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Electronics and me

Going to classes at NYCResistor and working with electronics has really opened up my mind and broadened my horizons. I've always wanted to solder and do more with kits and bits and pieces of things, and now that I've started playing around I feel more empowered than I ever have before, maybe even surpassing the feelings of empowerment that came from learning how to program.

This is stuff that actually AFFECTS THE REAL WORLD. I mean, it amazes me that I now have the basic abilities required to make devices that DO STUFF. Now that I've built some kits, made some basic circuits, and loaded code onto chips, I've started thinking about the world around me and what parts make up the devices I use every day. I now routinely take things apart and stick the pieces I want into static bags. Just today I grabbed an old night light with a light sensor on it, tore the plastic off it and found a tiny little circuit with the sensor, a resistor, and a transistor hooked up to the prongs for the outlet. My plan is to unsolder the bits off the board and rebuild the circuit and figure out how to hook it into my Freeduino.

Because now I'm thinking things like: I can make automatic blinds that open and close according to the amount of light I want in the room. I can make a pseudo-random cat treat feeder which dispenses occasionally when my cat steps on a pedal, and use that to break my cat's bad habit of constantly wanting food and waking me up at all hours (he'll mess with the feeder instead). I can hack that new Jedi mind trick/EEG reader toy that's coming out this holiday season and create a thought controlled puppet/robot.

I'm in a whole new world. I only wish I'd started down this path sooner!


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 16th, 2009 08:36 pm (UTC)
Welcome to my world. Bwahaha.
Nov. 16th, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC)
You and the MeggyJR RGB are what set me on this path!!
Nov. 16th, 2009 09:14 pm (UTC)
Um... This is my job?

Well, not the scavenging parts out of old junk, but working on the new devices in the first place.

Of course, a lot of the stuff I get to work on isn't really neat-o, but it is all real world affects: programmable sprinklers, oil tank monitors, wireless shock controllers (for dog training or fetish use), soap dispenser monitors...

Yeah. I like it.
Nov. 16th, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC)
When you think about it, electronics is really responsible for most of the "godlike" powers we exhibit these days. We've made things like telepathy, and now telekinesis (I keep going back to the EEG-driven Jedi toy that's coming out) possible through the engineered application of electronic technology.

I'm sure I'm going to experience this feeling again when synthetic biology hits its stride and I start making organisms to do chores like washing my dishes or something...
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )