Another Reason to Beware Bargain Basement Bluetooth

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I was debugging a Bluetooth-related problem on a Windows 7 machine recently, and I found another great example of why sometimes you get what you pay for, even when buying something as nominally standardized and homogeneous as a Bluetooth adapter. It so happens that this machine was using one of these $5 adapters with the fake antenna: That was the first thing I noticed about these... Read More

Failed Antenna Design 101

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I just got some more Bluetooth dongles in from DealExtreme. This one advertises extended range and EDR support, for $5. The package looks convincing enough, nevermind the engrish: So I cracked it open, naturally. (Hey, I was planning on using it for that crazy project.) And I was shocked to find this:  Read More

New MacBook Pro + Fyre

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Back when I bought my last Mac: USB and the Playstation 2 were new, Altivec and shiny plastic were in, and fans were almost starting to line up for the first Harry Potter movie. Oh, and warrantless wiretapping was still illegal. So, Apple, I guess it’s time to put all those hardware failures behind us and see if this relationship can work. I’ve actually had a lot of... Read More

Turbulence

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For anyone who hasn’t already seen it, Linus Akesson (of Craft fame) just released his first demo for the Parallax Propeller: Turbulence. You can watch the high resolution video on capped.tv, with an introduction by Linus himself. Or, if you have a Propeller board, he’s provided binaries and source code. The demo is quite impressive, and he uses some extremely clever... Read More

Spark Fun in Fortune magazine

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Spark Fun Electronics is awesome. If you’re an electronics hobbyist who hasn’t heard of them, you’re missing out. While us hobbyists have long been able to get a huge variety of “reasonably” priced staple components from Digi-key, and crazy-cheap surplus components from places like All Electronics Corp. and B.G. Micro, I couldn’t help feeling... Read More

Moral dilemma…

Lately I’ve been interested in e-textiles and fabric sensor technology. For an example of something I find infinitely fascinating, take a look at this DIY fabric bend sensor. (Via talk2myshirt, the best named blog evar.) In that project, many of the conductive textile materials were originally designed (or at least marketed) for electrostatic/electromagnetic shielding applications.... Read More

The future of computer education

I just stumbled upon a web site which still sells the Elenco Micro-Master MM-8000 Computer Training Kit, a state-of-the-art piece of educational hardware which includes an 8085 processor, 256 bytes of RAM, and a convenient set of keyswitches and LEDs for entering programs and inspecting memory. I remember seeing these in magazines like Electronics Now in the early 1990s, and they... Read More

New oscilloscope!

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For a while now, I’ve been looking for a replacement for my ancient 50 MHz Hitachi analog scope. This scope has served me well for the 10+ years I’ve owned it, but it’s kind of a junker. Slow, out of calibration, flaky triggers… I’d could probably get a similar scope for about $15 on eBay. As much as I love the instant response and tactile feel of... Read More

Propane pixels

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When I was little, I was afraid of fire. I had nightmares about being trapped in burning buildings. Pulse terrified me, even more so than It. I wasn’t scared of being burned- I had my share of encounters with a hot soldering iron or an overheated BJT. I was scared of fire’s power to consume everything I had and everyone I loved. It seems oddly appropriate then that everyone... Read More

If you thought USB sushi was odd…

Okay, I just have to bloggy-blog about this work of genius that Christian found. My favorite has got to be the USB belt- the perfect gift for that lovable USB dork in your life.  Read More