Archive for Nifty Things

NC Maker Fair 2013

Just got back from my first (mini) Maker Fair held at the State Fair grounds in Raleigh, NC. Neat things abounded. Everyone and their brother had a 3D printer it seemed like. Which is great! It means that the tech is accessible to loads of people on many different levels of skill. I have access to a Makerbot Replicator 2, and we’ve decided to take a look at running ABS through it at some point. More on that whenever it happens, hehe.

Of particular interest was one booth featuring the TI LaunchPad, an eval platform for the MSP430 chip (among others). RobG from had a really neat display of a bunch of booster packs (like Arduino ‘shields’) that he’s made. Everything from MIDI controllers to LED displays to touchscreen LCD modules. Very cool stuff!


Image from

Rob’s Booster Pack display

See the post about the NC Maker Fair here:

So I’ll be poking around with the LaunchPad kit. More on that to follow!


BlinkStick. It’s a stick! And it blinks!

BlinkStick. Image courtesy of Adafruit.

This is pretty cool. A USB-controlled RGB LED with a web interface and open-source hardware and software. I have an ATTiny85 lying around (as you do), and I can probably Frankenstein some kind of usb connector together. I’m thinking a deadbug-style RGB eye stalk thing that come out of the side of your computer and changes color when stuff happens. Like it glows from blue to red when your CPU usage spikes or you’ve spent more than 8 hours on reddit. I mean…what? Link to Adafruit product page.