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Tell Us What You Can't Live Without to win a swag bag with an Adafruit Feather ESP8266, an Arduino Uno, or an Arduino Nano board!

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In the Comments Below:  Let Us Know What You Couldn't Live Without 10 Years Ago,  Let Us Know What You Can't Live Without Today!


You Can Win a Swag Bags with an ESP8266, Arduino Uno, or Arduino Nano for Sharing Video, Images, or  Text About What Inspired You Then, and What Inspires You Now!



The element14 community was founded in June of 2009!  It was the first online community for engineers!Project14 is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the element14 community by asking you what you couldn't live without then, what you can't live without now!You could receive a swag bag with one of the following Arduino compatible boards: an ESP8266, an Arduino Uno, or an Arduino Nano!



Recently, the element14 community turned 10 years old and the element14 team has come up with some great ideas around how to celebrate occasion.  rscasny , who runs our Roadtest program, got things kicked off with In Honor of element14's 10th Birthday: What is Your Favorite RoadTest Bundle? and cstanton , our community manager, invites you to share your favorite memories over the last 10 years in Happy 10th Anniversary! - A Decade of element14 Communitye14mindi , the community content manager, is giving away up to 25 free Raspberry Pi 4 boards in Win a Raspberry Pi 4 in Celebration of Our 10th Birthday! for letting us know what you plan to do with the board's upgraded capabilities. Project14, which turned two in April, is no stranger to parties. In March, we celebrated Arduino's Birthday by giving away some MKR 1010 boards in support of the IoT: In the Cloud Cloud competition.  In April, we celebrated the second birthday of Project14, with a Month of Robots competition and a series of live streams about you.  It featured project videos from past competitions, as well as, project show & tells from sjmill01gam3t3chbalearicdynamicsjomoenginer , carmelito , and dubbie .


But Project14 is just one of many wonderful programs that make the element14 community special.  Because, we're grateful to the element14 community for allowing us to exist, we wanted to do something extra special for the 10 year anniversary. Milestones are an opportunity to stop for a second and think about where you were 10 years ago and where you are today.  What was important to you yesterday, what's important to you today?  We're giving away some of our favorite boards to help get this conversation started.  In the comments below, let us know what you couldn't live without 10 years ago, and what couldn't you live without today. For example, 10 years ago you may have not been able to live without a BASIC Stamp for your robotics projects and today you couldn't live without an Arduino.  Or, perhaps you could not imagine living without your 3D printer today, what did use 10 years ago before 3D printers were affordable?  What are the things that inspired you then, and what inspires you today?  You can post pictures, videos, or tell interesting stories that demonstrate whatever rocks, or rocked your world in the 10 years since the community was founded.  To celebrate 10 years of the element14 community we'll be sending swag bags for posting thoughtful, entertaining, interesting, or enlightening responses.  Each package will contain gifts including an Adafruit Feather ESP8266, an Arduino Uno, or an Arduino Nano board!


While supplies last, share what you couldn't live without 10 years ago, and what you can't live without today for a chance to receive one of the following boards:


30 Adafruit Feather Huzzah ESP826615 Arduino Uno Boards15 Arduino Nano Boards



Ten years ago, I'd never heard of the element14 community.  Not even sure that I knew what an online community was.  I was working for a PHP startup and the term open source was never something I thought of in connection with hardware. I was proud to be working for a small business, being a part of a small team made me feel important, and had no desire to work for anything bigger.  As far as work goes, I would say that the most important thing to me in those days was saving up my paychecks to go to music concerts, working independently (making up the rules as you go along), and feeling like you made a difference with the work that you did.  Today, I feel very fortunate to be a part of the element14 community.  Although its a part of a much bigger company, you get a lot of freedom with how you run things, and the feeling you make a difference.  As far as work goes, the thing that I could not live without is all the creativity and inspiration you experience from seeing all your electronics & design projects.  While, I've slowed down since my halcyon start up days, there are parallels between working in a small business and working for an online community that's part of a much bigger company. Though, the concert experiences are less these days, you get a healthy dose of rock by witnessing the thought and creativity that goes into your projects.  Sometimes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.



Recently,  you engaged in some great conversation during the Project14 live streams about you.  For example, during Home Automation: an element14 Storysjmill01 showed the evolution of a robotics project that he built over a long period of time, and how the tools & technology changed as the project progressed. He showed footage and discussed the maker dream he began chasing 9 year ago, when he began building an R2D2 robot with his son as a way to get into the hobby. He started off by modeling the robot with some software he stumbled across,  before Autodesk Fusion 360 took off.  However he doesn't use a 3D printer, as 3D printers were not affordable in 2010, so much of the early work he does is with modeling clay that was bake-able or high impact polystyrene.  Back then, his experience was in programming, so right away he wanted to start programming things before he had anything built.  As the technology changes over the course of 9 years, the R2D2 robot turns from what is essentially a full size movie prop, to an RC unit, and eventually a semi-autonomous droid with a Netduino programmed in C# as the brains.


During the second live stream, Robotics: Tribute to Gordon McCombjomoenginer showed a first edition copy of the Robot Builders Bonanza by Gordon McComb from 1987 alongside the Fifth edition which was released posthumously at the end of 2018. The Robot Builder's Bonanza is widely credited with making robotics projects accessible to the masses, and its been an inspiration to jomoenginer who has shared many memorable robotics projects with the community.   If you pick up a copy of the Robot Builders Bonanza 3rd edition, the version of the book from when the community launched in 2010, the popular boards for hobby robotics were names such as Freescale 68HC11, BASIC Stamp, Intel 8051, Hitachi H8, and Atmel AVR.  Through the edits made to the book since it was first released, in the latest edition you can find entire chapters devoted to Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and the micro:bit.  All of which are very popular on the community. Today you can get a Raspberry Pi for $35, an Arduino for less than that, and there is a huge community with lots of support for both platforms.   The Jetson Nano which is a pretty hot product for robotics projects can be had for a few hundred dollars, whereas just a few years ago, something like that would run you thousands of dollars. As dubbie , whose background is in engineering, pointed out, you don't need any special knowledge to get involved with robotics, anyone can do it. You don't even need a 3D printer, as carmelito pointed out, you can prototype anything with dollar foam board, and its also how he got started with hobby RC projects.


Now It's Your Turn to Tell Your Story!  What Could You Not Live Without 10 Years Ago?  What Can't You Live Without today?


Video, Images, and Text are all Welcome forms of submission!


How did you do electronics projects before the Raspberry Pi or before you knew about Arduino?   What did you use before 3D printers became a thing?  Or,  perhaps you had a tool or a piece of test equipment you couldn't live without 10 years ago.  You've probably found a tool or piece of test equipment since then that you believe you couldn't live without.   You're free to share any stories, videos, or images about anything you thought you couldn't live without 10 years ago and to show us what you can't live without today!


In the Comments Below:  Let Us Know What You Couldn't Live Without 10 Years Ago,  Let Us Know What You Can't Live Without Today!


You Can Win a Swag Bags with an ESP8266, Arduino Uno, or Arduino Nano for Sharing Video, Images, or  Text About What Inspired You Then, and What Inspires You Now!