is born.

Gisela Januszewska

Having gained her first experience in the obstetrics volunteering at the Women’s Hospital in Zürich, Januszewska moved in June 1898 to Remscheid, German Empire, and became an insurance doctor for Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse. In March 1899, she was appointed Amtsärztin, a public health official, in the Bosnian town of Banja Luka, becoming its first female physician.

During her career in Banja Luka, Januszewska was one of few physicians who strove to ensure that Bosnian Muslim women had proper access to healthcare. Her initial supervisor there, the 20 years older Ladislaus Januszewski, became her second husband in 1900.[1][2] Upon their marriage, Januszewska had to abandon her post as public health official.[2] Instead she served as head of an outpatient clinic for Muslim women of Banja Luka. She performed minor surgeries[3] and gained fame treating patients with smallpox, typhoid, typhus and syphilis, but most of all osteomalacia (the last being especially rampant among Muslim women, according to Teodora Krajewska, another physician in Bosnia at the time)

Read more

1889 – Columbia Phonograph, which would later become Columbia Records, is first formed in Washington, D.C.

800px Columbia Records logo svg

The Columbia Phonograph Company was founded in 1887 by stenographer, lawyer and New Jersey native Edward D. Easton (1856–1915) and a group of investors. It derived its name from the District of Columbia, where it was headquartered. At first it had a local monopoly on sales and service of Edison phonographs and phonograph cylinders in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Delaware. As was the custom of some of the regional phonograph companies, Columbia produced many commercial cylinder recordings of its own, and its catalogue of musical records in 1891 was 10 pages.

Read more

1931 – American Musician Sam Cooke is born.

Sam Cooke 2

Cooke had 30 U.S. top 40 hits between 1957 and 1964, plus three more posthumously. Major hits like “You Send Me”, “A Change Is Gonna Come”, “Cupid”, “Chain Gang”, “Wonderful World”, “Another Saturday Night”, and “Twistin’ the Night Away” are some of his most popular songs. Twistin’ the Night Away was one of his biggest selling albums.[20] Cooke was also among the first modern black performers and composers to attend to the business side of his musical career. He founded both a record label and a publishing company as an extension of his careers as a singer and composer. He also took an active part in the Civil Rights Movement.

Read more

1968 – Apollo 5 lifts off into space.

800px Lm1 ground

The Apollo 5 mission tested the lunar module in a space environment, in particular its descent and ascent engine systems, and its ability to separate the ascent and descent stages. The descent engine would become the first throttleable rocket engine fired in space.

Read more

1984 – The Apple Macintosh is first introduced.

300px Macintosh montage 2017

In 1982, Regis McKenna was brought in to shape the marketing and launch of the Macintosh. Later the Regis McKenna team grew to include Jane Anderson, Katie Cadigan and Andy Cunningham, who eventually led the Apple account for the agency. Cunningham and Anderson were the primary authors of the Macintosh launch plan. The launch of the Macintosh pioneered many different tactics that are used today in launching technology products, including the “multiple exclusive,” event marketing (credited to John Sculley, who brought the concept over from Pepsi), creating a mystique around a product and giving an inside look into a product’s creation.

Read more

Using CircuitPython on the SparkFun LumiDrive @sparkfun @adafruit @circuitpython

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 17:10, modified at 17:04

Lumini Led Demo-02
Sparkfun has a post on using their new LumiDrive with Adafruit CircuitPython.

This past week, we released our new LumiDrive LED Driver board. This board should please a lot of folks who have been asking for an LED controller that could run Python or one of its board-based variants. This is made possible because the LumiDriver has an onboard SAMD21 which, unlike the ATMega328P, has the speed, power and size to run Python. So now that we have it, what can we do with it? I’m going to offer a very simple introduction for those out there who are unfamiliar with, or at least very new to, the Python environment. Let’s get started.

Read more & this board is also featured in this week’s Python on hardware newsletter.

An FPGA based mobile phone connected via a Commodore 64? #LCA2019 #Commodore #Commodore64 #Security #Telephony #VintageComputing

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 16:35, modified at 16:30

Teaser: Meet the Open Source 4G Commodore 64

Paul Gardner-Stephen has built a very interesting device to present to the LINUX.CONF.AU this week for the talk “FPGA based mobile phone: Creating a truly open trustable mobile communications device“. If you are in the area, go to the conference on Wednesday January 23rd from 2:25-3:10 pm for an epic talk and demonstration.

First, do we trust our mobile phones?

Modern smart-phones are untrustable. Even if they were open-source, the sheer complexity makes them impossible to meaningfully verify, and therefore trust them. Worse, because they contain major closed-source elements, we lack the digital sovereignty to even attempt such a verification. These concerns are not merely theoretical, the Samsung Galaxy S2 back-door episode, as well as Spectre and Meltdown, and the surveillance facilities purposely built into the cellular network are all evidence that verifiability, trustability, and ultimately, digital sovereignty are all sorely wanted.

Past efforts to make open-source smart-phones have struggled on a number of fronts. First, the chipsets are rarely open-source friendly. Second, even if you find a suitable chipset, by the time you go to market, it is likely already obsolete, and the process of migrating to new chipsets every year is not sustainable for an open-source project. Third, even if you do succeed, there are enough closed-source blobs to make the whole thing untrustable, and without the user holding sovereignty over the device.

So, their approach to developing a secure system:

(We have) created a smart-phone like device that uses an FPGA as the main application processor, and coupled it with an industry standard mini-PCIe cellular modem. The result is a system where you can freely upgrade the cellular modem using commercial off-the-shelf modules, and have complete sovereignty, in that you can create your own FPGA bitstream that defines whatever application processor you want. The cellular modem is left as an untrusted and quarantined “black box”. Importantly, the microphone connects to the modem via the FPGA, so it is possible to prevent the cellular modem listening in when it shouldn’t be. Indeed, we have gone two steps further: You can cut the power to the modem, or even physically remove it. This modular approach also leaves the door open for a truly open cellular modem to be created, without making us wait in the meantime.

As FPGA programming is not for everyone, and because the device should be fun, and because it is easier to make a less miniaturised device on a shoe-string budget, we are creating prototype devices that double as a portable game console, similar in size to a 3DS XL, and that implements both basic telephony (voice, SMS, contacts) and is backwards compatible with the Commodore 64: The core telephony software we have created is written using an extension to Commodore 64 BASIC, and is already open-sourced, and small enough for a determined user to verify. Naturally, you can use the tune from your favourite C64 game or demo as ringtone and/or hold music, and play your favourite games while on a call. Thanks to our crazy full-crossbar audio mixer framework, you can even have the sound from what you are playing audible to you, but not to the other party. And because of our history with the Serval Project, we are also including some long-range UHF packet radios for good measure.

The resulting franken-phone will not be for everyone, but we believe it represents a significant milestone, in that it could well be the first long-term sustainable open-source smart-phone, and perhaps the first ever smart-phone to offer true digital sovereignty. And play Impossible Mission.

See the demonstration in the YouTube video below and you can read an abstract of the talk here (Ed.: which I have liberally quoted from. thank you)

I think the incorporation of a Commodore 64 as the front end platform is simply brilliant!

Intel Discontinues Quark SoCs and Microcontrollers

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 16:30, modified at 16:22

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Intel Discontinues Quark SoCs and Microcontrollers.

Intel has announced that it will discontinue all of its Quark-series SoCs microcontrollers. Intel’s partners will have to make their final orders for the chips this summer, whereas the company will continue to fulfil Quark orders several years down the road.

Intel’s 32-bit Quark SoCs and microcontrollers are aimed at IoT applications, including wearables, smart home devices, industrial, and other. Intel’s customers will have to make their final Quark orders by July 19, 2019. Meanwhile, the manufacturer will keep shipping its Quarks till July 17, 2022, as makers of the said devices have very long product cycles and need time to develop and replace models use the processors.

Read more.

NEW PRODUCT – 2×20 Socket Riser Header for Raspberry Pi HATs and Bonnets

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 16:10, modified at 16:02

4079 iso ORIG 2019 01

NEW PRODUCT – 2×20 Socket Riser Header for Raspberry Pi HATs and Bonnets

Give yourself a lift with this 2×20 female socket header that has slightly longer than usual pins. You can plug this into your Raspberry Pi GPIO port and then plug a HAT or Bonnet or Phat on top.

Especially useful for Bonnets that have slim headers on the bottom, but you want them to clear some of the components on the Pi, or fit into a case nicer.

4079 iso 02 ORIG 2019 01

4079 iso demo ORIG 2019 01

The header body is a standard 8.5mm. The pins are 6mm tall, so they’re securely plug into socket headers like male-pin type ones.

You’ll get one header per order!

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In stock and shipping now!

Recovering the AES key on a Cortex-M3 processor with emusca, using @Unicorn_Engine and Daredevil, by @jevinskie

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 16:07, modified at 16:02

Cortex-M3 implementation of AES and then used Daredevil to successfully recover the key

Unicorn Engine is a powerful, lightweight multi-platform, multi-architecture CPU emulator framework. It simulates multiple architectures including Arm, Arm64 (Armv8), M68K, Mips, Sparc, & X86 (include X86_64). It’s under a GPLv2 free software license for Windows * *nix (inc. Mac). So, what can be done with this powerful tool?

Twitter/GitHub user @jevinskie has developed emusca – a power trace simulator using Unicorn Engine for side channel analysis attack testing.

This project uses Unicorn to emulate a binary. Every instruction is traced and the hamming distance between every register before and after the instruction is calculated and stored. The target binary is run over many input ciphertexts (or plaintexts) to generate simulated power traces (simply the hamming distance for now) and Daredevil input, output, trace, and config file are generated. Marker functions consisting of NOPs are added to the target binary and the instruction hook records when they are hit. This is to facilitate finding the boundaries of the rounds of AES. deco is used for easy multiprocessing to speed up trace generation.

This allows @jevinskie to simulate power traces of a Cortex-M3 implementation of AES and then used Daredevil to successfully recover the key!

In the plot above is an AES S-Box based implementation simulated power trace. The different colored plots are the same trace smoothed at different levels. The nine humps are the inner full rounds of AES.

An AES T-Table based implementation simulated power trace below. The plateau on the right hand side are the rounds of AES. They are more difficult to distinguish compared to the S-Box trace since they take approximately 10 times fewer instructions per round.

emusca is written in Python under a zlib permissive license, see the source in GitHub.

If you are interested in Daredevil, the tool to perform (higher-order) correlation power analysis attacks (CPA), you can find it here on GitHub under a GPLv3.0 license by SideChannelMarvels.

Tools such as these open up a great number of testing avenues for processors using software-based methods. They won’t replace a ChipWhisperer, but still…

Bo McCready’s Interactive Film Genre Popularity Infographic covers 1910-2018 #ArtTuesday

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 16:00, modified on 2019-01-18 19:35

Film Genre Popularity 1910 2018 Bo McCready Tableau Public

I thoroughly enjoy infographics. I enjoy an infographic even more when I take a quick glance and save it for later only to realize later that it.is.interactive. I mean, come on, right? Hopefully you’ll bookmark this infographic by Bo McCready for future references too. Via tableau

This graphic shows film genre popularity over time, represented as the percentage of all films released that year with the specified genre tagged don IMDB.

See more

Screenshot 4 2 14 11 48 AMEvery Tuesday is Art Tuesday here at Adafruit! Today we celebrate artists and makers from around the world who are designing innovative and creative works using technology, science, electronics and more. You can start your own career as an artist today with Adafruit’s conductive paints, art-related electronics kits, LEDs, wearables, 3D printers and more! Make your most imaginative designs come to life with our helpful tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System. And don’t forget to check in every Art Tuesday for more artistic inspiration here on the Adafruit Blog!

How to Build an Off Road Wheelchair

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 15:00, modified on 2019-01-17 22:55

A chronologic history of CPUs by manufacturer #VintageComputing #RetroComputing #History #Microprocessors #Electronics

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 14:32, modified on 2019-01-21 23:53

cpu history tree chronology

If you have not found it yet, http://www.vgamuseum.info is a wonderful site with the collected history of modern electronics with a focus on graphics cards.

An unexpected surprise was a page on the chronologic history of CPUs by date and manufacturer! How did your favorite company come to make your favorite processor, it’s all here: Intel, Motorola, MOS, TI, National, Zilog, and AMD all kick off the list.

Site owner Vlask writes:

This is my latest project. Some people asked me about doing a CPU tree, (be)cause they liked (their) graphics cards version. Well, years passed and still no one did a CPU version. So, because I’m still unemployed (no IT work found in my area), I said myself: let’s do it. Anyone can help. This will be bigger project than the graphics tree and I will need help for sure. Closer info and discussion can be found on CPU-World forums.

If you feel brave enough for helping, just choose your favourite CPU maker and tell us on CPU-World forum. A sample file for the VUE editor can be downloaded in attachments. They will update also a big version with all parts connected (you can start also by editing this bigger file) – can be downloaded here. Last updated full file size picture can be seen/downloaded here. If you don’t like editing in VUE, you can still send text info about cpu and they will add them. So far, these people are working on the project:

Vlask – everything except stuff that these people did:
achtung049 – Compaq, DEC, HP.
henriok – PPC/POWER.
Tralalák – VIA.

Here is a close-up part of the upper right corner

So to download your own, here are the links to various sizes (as this is a huge file when of a good size):

See the changelog on the VGA Legacy MKIII site.

Forget Screen Time Rules. Lean In To Parenting Your Wired Child #MakerEducation

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 14:00, modified on 2019-01-15 20:32

Kids and screens final adjusted 505c8d46e7d497704113adb4d32f7097ffe5f2e6 s800 c85

NPR reviews The New Childhood and interviews its author Jordan Shapiro.

The overuse of technology has overtaken drugs, sex and bullying as the biggest parental worry, according to the annual Brigham Young and Deseret News American Family Survey.

But what are we actually supposed to be doing about it?

Jordan Shapiro, a Temple University professor whose background is in philosophy and psychology, has a prescription that might surprise you. In his new book, The New Childhood, his argument is that we’re not spending enough screen time with our kids.

Read more.

Amazon Warehouse Workers are Getting Utility Belts that Ward Off Robots

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 12:00, modified on 2019-01-21 16:28

via Tech Crunch

Over the course of the last year, Amazon began rolling out a new worker safety wearable to 25+ sites. From the looks of it, the Robotic Tech Vest is really more like a pair of suspenders attached to an electronic utility belt. The Amazon Robotics-designed product was created to keep workers safe when they need to enter a space in order to fix a robotic system or retrieve fallen items. Built-in sensors alert Amazon’s robotic systems to the wearer’s presence, and they slow down to avoid collision.

Learn more!

Public Domain Day: Works from 1923 are open to all

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 10:00, modified on 2019-01-15 19:54

1923 montage 1

Well whattya’ know, Public Domain Day came and went with very little pomp and circumstance. If you’re like us, you noted the holiday but haven’t had the time to deep dive into the content. But fear not, you can celebrate all year, or forever for that matter (or until the copyright law changes)! Via the Center for the Study of the Public Domain – Duke University Law School.

For the first time in over 20 years, on January 1, 2019, published works will enter the US public domain.1 Works from 1923 will be free for all to use and build upon, without permission or fee. They include dramatic films such as The Ten Commandments, and comedies featuring Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd. There are literary works by Robert Frost, Aldous Huxley, and Edith Wharton, the “Charleston” song, and more. And remember, this has not happened for over 20 years. Why? Works from 1923 were set to go into the public domain in 1999, after a 75-year copyright term. But in 1998 Congress hit a two-decade pause button and extended their copyright term for 20 years, giving works published between 1923 and 1977 an expanded term of 95 years.

At a quick glance, 1923 was a marvelous year for books (Woolf, Wharton, Aldous Huxley), movies (Keaton, Chaplin, DeMille), and music (tunes by Jelly Roll Morton). Vulture put together a great list of movies in the public domain that you should be watching and we gotta say, they hit the nail on the head. If you had to choose one movie to watch tonight, do yourself a favor and go with Our Hospitality. It’s beautiful, it’s funny, it’s Buster Keaton.

Buster Keaton rules. It’s that simple. Charlie Chaplin may get more press (even a century later), but people familiar with Keaton’s work know how remarkably talented he was at his silent acting craft. This is one of the most notable films from 1923 now in the public domain, one that he co-directed with John G. Blystone and that Jim Emerson called “Keaton’s first feature as auteur and his first masterpiece.” Keaton plays Willie McKay in a film that broke new ground for the silent comedy era in the way it integrated its slapstick humor into the narrative instead of merely presenting “bits” to entertain the paying customers.

Read more.

Contemporary Cartographic Explorations Fuse with Historic Maps in Digital Works #ArtTuesday

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 09:00, modified on 2019-01-21 16:11


Scott Reinhard combines contemporary land elevations with historic maps to create three-dimensional environments of a specific region, city, or state. To produce the digital maps, he pulls elevation data from the United States Geological Survey, which he then embeds with location information and merges with the original design of the old maps.

Producing these hybrids allows the Brooklyn-based graphic designer to gain a better sense of the topography found in large areas without aerial photography, while also developing a story from the cartographic information. He often selects locations he has personally visited or is generally curious about for his digitally produced works. “I am from Indiana, which always felt so flat and boring,” he explains to Colossal. “When I began rendering the elevation data for the state, the story of the land emerged. The glaciers that receded across the northern half of the state after the last ice age scraped and gouged and shaped the land in a way that is spectacularly clear.”

See more!

Screenshot 4 2 14 11 48 AMEvery Tuesday is Art Tuesday here at Adafruit! Today we celebrate artists and makers from around the world who are designing innovative and creative works using technology, science, electronics and more. You can start your own career as an artist today with Adafruit’s conductive paints, art-related electronics kits, LEDs, wearables, 3D printers and more! Make your most imaginative designs come to life with our helpful tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System. And don’t forget to check in every Art Tuesday for more artistic inspiration here on the Adafruit Blog!

Mushroom Spore Prints: Mycologial Art #ArtTuesday

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via Art the Science

Massachusetts-based artist Madge Evers works in a surprising medium: mushroom spore prints. Each of her exquisite works starts with a fungal form—either grown in her garden or foraged from the woods and fields that surround her home. Evers gently places her muse upon her canvas, then waits until the specimen starts to release its spores. These tiny objects—about 16 billion of them in a typical field mushroom—float through the air and settle on the canvas below, leaving behind gorgeous, shadowlike traces.

See more!

3055 06Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!

Animated Life: The Living Fossil Fish #MakerEducation

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Learn more about this fascinating story through HHMI BioInteractive Video’s wonderful animated video.

This animated short film tells the engaging tale of the discovery of the coelacanth.

In 1938, South African museum curator Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer came across a strange blue fin poking out of a pile of fish. With its fleshy, lobed fins and its tough armored scales, the coelacanth did not look like any other fish that exists today. The coelacanth belongs to a lineage that has remained virtually unchanged for hundreds of millions of years—earning it the description of a “living fossil.”

Read more.

Why every ski trail map looks the same #ArtTuesday

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 06:00, modified on 2019-01-18 22:00

2 why every ski trail map looks the same

Artist James Niehues has hand-painted nearly 200 ski maps in his 30-year career. Via Fast Company

If you’ve been skiing, chances are you’re very familiar with the work of one particular artist. And no, this artist isn’t behind that tacky art you always see in ski cabins.

Since 1988, James Niehues has hand-painted 255 trail maps for 175 ski mountains all over the world. His work is immediately recognizable–the watercolor paintings beautifully illustrate each run, with tiny snow-capped trees surrounding them. A grand, pastoral view of the mountain’s neighbors tops off each splendid landscape painting. Now, all of his work will be available in an Kickstarter-funded eponymous coffee-table book called The Man Behind the Map.

Learn more!

How Scientific Chance and a Little Luck Helped Usher in the Nuclear Age

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 05:00, modified on 2019-01-17 22:48

via Smithsonian

It is impossible to overstate the importance of this accidental discovery. The work that Fermi subsequently led to exploit this revelation, culminating in the development of the first nuclear chain reaction on December 2, 1942 in Chicago, was based entirely on the “slow neutron” effect. The graphite bricks that formed the structure of the first atomic pile served as a moderator to slow down the neutrons emitted from the uranium slugs embedded throughout the pile, enhancing the probability of fission. Not only are all nuclear reactors based on this effect; it was an essential aspect of fission research that led, inexorably, to the development of nuclear weapons.

Read more.

“The Python programming language was originally developed for the Amoeba operating system”

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 02:07, modified at 02:11

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Amoeba (operating system) – Wikipedia.

Amoeba is a distributed operating system developed by Andrew S. Tanenbaum and others at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The aim of the Amoeba project was to build a timesharing system that makes an entire network of computers appear to the user as a single machine. Development at the Vrije Universiteit was stopped: the source code of the latest version (5.3) was last modified on 30 July 1996.

The Python programming language was originally developed for this platform.

Read more. And…

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Why was Python created in the first place?
Here’s a very brief summary of what started it all, written by Guido van Rossum:

“I had extensive experience with implementing an interpreted language in the ABC group at CWI, and from working with this group I had learned a lot about language design. This is the origin of many Python features, including the use of indentation for statement grouping and the inclusion of very-high-level data types (although the details are all different in Python).

I had a number of gripes about the ABC language, but also liked many of its features. It was impossible to extend the ABC language (or its implementation) to remedy my complaints – in fact its lack of extensibility was one of its biggest problems. I had some experience with using Modula-2+ and talked with the designers of Modula-3 and read the Modula-3 report. Modula-3 is the origin of the syntax and semantics used for exceptions, and some other Python features.

I was working in the Amoeba distributed operating system group at CWI. We needed a better way to do system administration than by writing either C programs or Bourne shell scripts, since Amoeba had its own system call interface which wasn’t easily accessible from the Bourne shell. My experience with error handling in Amoeba made me acutely aware of the importance of exceptions as a programming language feature.

It occurred to me that a scripting language with a syntax like ABC but with access to the Amoeba system calls would fill the need. I realized that it would be foolish to write an Amoeba-specific language, so I decided that I needed a language that was generally extensible.

During the 1989 Christmas holidays, I had a lot of time on my hand, so I decided to give it a try. During the next year, while still mostly working on it in my own time, Python was used in the Amoeba project with increasing success, and the feedback from colleagues made me add many early improvements.

In February 1991, after just over a year of development, I decided to post to USENET. The rest is in the Misc/HISTORY file.”

The Amoeba Distributed Operating System

Amoeba is a powerful microkernel-based system that turns a collection of workstations or single-board computers into a transparent distributed system. It has been in use in academia, industry, and government for about 5 years. It runs on the SPARC (Sun4c and Sun4m), the 386/486, 68030, and Sun 3/50 and Sun 3/60.

At the Vrije Universiteit, Amoeba runs on a collection of 80 single-board SPARC computers connected by an Ethernet, forming a powerful processor pool. This equipment is pictured below. It is used for research in distributed and parallel operating systems, runtime systems, languages, and applications.


The V8-SPARC processor pool at the VU.



Biohacking : Beyond CBD and THC

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-22 00:44, modified at 13:24


Marijuana is now legal in some way be it recreational or medical in over 33 states. There are 85 forms of cannabinoids of which CBD and THC, the most well known constituents make up only two. One issue the industry faces today is around proper labeling of contents. The lesser known cannabinoids offer health benefits, but they are not showing up on the labels. Each state has its own labeling laws and almost all require THC and CBD potency to be clearly labeled. The other 83 cannabinoids are typically not shown or mentioned on packaging. In this article we will take a look at some of the potential health benefits of less known plant components.


DISCLAIMER: We are biohackers and this data is being presented for informational purposes only. Do not try using the substances mentioned below without appropriate medical supervision.



The Other Cannabinoids of Interest

THCa – The acidic form of THC that has not been exposed to heat. THCa is not psychoactive, but it can unlock the CB1 and CB2 human endocannabinoid receptors. Isolated forms of THCa are available commercially, but it still falls under the same regulation as THC. Once heated to 230F the THCa starts to become delta-9-THC which is the well known psychoactive form THC.


CBN – A degraded form of THC. It is mildly psychoactive and creates a bit of chaos in the legal system as most states allow for non-THC cannabinoids. It has been shown to be effective in several areas such as pain relief, inflammation, seizures and muscle spasms. Higher temperature oxidation is required to produce CBN from THC resulting in a CBN product that is 10x less strength.


CBG – Another pain relief and anti inflammatory cannabinoid. Usage tends to be for mental stressors (PTSD, depression, anxiety). It also has been shown to lower blood pressure and stimulate bone growth.


CBC – A bit more rare this cannabinoid is antifungal, anti inflammatory, antibacterial and another bone stimulant. This cannabinoid has been used in the treatment of arthritis, inflammation, insomnia and neurological disorders (Parkinson’s / Alzheimer’s).



The trick to using these non-psychoactive cannabinoids is to unlock our CB1 and CB2 receptors. The trouble with CBD and similar chemicals is that they can only indirectly talk to our endocannabinoid system. The key does not fit. It takes a small amount of THC, the non-psychoactive THCa or the marginally psychoactive CBN to make the connection. These three cannabinoids actually have the correct shape to lock into the our human receptors. The effects of these therapeutic CBD variants is greatly enhanced when the receptors are engaged.



The industry has recognized that a great deal of people are looking for relief from pain, neurological and behavior issues. The customer does not necessarily want to get high. New strains of plants and cannabinoid combinations are rapidly coming available while going through clinical trials. Thanks to lab testing like High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) any product can be identified and tested for potency for ~$5,000.

Issue Three – micro:mag @micro_mag @Adafruit CRICKIT, 9 out 10! @microbit_edu #microbit

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micro:mag Issue 3 is out! This issues features “10 Amazing micro:bit Projects” and has a review if the Adafruit CRICKIT, 9 out 10! - micromag.cc & PDF.

GitHub resources for all @github #github

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Brennan’s take on #CircuitPython2019 #CircuitPython #Adafruit @Adafruit

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Brennan provides his thoughts on CircuitPython in 2019:

I’ve been spending a decent chunk of my paid time in recent months on the CircuitPython ecosystem, doing things like testing libraries against Adafruit-Blinka, a shim that mimics CircuitPython’s core modules on Linux systems.

(For background: CircuitPython is a fork of MicroPython aimed at educational users, beginner hobbyists, etc., with full-time development staff sponsored by Adafruit.)

I guess I’ll start with some reflections on my experience in 2018 and then list some thoughts about where things are headed. None of this should be taken too seriously — my role on this one is that of a low-level software bureaucrat, and it’s an extremely safe bet I don’t know what I’m talking about.

reflection 0: python could be worse

Python and I have always been sort of an uncomfortable fit. I’ve used it here and there — Ansible stuff for configuring web servers, one-offs like a static HTML image gallery generator — but I’ve never warmed up to it much. I never got over the whitespace thing, and the claims of “executable pseudocode” that hover around the language strike me as more than a little exaggerated. Anyhow, I have shell and Perl for small-time utility scripting, and the large projects I’ve worked on have mostly been PHP. So for one reason and another, until recently, I’d probably written more lines of, say, QBasic or vimscript than I had Python.

Still and all, I’m well past the point in my working life where I’m capable of feeling anything like love for most software. Grudging toleration is about the best I manage these days. And it’s clear that Python has a set of virtues in the space it occupies.

The syntax is for the most part easy to grasp, modulo the brittleness of indentation and a few other infelicities. The built-in collection types (lists, dicts, tuples, sets) aren’t as easy for a beginner to use as something like PHP’s swiss-army-knife of an array type, but they’re also much less conceptually muddled. The language seems to encourage a straightforward procedural style with some light object orientation on top. Even if this isn’t exactly considered cool, there are far worse ways to program.

In fact, Python’s aesthetics are often relentlessly un-hip, which is probably a useful bulwark against the violently unmaintainable cleverness that infests so many language cultures in 2019.

Packaging isn’t a lot of fun to figure out, but it basically works once you get the right boilerplate in place. PyPI is a mess, but as other language-specific package managers & repositories have shown us repeatedly, it could be substantially worse.

I think most of my substantive ongoing concerns with Python are around the way bugs seem to proliferate on type boundaries, the tendency of code to spew exceptions all over the landscape in conditions the developer didn’t quite anticipate, and the swampy nightmare that is the ongoing 2-to-3 version transition. (Some of these are mitigated to an extent by the smallness of most CircuitPython codebases, and the 2-to-3 problem is sidestepped by way of aiming only for Python 3 compatibility.)

Very broadly speaking, Python’s problems are mostly in classes of problems shared by that family of dynamic, garbage-collected interpreted languages that came to prominence in the 90s and early 2000s: Perl, Python, PHP, Ruby, etc. By the same token, Python shares many of the positive qualities of its relatives. There’s a vast set of undertakings that are essentially painless in these languages and excruciating in an environment like C / C++ / Arduino.

All of this to say: I was initially skeptical, but it seems like a Python is a reasonable thing to build a hardware development ecosystem around.

reflection 0a: the workflow is pretty good

Plug in a board, get a USB drive you can drop code onto and a REPL you can access over serial.

Ten years ago this would have blown my mind, and in 2019 it still feels like kind of a revelation. In most ways, it’s a vast improvement over the ergonomics of the Arduino-style compile-upload-debug cycle. If you mess around with hardware and haven’t tried this, it’s worth playing with.

reflection 1: the hardware isn’t quite there yet

…but it’s real close. At this point, I’ve written CircuitPython code for:

Of these, it feels like the SAMD21 boards just don’t have enough RAM to do much that would require more than one driver library. For instance, I recently offered to build my dad a remote thermometer for his pump house. The Feather M0 LoRa boards seem like they should be ideal for this, since all I need to do is read a temperature sensor on one board, transmit it, and display the temperature on the other end. I just couldn’t seem to get the headroom to import, let alone use, both Adafruit_CircuitPython_RFM9x and a driver for any of the several displays I tried. Ultimately I gave up on CircuitPython for the project, and plan to complete it in Arduino / C++ with the RadioHead library instead.

I had similar experiences when working up the Glitter Positioning System and an as-yet undocumented USB pedal-input project. In those cases, I wound up switching to the Feather M4 Express, and the contrast is dramatic. The SAMD51 feels like a Real Computer for this use case, with enough memory to easily handle a LoRa radio, GPS unit, LSM9DS1 9-DOF, and an RGB LED ring for display output all at once.

At the low end of the available hardware, you can glimpse the platform’s possibilities and do some basic projects, but there’s a good chance you’ll be frustrated trying to go anywhere beyond that. At the higher end, it’s eminently possible to do real work.

reflection 2: this could be pretty important on linux systems

This brings me to the Raspberry Pi, where (strictly speaking) CircuitPython doesn’t run, but the project as a whole has quite a bit to offer. Adafruit-Blinka is a shim that aims to provide most of the core CircuitPython modules on some common small-board computers with GPIO pins, which means that CircuitPython drivers and helper libraries can be used from regular CPython 3.x. At heart, it’s a collection of hacks, but this nevertheless feels like a game changer for a certain class of hardware projects on small Linux systems. It’s trivial to use a lot of this stuff, and that in turn opens up a ton of connections to the rest of the stuff you can do with a high-level language in a Linux environment.

At a time when it’s nearly impossible for most users to exercise any control over most of the computing hardware in their lives, this sort of thing feels like at least a small step in the right direction.

reflection 3: the community stuff is well-handled, except…

Having a code of conduct, doing most development work in the open, welcoming beginners, involving the user community in code review, etc.: In general I think this is a commendably well-managed software project, and plenty of FOSS efforts could learn something from the overall tone it takes.

On the negative side, I actively dislike Discord with its CPU-eating Slack-but-for-gamers vibe, and I continue wishing that GitHub were not eating all public-facing software development, but I recognize the accessibility these platforms afford and acknowledge that my side of these questions is presently in a state of utter defeat, so I won’t spill any more virtual ink on the subject in this context.

thoughts / hopes for 2019 and points beyond

Ok, so some notes on stuff I hope to see improve on the scale of about a year:

  • Stability: Things are much better than when I first tried CircuitPython, but there are still glitches to reckon with. Occasionally a board will have to be power-cycled to get code to run correctly. Connecting to the REPL over serial sometimes hangs mysteriously or prints a bunch of garbage. Things (unsurprisingly) get downright wacky when you run out of memory. The USB mass storage stuff exhibits some unpredictable behavior—writes sometimes fail without much observable rhyme or reason. I’m sure all of this will get better; this is in many ways still a young project. Still, there’s a lot of usability to be gained just by making the whole thing a couple of notches less flaky.
  • Asynchronous processing / multitasking / parallelism / event handling: I have no idea what shape it should take, but people keep wanting some kind of paradigm for handling asynchronous events in something closer to realtime, and I don’t think they’re wrong to want it. It’s remarkable what you can accomplish just by polling inputs in a tight loop, but sooner or later you want something better. Smarter people than me hash some of this out in this GitHub issue.
  • CPython compatibility: This is an explicit goal of the project, so I don’t think there’s much danger of it getting lost in the shuffle. I do think it’ll improve things the closer it gets to 100%.
  • Linux platforms: Right now, the Raspberry Pi is still more or less the only first-class citizen in terms of Adafruit-Blinka support. It’d be great to see a couple of other stable, widely available platforms added to that list.
  • Library management: The experience of installing modules for use on the Raspberry Pi is, perhaps oddly, a lot less painful than installing them on CircuitPython boards, since you can just use pip3. It’d be interesting if there was a nice clean way to use PyPI for dropping libraries into place on the CIRCUITPY drive or in a project directory. (Maybe this is handled by tools like Mu? I should know, but I don’t because I keep just using Vim.)
  • Security and privacy: The way things are going, there are eventually going to be a lot of network-exposed microcontrollers running some Python variant. Some of the people responsible for those systems will be experienced software professionals, which means that they’ll do as well on this front as software professionals usually do (i.e., completely terrible, but many of them will know that security is a consideration and when they use the tech to violate your privacy they’ll usually be doing it on purpose).

    I’m not, however, convinced that the rest of CircuitPython’s target demographic is equipped to reason about these problems at all. As embedded systems continue getting smaller, more powerful, and more ubiquitous, this is going to matter more and more. The organizations and projects teaching people how to put computers in everything need to start thinking a lot harder about how dangerous it is to put computers in everything, and communicating that danger to the people they teach. I’m not sure what form that takes with CircuitPython, but I know that it should be on people’s radar as the platform expands to more devices that handle WiFi, Bluetooth, LoRa, etc. Particularly given the security track record of web projects built on similar languages.

  • Community involvement: Right now, this is an Adafruit joint, through and through. That’s fine as far as it goes, but it’ll be interesting to see whether it ever truly makes the transition to something that a bunch of different orgs and individuals outside of the Adafruit bubble are involved in. I think that’d be a good thing, but there’s an inherent tension between the kind of tight control that’s built this project according to a well-defined plan and the diversified set of inputs that give projects like this a life of their own well beyond the interests of a particular company.

Anyhow. That’s probably enough rambling for one post. To reiterate, I probably don’t know what I’m talking about.

Thank you Luciano @ramalhoorg for 800th star on GitHub for CircuitPython! @adafruit @circuitpython @github

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Thank you Luciano for being the 800th person to star the CircuitPython repo on GitHub!

Pictured above, our Python powered IoT device that updates LIVE when it is starred! Moments before 800 🙂

PyCascades 2019 – Seattle, WA February 23 — 24, 2019 “Light Up Your Life – With Python and LEDs!” @pycascades @nnja

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PyCascades 2019! February 23 — 24, 2019, Seattle. WA. PyCascades is a two-day Python conference that will be held in the scenic coastal city of Seattle, Washington (USA).

Organized by members of the Python communities in Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland, we aim to bring together Python users and developers from both the Pacific Northwest and around the world – 2019.pycascades.com Tickets are on sale now!

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Nina Zakharenko will be doing a talk ”Light Up Your Life – With Python and LEDs!“ which includes CircuitPython!

How to control motors from Raspberry Pi with Adafruit DC Motor Controller using CircuitPython @TheSciJoy @adafruit @raspberry_pi @circuitpython

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-21 20:05, modified at 19:58


How to control motors from Raspberry Pi with Adafruit DC Motor Controller and CircuitPython - hackster.io. SciJoy learned how to control DC motors with a Raspberry Pi Zero W and an Adafruit Feather Motor Controller board using CircuitPython. They learned how to use the TB6612FNG chip to drive the motors. That chip has two full h-bridge circuits to control the direction of the motors. The Feather also has a PCA9685 chip, which is a PWM driver. It communicates with the Raspberry Pi over I2C. The robot uses the Blinka library to translate between Python 3 and the CircuitPython libraries - YouTube.

NEW GUIDE: Scratch 3 Walkthrough and Demo #AdafruitLearningSystem #Adafruit #Scratch #Scratch3 @Adafruit

Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-21 20:01, modified at 19:56

scratch 3

A new guide now in the Adafruit Learning System: a Scratch 3 Walkthrough and Demo

In this guide we’ll delve into the popular programming language Scratch.

Scratch is a block-based language geared for beginners that lets you create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art.

Scratch is easy to use and requires no prior coding experience!

First we’ll do a walkthrough of the basics.

Next we’ll cover the updates in the 3rd and newest edition of the language which was released January 2, 2019.

Lastly we’ll do some digital painting inside Scratch using a Circuit Playground Express as our “paintbrush” and “palette”. See below!

See this guide now. If you are excited about Scratch, let us know in the comments below.

scratch 3 drawing with circuit playground express