The Arduino Arrives

(Originally posted Oct 10, 2013)

Yesterday I got my starter kit for the Pi and today my Arduino and its kit arrived. Christmas two days in a row!

Sidebar – Yeah, three of these posts in two days is a bit much.  It will slow down after this, I promise.  But there is a vast readership that is following the development of my robot and they are clamoring for the latest developments.  (If anyone wants to buy me a dictionary for Christmas, I can look up the meanings of “vast” and “clamoring”.  It is possible I am misusing those words.  What I meant to say is that there are four people who are willing to read my ramblings while the Daily Show is at commercial and I don’t want to leave them hanging.)

The Arduino and Breadboard mounted on an acrylic plate

In the above picture you can see the Arduino running a program that cycles a multi-color LED through its paces.  And in the background you see the Pi still faithfully running its program from last night, blinking red then green.  So right now you’re thinking “Blinky lights yesterday and blinky lights again today.  Is this guy a one trick pony or what?”

You have to crawl before you can walk and you have to walk before you can run headlong into a wall.  So get out of my way… I’m busy crawling here.

In all seriousness, I’m going to draw a parallel between this type of learning and learning martial arts.  At our annual instructor’s seminar this summer, Grandmaster Buell was reviewing one of our fairly basic self-defense sequences and he made a comment that really stuck with me.

“There’s a lot of information here if you understand martial arts.”

That’s how it is with blinky lights.  That is a huge first step on the path to doing more interesting things and there is a lot of information here if you understand computing.

You shouldn’t hear anything from me on this topic for a little while.  I need to spend several days working on the Pi and Arduino tutorials and getting comfortable with delicate little electronics that have incredibly small writing on them.  Do the good folks at Mt Palomar Observatory make a handheld magnifying glass?

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