I can't help myself but notice that more and more electronics giants are starting to realize that hobby electronics is becoming a serious business !
Newark has just launched their new hobbyist / maker oriented web site www.element14.com as well as their own video blog persona Ben Heck. When I first saw Ben I thought "I didn't know Conan O'Brian is into electronics. Wait that's not Conan !". Just like David L. Jones from EEVBlog , Ben likes to take things apart even before turning them on. I enjoyed very much his X-Box tear down and custom foot controlled XBox controller and I am looking forward to seeing more videos like this.
Jameco has teamed up with Make Magazine 's Collin Cunningham and forged a series of video tutorials aimed towards electronics beginners. And yes they finally carry Arduino in stock !
In the same spirit , Texas Instruments launched few months ago a subsidized development platform MSP430 LaunchPad trying to win the hearts of all those Microchip PIC and Atmel AVR fanboys out there. But word along the benches is that it ain't gonna happen unless they make it Arduino shield pin compatible :).
Old news already – but ST tried a similar move with their STM8S-Discovery kit , not sure how many people they converted but it's interesting to see some competition going on for this hobbyist / maker , no-longer-niche market.
Adafruit and Sparkfun are two wonderful pioneer companies that showed to the world that [title of this post] = TRUE ! They started from zero and reached millions of dollars in sales in just few years. A good example that if you like what you're doing and you are passionate about it – you're going to go a long way.
Overall my feeling is that we are witnessing a new boom right now. Robotics and Electronics is for 2010's what Internet was for 2000's and personal computers for 1990's. For all those still in doubt , or who haven't send their college applications yet – this is THE FIELD to work in the next decade ! A lot of wonderful things are just waiting to happen ! Stay tuned and enjoy the ride.
1 thought on “Hobby electronics is a serious business !”
Another one from ST,
STM32 Value line Discovery
“The STM32 Value line Discovery is the cheapest and quickest way to discover the STM32. It includes everything required for beginners and experienced users to get started quickly. The STM32 Value line Discovery includes an STM32F100 Value line microcontroller in a 64-pin LQFP package and an in-circuit ST-Link debugger/programmer to debug Discovery applications and other target applications. A large number of free, ready-to-run application firmware examples are available on http://www.st.com/stm32-discovery to support quick evaluation and development using the LEDs, button and extension header to connect to other boards or devices.”