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    The Promotion

    safe_image.pngAt the end of every year element14 does something special for its community members.

     

    This year, we did a "Bit by the Bug" promotion. 

     

    The element14 team slipped one mystery board in each package: either a Raspberry Pi 3, a BeagleBone Black, or an Arduino Uno; threw in some Free element14 Swag; and gift wrapped a CodeBug for you to give to someone else as a gift.

     

    Most of you spend a lot of time around technology & engineering and we are interested in knowing what drove you along your current path.safe_image 2.png   Maybe it was your first computer, a Heath Kit, a mentor or a parent, a project you worked on, or an electronics device you tore apart to see how it worked.

     

    The idea behind the promotion was simple.  Your story is an intangible gift, by sharing it with the rest of the community, you inspire others. By gifting a CodeBug to others, you are gifting a tangible piece of technology to inspire a love for engineering & technology.

    The Highlights

    Here are some of your stories from the 'Bit by the Bug' Promotion

     

    the-dubster : Who hasn't fallen slightly in love with Heath Robinson creation? For those who have, did you ever study it to see how much of it would really work? For me, my interest started early, I wanted to know how everything worked, if I had a screwdriver that fitted - apart it came! (Sorry dad for destroying your wood chisels by using them as screwdrivers)!! Knowing how things worked was fundamental to me, I can't just accept that 'it just does', I want to know why. School in 70's and 80's UK was starting to bring us computers - BBC Model B, Commodore PET to name a few. I was lucky enough to be introduced to electronic engineering by a family member and then later, a family friend. School also included Electronics and Computer Studies by the time I hit 6th form - I'll take both of those then (they go nicely with Metalwork & Woodwork don't they)! Physics stopped at O Level - certainly for a long time, but my interest has again been sparked. My job of 25 years was Avionics Engineering Technician with the Royal Air Force, following my interests there then, and I now teach the same. Married to it? Yup! For as long as I can remember, and I'm fortunate my real wife is so accepting of my other passion!

     

    kenfloyd : My interest in electronics was primed when I built an analog temperature gauge for an 8th grade science class. It used a thermistor and a volt meter, with an electric train power supply. I was given an 'F' because the instructor did not believe I designed and built it. The thermistor was not water resistant, so I used a Bic Pen plastic sleeve and embedded the thermistor in epoxy at the end of the pen and calibrated the voltmeter by sticking the pen in water of a known temperature. I joined the Navy and became an ETR, Electronic Technician Radar. While I was in, it was the period of time when the Navy was converting  in analog to digital and I worked on some crazy hybrid systems. After I started college with an Electrical Engineering major, I switched to Computer Science. Most of what I learned is now somewhat obsolete. I had one professor guarantee it was impossible to build a hard drive bigger than 750K. Now I was designing temporary traffic lights, for use in moving work zones in road construction or rehabilitation, and I found the Raspberry Pi. That's why I am here.

     

    jgerred : I would have to say that my fascination with electricity, electronics, and how the world works started when I was less than four years old.  Old family stories tell about how I was fascinated with the night light in the living room.  I got my butt whipped more than once for playing with it.  Finally my father decided to let me learn on my own and just watched (while reading the newspaper) as I would unplug the night light and plug it back in.  Eventually I got my tiny little fingers on the prongs of the nightlight as I plugged it in and got a good zap.  I have no recollection of this, but according to the stories I then proceeded to get about a foot away from the outlet and tried to throw the night light back into the outlet while carefully looking around periodically to make sure I didn't get busted.  Eventually (after about 15+ tries), I lifted up the edge of the carpet and neatly tucked the night light under the carpet and wandered off. As I got older, the fascination with how things work got stronger and I ended up taking apart many devices (radios, blenders, tape decks, turntables, etc) and usually would end up getting them back together and still having them function when I was done.  That got me into actually repairing broken items (successfully more often than not). Eventually a family friend got me one of the old "160 in 1" electronics kits from Radio Shack (still have it!) and I started to learn about circuits and electronics. Throughout my teenage years I continued to learn about how things work and ended up in the IT industry as a Systems Administrator (specializing in UNIX/Linux) with a hobby of working on just about anything (electronics, automotive work, small engine repair, woodworking, construction, etc) but my go to entertainment projects have always been working on something electrical. I find it mind boggling that getting shocked from fiddling with a night light got me into a career that has taken me to numerous places around the globe while working in a job that also happens to be my hobby!

     

    malloc : Wanna know a secret? We all do; that’s the short of why I got into technology. Specifically, though, I didn’t just want someone to tell me secrets. I wanted to find them, and then get something for it. Functionally, this becomes a desire to see How It Works™ and eventually obtain enough knowledge and resources to Make It Yourself™, and then Make It Better™. Realistically though I think I just wanted to be a wizard as a kid, got super annoyed when I discovered magic isn’t real, and refused to accept it. I think that’s pretty universal, but you can see how this is a bit at odds with itself. You learn science to figure out how to do magic. It’s also an absurdly difficult concept to articulate without sounding INSANELY DUMB, right? Despite how common it is. I seriously don’t think English has a word for that particular drive that you can find outside of a Dungeons and Dragons manual, but man we really should. It’s also extremely common among essentially everyone in my life who is tech-inclined. I’m going to take a crack at explaining this brain splinter a lot of us probably have, tell me how I do: I want to find hidden stuff, and I want that hidden stuff to be part of a story, and I want that story to have meaning. What I find genuinely exciting is discovering the unknown; what I find even more exciting is finding ways to manipulate it. For example, it’s cool to me to find a prototype board for, say, an unreleased video game system. It’s much, much cooler for me to get to crack it open and see how it works and what decisions were made when building it; the best thing would be to fix it, get something running on it, and then publish that information to see what other people do with it.That’s kind of the selfish but true reason I got into technology. There isn’t any particular desire on my end to better humanity’s ills or cure a particular disease or anything. I’m in it for that rush of “Hey, you wanna see a cool thing?” Turns out you can do this as a job! That’s how I wound up where I am.

     

    rsc : When I was about 7 or 8, I took apart all of my moms watches to play with the little gears. She was not impressed.  I even managed to put one of them back together! When I was 11-ish, one of my dads friends was moving to Florida and gave me several boxes of Ham radio equipment. I spent hours figuring out how to light up the filaments.  After that, it was a challenge to fix broken TVs and radios. My dad and his brothers used to race cars, so I learned how to rebuild motors and how to weld frames.

    [insert 30 years of stories here] Now I work on motorcycles, and embedded controllers, Lasers and Radars and LiDars and Tesla Coils, Fusion, VR, and anything else mechanical or electrical ...... I like to give boxes of parts to kids for Christmas, motors, LEDs, protoboards and stuff, I can still remember the first time my son hooked up an LED to a battery, priceless... I think his eyes lit up brighter than the LED.

     

    linuxgnuru : Ever since I got a VIC 20 back in the 80s (I think I was 8 or 10) I've been into writing programs that did things; even got a BS in computer science.  But it wasn't until 2014 when I got my first raspberry pi that I asked "what do all those pins do?" and when I wrote a program that just turned on a LED; that something I wrote actually changed something in the physical world that my mind was blown.  Before then, programs just counted things or did something if you clicked a button on the screen.  2 months after that moment I got my first Arduino.  Now I have spools of wires, boxes of resistors and the like and tomorrow I'll be creating some 555 toy electric organs with some speakers and buttons for some kids for christmas.   Oh yeah; I've also been using Linux since May 1995 and haven't touched windows since ...

     

    oisinogorman : My earliest introduction to technology was probably the day I discovered what was going on inside an old radio in the cave of wonders that held so much (my father could be classed as a hoarder) that was our shed. From one device to the next, they were all dismantled. It all didn't make much sense at the time but it was intriguing to say the least and lead to years of  every piece of electronic technology I could get my hands on and much to the disdain of their rightful owners, the ability to reassemble it all didn't come until later in life. I simply had to know how it worked, this was the spark that has led me to where I am today. Now studying for my final year exams in Industrial Automation and Robotic Control Technology, working with PIC microcontrollers has opened a world of possibilities and this would make an amazing christmas present for me and a friend.

     

    anderson7420 :

    As a little kid I'd always liked science. I would sit for hours and paint little Styrofoam balls to match the pictures of the planets from one of the encyclopedias we had laying around. Jupiter's red spot sticking to the floor we just had put in, quickly covered by an oddly placed nightstand and a less than efficient diagonally placed bed that made the room "more open." I had a teacher in high school though that that brought a warm, human centric science and engineering to me. Some of her lessons reverberate even louder today than they did then. Her name was Ralma, and she taught chemistry at our rather rural PA high school. Ralma had this way of giving, with a bubbly laugh, a warmer meaning to colder equations. She would instill trust in you, and leverage that to focus you into working harder.... While I didn't stick with chemistry in college, the lessons I learned in her lab did: good laboratory practice, safety, and an analytical mindset. More specifically, having the opportunity to work with the thermocouples and logging software gave me that initial push towards engineering. I finished engineering in undergrad and ended up moving to Germany for more in grad school. After grad school, I worked in an engineering company for a while designing electronics/mechanics for spacecraft design and learned some fantastic technical lessons. However, the deeper the technical knowledge I gained, the more I felt myself missing that human connection to the technology itself. I missed that bubbly laugh of Ralma that came with letting students explore something new, and trusting them to do it with integrity and safe curiosity. I ended up leaving that engineering job recently to practice teaching back in Philadelphia. I picked up a few high school teams to mentor with hopes that I can figure out a way to emulate Ralma's impact; not just on the technical STEM side, but also with her human centric approach. I think it would be a life's dream to take Ralma's human based STEM approach and deliver it on a scale like Bill Nye did in the 90's. The more technical I get, I think it becomes even more important to remember the human aspect of engineering for people, how to cultivate curiosity instead of crushing it upfront with too much theory, and teaching others how to safely explore their own technical interests. Thanks Ralma.

     

    jack.chaney56Turmoil... Love, hate.  Anguish, frustration, and heartbreak. All these were countered by passion, longing, sacrifice, and intense attraction. This is my love affair with electronics and computing. The metaphor is quite appropriate, because I get jealous when someone's system is working better than mine.  When things get slow an dull, I experiment with new and different algorithms. Always I wonder about the choices I made, and never consider leaving what I know I really love.

    I'm pretty sure in one of these things, I told my tale of growing up with an EE father, who was also a ham radio operator, who did a lot of experimentation with side-band and antenna experimentation resulting in a patent that got us shipped to "the labs" in New Jersey. So the exposure to engineering is very old indeed.  I still wax nostalgic when I get a whiff of rosin solder, or that particular ozone smell of dust on warming tubes.

    I tried to avoid it for a long time by working in restaurants, and got to be a pretty good cook, but, like in the Godfather, got sucked back in, by the lure of mathematics and puzzle solving. Finished my degree, and landed a job programming video games, learned that embedded systems is all applied video game practice. So I have done lots, learned lots, suffered lots, and now I get to play with the grand kids (next generation of programmers) trying to explain being productive with a 300 baud modem, on a standard phone line. Explaining punch cards and batch stations. Explaining why UNIX is better than DOS, and why you still need to understand assembly language, so you can understand what the processor can and can't do.

    Finally, like any great love, I will be with it, enjoying its company until I am no longer here.

     

    sarunaszx:   I got interested in electronics only about 4 years ago when I started studying physics at university. I got a little task to program stm microcontroller and even though it was mostly programming task I got really curious. Programming always fascinated me, but only when I noticed that digital world can be transfered to real life - control, move and detect things, I got really amazed. Soon I got familiar with microcontroller basics - PWM, GPIOs, ADC's, some PID control theory. Then I saw quadcopters on youtube (which also were pretty impressive to me) and a wild thought appeared - I have enough knowledge to build a quadcopter flight controller by myself! (big mistake ). In theory everything seemed so easy. So I started building it from scratch. Homemade frame, cheapest motors, cheapest propellers, no oscilloscope - it was meant to fail and of course it did But doing that I received solid(imo understanding about project planning digital filtering techniques soldering basics and etc I also equiped myself with basic tools required for electronics logic analyzer multimeter soldering iron breadboards leds resistors capacitors and etc Now I am still learning different technologies on my spare time programming beaglebone black(which I received from element14 last christmas adapting Rpi media center and RetroPie station to suit my needs making(slowly granular synthesizer with STM32F3Discovery board experimenting with ESP8266 boards and etc

     

     

    billhudson: I was a young teenage self taught programmer (XB, ASM on a TI-99/4a) when my uncle (an electrician) got a divorce and then moved in with us for a while. He was fascinated with my computer and programming and made a deal where he would teach me some electronics if I would teach him some programming. I was fascinated how close the two were related. Electronics was basically programming but physically instead of software. AND, OR, XOR, it was all there but in chips. Well my first real thing I did is what got me hooked. Back before remote controls existed for televisions our furnace intake was just above our couch and the TV across the room like normal. Well my dad would complain all the time because when the furnace kicked on the intake was so loud he had to get up and turn the volume up. When it kicked off, it was back up, across the room and turn it back down. He hated that! Well we had a couple of those monitors that use the 110 wiring to transmit and receive voice. I knew if I could find a 5v change on the board when TALK was pressed I could use a relay and another Volume knob to turn the TV up, I also needed 110 from the furnace. Well I found the 5v on the monitor when the button was pressed to talk. Well those things could be locked on as well. So I locked it on, went to the furnace closet and got lucky, there was a 110 outlet right on the wall that went hot with the furnace. I just plugged it in and that side was done. When the furnace came on, it turned on the transmitter and sent the signal. I opened the back of the console TV and ran the original volume knob through my relay for off, and drilled a hole in the press board back and installed another knob through my relay for (Furnace on!). Now set the back knob louder and the front knob softer. Now when the furnace kicked on, the TV went up! (and it was adjustable too) When the furnace turned off the TV went back down! (to the front knob setting) My dad, well my entire family was just blown away! My brother still brags to this day, and I am now 51 years old, so it's been quite some time ago. I have to admit, I was pretty impressed myself, and seeing that I could do things like that I just fell in love!!! I have been in love every since. Oh, and of course I fix everything in the world for my family and all their friends as well, as we all probably do. For those days and times, that was pretty amazing!

     

    dougw : I grew up in the jungle at the equator with no TV, no computers, no electronics stores and no cell phones, but I always liked building things like kites, sailboats, slingshots and model planes. We also had Meccano and Tinkertoy to get creative with. My first big decision came when I was 11 - my parents let me decide if I wanted to go to boarding school in Canada or stay and train to be a professional athlete. Although I love sports, I chose to get an education. I was not a good student though - I was always reading books when I was supposed to be doing homework, and I mean always. My next big decision was to jump from grade 11 (5th form) to engineering at university (because it was cheaper than boarding school). I wanted to be a mechanical engineer because I had never been exposed to electronics and I had been designing a rotary internal combustion engine in my head. However this jump put me way behind my classmates that were coming out of grade 13. I had never seen a computer and never even heard of calculus. I remember my first computer science assignment was to write a program that used numerical methods to calculate an integral. That was a huge challenge, but I managed to figure it out and get 100% on the assignment. It was such a thrilling accomplishment to successfully learn all that in a few days and get that first program to execute properly that I have always liked computers ever since. My next big decision was to become a systems engineer (mostly electronics) because I realized it would be way cheaper to tinker with electronics as a hobby than outfit a machine shop. I still took lots of mechanical courses though which have been very useful. The rest is just a long storied history of fun projects, learning new things and inventing stuff..... And I still get to do sports.

     

     

    rwap :  Always having had a keen interest in mathematics, I started out learning to program programmable calculators, and then with the birth of the home computer industry, bought a Sinclair ZX81 from my brother (he had moved onto a Spectrum) and taught myself to program both ZX BASIC and Z80 Machine Code. I moved onto the SInclair QL when it was launched in 1984, and taught myself 68008 machine code - so much easier and started analysing other people's code as part of bug-testing and reviewing software for magazines in the 80s. Since then, my hobby turned into a business, with me learning more through various PLC programming projects (including bug-fixing someone elses code for a sewerage handling plant), and turning my hand to C so that I could adapt an existing printer driver to handle 720dpi and colours as these technologies became more widespread. Since then, I have continued to support the retro and vintage computer market, by reverse engineering parts and tracking down old stocks of computer chips and connectors, as well as getting involved in numerous interface projects.  I am proud to say that I was behind the re-vitalisation of the Sinclair ZX81 market which had long been forgotten until I decided to turn back to this - and the market is now flourishing thanks to SD card interfaces (which cannot be made quickly enough), and lots of new software making the most of modern development tools and pushing the limits of this (originally) 1K computer to the max. The Raspberry Pi and Banana Pi have both opened new opportunities for me to provide products which are aimed at keeping both this retro computer market; as well as numerous industrial applications to the fore, all built around my love of electronics and programming, and the desire to get the best out of any hardware.

     

    fozdik : The story of how I became hooked on technology is a long one, covering nearly 40 years.... I began my interest in technology at a very early age.  My Dad got me interested in electronics when I was about 10 years old.  He wasn’t a very good teacher, but I was intrigued by the things he was doing and I liked doing them with him.  LED’s and a 555 timer could keep me dazzled for hours.  And Forrest Mims was quite readable and understandable, even for me. Wanting to take electronics further, but not having the funds to do so, I discovered that the garbage bins out back of the IBM building were full of discarded circuit boards that were loaded with digital ICs sitting in IC sockets.  An enterprising kid such as myself could save a lot of money by popping those chips off the boards carefully.  I made most of my early circuits this way.  Later on I discovered an electronics store that sold kits and parts at reasonable prices, and my allowance was suddenly less of a hindrance to my interests.  I bought an Apple IIe kit and cut my teeth learning how to solder all the parts on.  It was very cool when it was finished and worked!  Now I needed to learn how to program.  That led to a Commodore Vic 20, and later a Commodore 64.  I still enjoyed dumpster-diving, though.  At least I did until IBM caught on and started locking their bins.... ...I started out loving the fact that technology was something that I could share with my father, and ended up loving the fact that technology is something I can indulge in anytime I want and in just about any way that I want, and I love this!  Case in point; I have always been blown away by what can be made with a CNC machine.  Thanks to YouTube, and the Internet in general, I was able to build one in my basement!  I can design my own stuff, and make it in my own house, using software and hardware that would have been ABSOLUTELY out of reach for any but the largest and richest of companies when I was a boy.  Today, we have open-source software, open-source hardware, community versions of top-of-the-line software, inexpensive hardware, 3D printers, laser cutters, hobby (and not-so-hobby) scale CNC machines, etc., etc., all available to the creative and techy minds out there for such reasonable costs that they are driving real change in our society.  Suppliers of such technology and the parts and meterials required for their use, such as element14 (nice plug, eh?), also provide community forums (such as this one) where these folks can exchange ideas and information.  This is where the real power for change lies.  And all you need is an internet connection and the desire to use it. The ever increasing facilitation of creativity for those working in their kitchens, basements, garages, and college labs is INCREDIBLE and I can’t wait to see what comes of it.  Just you go to a MAKER FAIRE to see exactly what I’m talking about.  If you think the world is full of problems, go to one of these events and you will see the very people who are going to solve them.  And that includes you and me, thanks to the pervasiveness and availability of technology, AND the information and education regarding its use that is so freely available.  With all of this in mind, how can you NOT love technology??

     

    xKZx : When I was a kid, I loved LEGO, every birthday, every Christmas, any occasion I wanted LEGO. All I pretty much did was playing with LEGOs. Both of my parents were teachers in Latvia and the pay back in the 90s was not so great, but my dad understood the importance of LEGO in my early years and kept on buying it. At one point the amount of LEGO was the most valuable thing we had, even more valuable then the Lada 2101 my dad was driving. I was building anything I could think about, and LEGO taught me a lot - math while counting bricks, construction and structural engineering while building cranes, It taught me love for bikes when I understood how gears worked. Later I loved LEGO Technics - It was great for building all this stuff, but for a young curious mind that was not enough, I wanted those expensive LEGO electronics kits that my parents could not afford. I asked them If I could get any, but the answer was "no". Hoping, waiting and repetitive asking did not help. It just cost too much. At some point I started adding various non LEGO components to my projects - rubber bands, springs from pens, glass marbles, steel weight for catapults etc. It made my LEGO experiance more fun but something was still mising. One day I went to my dads office at the school he was working and I was studying in the First or Second class. There I saw this old Soviet copy machine in ugly brown plastic, but it was opened, it didn't work and was meant for scrap, but I it was the first time I had the idea to salvage parts - I asked dad if I can I remove those Motors I saw? I knew how DC motors looked from my friends cheap RC cars that always broke and that I never had (I had LEGO), but these were bigger. They were 9V and that was a lot of battery money for me. Tape came along and it all worked and worked well - it was the first time gears started to break due to torque. A week later dad made a 9V power supply so I wouldn't have to spend my pocket money on batteries. A month later I had build a wired "remote control" LEGO car which would steer and drive forward and backward working on a 7.2V Nokia THF-2 Rechargable battery (My granny's old mobile at the time). It was a marvel and didn't cost my parents a fortune. It was the first thing I ever built that I could be really proud about. From there things just continued and 18 years later I am a mechanical engineer with love for salvaging parts, DIY and electronics.

     

    fortyishguy : I have always been fascinated by how things work, not so much the theory but the mechanics of it.  Tools, screws and bolts and nails, taking things apart and successfully (hopefully) putting it back together fixed or better than it was ( or at the least the way it was before). My earliest passions were hammering and nailing, and unscrewing anything that would unscrew.  This generated many happy times from childhood and I'm sure the items left apart didn't bother my parents at all.  (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.) This combined with a love of math led to models of engines and cars, Rubik's cubes and fixing bikes.  I once took my sisters bike apart when I was mad at her knowing she couldn't put it back together, but she sweet talked me into putting it back together...  ....I rebuilt engines, I rewired more than one Saab (one after a fire) and troubleshot many issues and breakdowns.  I credit it with fueling an interest in troubleshooting that has helped me accomplish quite a bit in life, and saves money too.

     

    jw0752  : I must have been born with a curiosity for electricity and mechanical things. My father had no skill or interest in these areas but he was very supportive, always bringing me things to take apart and explore. His lack of knowledge about electricity allowed me to explore the subject without interference from him. I blew my first fuse at age five when I hooked up a frayed extension cord to a small toy typewriter. I declared it an electric typewriter and plugged it in. By the time I was 10 I had received so many shocks from the old tube radios that I routinely played with that it was no big deal. That what I was doing could have been fatal never occurred to me or my parents. Perhaps around age 13 I was fixing more things than I was breaking, though my mother often told people that I could fix things the rest of my life and never make up for all the things I broke in those early years. While some kids collect coins, stamps, butterflies, or rocks I collected electronic and technology parts. I also like to organize them into small jam jars and boxes. To this end I still have parts, pieces and small hardware as a resource for present day projects that I collected 55 years ago. I continue this process to this day salvaging parts from broken equipment and electronics. I really enjoyed reading the stories of my fellow posters to this blog. We all seem to have been caught up in the adventure of understanding how things work. As I have tried, over the years, to inspire children and grandchildren I have come to realize that it is a special calling to have this consuming curiosity for the technical. Those that do not have the passion can be taught but keeping them going is like pushing a car down the road when it is out of gas.

     

    pikespeakelement14 : I was an electronic technician for Hughes Aircraft Co. in El Segundo, CA during 1978 through 1981. I loved it - soldering and wire wrapping circuits. One day, one of the engineers handed me a magazine that mentioned some scientists that had invented a switch that could turn on and off over a million times a second! I was totally blown away, picturing a house light switch being frantically moved back and forth. I asked him how that was possible, and he told be that it was by electric fields - no moving parts. I was hooked. I graduated with a degree in computer science, learning as much as I could about electronics, and it's been very useful in my career over the last 35 years.

     

    gentlemanwolf : So, here's where it all started. One sunny afternoon a long time ago, I was sitting around my house as all nine year olds would do. Staring at a speaker. the reason behind this, was that I was trying to figure out how sound was being produced from it, and what was inside of it. The next thing I did, being the smart nine year old I was, was take the speaker and throw it as the ground as hard as I possibly could in a vain attempt at opening it. Breaking it in half like an IPhone getting thrown off of the top floor of a parking garage. (I didn't know screwdrivers existed then.) Believe it or not this is what got me into engineering. After dealing with the consequences of destroying a $20 speaker I was still curious as to how on earth speakers could make sound, so I fished the speaker out of the revolting garbage and went to work in my room in secret. This time instead of throwing the speaker on the ground again, I proceeded to pull it apart piece by piece, through a process I would later learn was called reverse engineering. I unfortunately I never did manage to put the darn thing back together, mainly because I lost all the screws and the coil snapped, but, whatever. Anyway, after losing the speaker for good, that curiosity stuck with me. I would begin to look at everything i passed, and wonder how did someone accomplish that? So, with this newfound curiosity, I would try to reverse engineer anything I could get my hands onto. It was also because of this curiousness, that I Learned new skills, like how to solder wires together, how to avoid breathing it toxic gas from the solder, and the ability to repair things like the wiring in computers, or other things. These skills were certainty very useful. if it wasn't for me throwing that $20 speaker, I probably wouldn't be where I am now. Starting a potential family business creating arcades. programing Raspberry Pi's, and going to a technical school to learn more about engineering. That is how I first got into the amazing world of engineering.

     

    wrustylane : I first got started in electronics when I built my first computer along with my Dad.  He built a 286SX and I built a 286DX because I liked how much faster it was than even the slowest 386 at the time.  My 286DX would run rings around most 386's at the time.  After that I was given an RCA television (solid state) in the early '80's by my father in law.  He had taken the TV to several shops around the area and could never get it fixed.  I took it home and plugged it in and gave it the "smoke" test to try to identify the problem.  The thing smoked and I found out where the smoke was coming from.  There was a burnt resistor in the sound board section so I grabbed an unknown resistor about the same size (1/4 watt) and stuck it in the circuit.  The TV came on and we watched it for a year before the second problem crept up.  We had wooden floors in the house we were renting and when you would walk across the floor the video would flash and some times go off.  I took it apart again and pulled out the IF board with the video output transistor and when I pulled the can apart I saw what was making the problem.  A solder ball rolled out of the IF can that was rolling around and shorting out the video output transistor as one would walk across the floor.  After I fixed that problem we watched that TV for over 10 years without any further problems.  Then it finally developed a high voltage leak around the fly back transformer so I sealed it up with silicone rubber and it lasted another 4 to 5 years and then developed another high voltage leak that I couldn't fix this time.  So through my experimentation we had a nice solid state color TV to watch for over 15 years.  I then became interested in CB radio since it was in vogue at that time.  My parents ran a base station with two mobile CB radios.  I joined the club and got a base station going with a 150 watt "kicker" (linear amp) and a mobile with a 75 watt kicker.  My parents and I would only talk single sideband because there was more power transmitted into the sideband than in AM alone (12 watts vs. 4 watts on AM).  Then I got me a frequency counter and began modifying SSB radios for those who wanted to go up or down the CB radio band - just barely keeping out of the HAM band on the upward side of the sideband.  I even bored a hole through my main radio cabinet so I could get a tuning wand on my oscillator.  That way I could adjust the frequency band to the upper side or go way below the 1 channel frequency.  I finally ended up into television repair and had my own business for about 2 to 3 years thereafter.

    Once again I got bitten by a bug--this time the model railroading bug.  Now I have my own layout that I wired myself and it works and does everything I had set out for it to do.  Now I'm into the Arduino UNO and plan to do some experimenting with the Arduino UNO board to control my new layout that I'm planning on building.  I've also wanted a new computer (linux) based so I'd heard about the Raspberry and decided to look into getting one for our main computer.  I hate DOS based machines and the Windows GUI;  it's a wonder I didn't end up with a MAC instead of a PC but the cost drove me to a PC. I'm a self taught electronics tech. with many hours of trial and error, since building my 1st computer.  I think a Raspberry PI3 in in my near future.  I'm also a former USMC sergeant and went to Vietnam in '71- '72.

     

    rider51 :  Then... The "Electronics Bug" first bit me back when I was little; I had received a few SnapCircuit kits which I instantly found fascinating. Now looking back, I can only think to myself how childish those things were, no soldering and no chance of explosions! Fast forward a few years, I was about 13 and I admit I hadn't evolved myself much from SnapCiruits. Its funny how you remember these things, but one night I was browsing some YouTube videos when I stumbled upon some videos of a guy putting together his own computer. For reasons I can't explain, I was compelled to do that myself as well. I worked and saved up my money until I had enough to buy the components for a decent gaming rig. I ordered them up and next thing I knew I was at my cousins house putting to together. I enjoyed every second of it, even though I was terribly afraid of ruining a $200 part by scratching it.  Almost instantly after that you could say my "Electronics Bug" turned into an "Electronics Swarm". I discovered the world of Arduino, and I began making simple robots and projects using that. Then that Christmas my cousin gifted me a Raspberry Pi 2, and my interest in that took off. Now... I am a programmer and builder for a high school FTC Robotics team. I spend my free time working with electronics and technology. My most recent project is a "Pi Boy" as you may call it. Its an original GameBoy shaped MAME console using a Raspberry Pi 2. Whether there really is an electronics bug or not, something sparked in me, and I can without doubt say there is no other hobby and future career I would want to go into  other than Technology.

     

    satyavrat : ...I joined a course on Embedded Systems. There, I met three people who would later become the best project partners I've ever had and more importantly, the most reliable friends I will ever have. With them, I blinked my first LED and pressed my first switch. This changed everything. I was opened up to a world where anything I did, be it change a line of code or twist a potentiometer, made a tangible difference to the world around me. It wasn't some equation which was Greek and Latin to me ( to be honest, sigma, omega, alpha, beta are actually Greek.), and whose only contribution to my world was a number. I dove head first into this interesting and captivating field. The beauty of it was that the more I learned, the more there was to learn.   I began to look at the world as bits and voltages. The four of us formed a group whose aim was to learn through doing. We learned PID control and PWM from line tracers, SPI and I2C from sensor nodes, RF communication and ZigBee from RC bots, and were introduced to IoT and cloud computing through our Bachelor's Degree project, a cloud connected autonomous LPG control system. We spent countless nights in the lab, testing, resting and other things interesting, till we had the perfect output. As a side effect, we won quite a few robotics competitions, awards for best project for our Bachelor's degree project, which went ahead to become the first patented project in our department. The love for Embedded Systems and Internet of Things stayed strong after I graduated, and I published two research papers on the merging of Internet of Things protocols and lightweight machine learning. To add to this, countless projects on a number of development platforms enabled me to learn new technologies, programming languages and applications. I have learned more in the past eight months than I have in the eight years before it. Most importantly, it stoked the passion in me to forge ahead and do more.

     

    winzurf : In about 1963 my teacher took a group of us who had finished the years math curriculum early and taught us binary numbers and math. Fascinating, but no obvious purpose. In 1970 I was studying physics at university but was forced to stop playing soccer following an injury, I started building lighting controllers for rock concerts as a hobby and discovered I liked electronics. I also studied the philosophy and history of science, probably the most important 'gift' from university. In 1973 the chief engineer at the Institute of Nuclear Sciences decided I had something and offered me a job. For the next 25 years I designed, built, programmed and breathed digital technology. I designed and built my own computer which could emulate several of the microcomputers of the day such as the Altair and  Cromemco. At one stage I was so obsessed with technology I was only sleeping about 4 hours per night. Fortunately I discovered another obsession - windsurfing, and managed to lead a balanced life since, but I regard myself as being exceptionally lucky to have caught and surfed the digital wave over my whole career. Still riding! I always remember the opportunity that engineer gave me and have tried to do the same for those that have come behind me.

     

    lkornel : It was year 1984, On my birthdate my father gave me a DIY microphone preamp kit. It was the first time when I took an electronic component in my hands. That was the moment. Now I still work in electronics repairing Inverter Welding Machines.

     

    balatech : As a small boy - may be 6 or 7, I got up early one sunday morning and found a television that my father was repairing on his work bench with the back still off. I thought I would 'help' and  set about the task with enthusiasm! turning his AVO8 to volts and prodding the insides of the T.V. there was a loud bang and lots of smoke! slightly shell shocked, I was still staring at the aftermath when my father appeared not looking very happy! for the remainder of the morning I sat with him whilst he fault found and I had to replace the now defunct components. The sense of satisfaction when it was completed was amazing, to see it burst back into life with full sound and picture, it was then that he informed me that he had in fact completed the repair the previous evening but just hadn't replaced the back. From then on I was hooked, I started buying Everyday Electronics and set about building just about every project (money permitting) in each magazine, learning along the way. At the age of 17 I was accepted as an apprentice with Radio Rentals and completed my 4 year apprenticeship. Some ten years after this I then attended University of Central Lancashire on a B.Eng course in Computing and Electronics. Following on, I started my own Computer consultancy business and have now retired to Spain, although still with an avid interest in electronics.

     

    paul_nicholls:   My love of technology and computers started back in early 1984.  It was a few months before my 12th birthday, and my parents purchased a Commodore 64 computer complete with a basic (pun intended) computer book (Creepy Computer Games: https://archive.org/details/Creepy_Computer_Games_1983_Usborne_Publishing ) and a tape drive....I started tinkering around with programming, and BAM! they didn't know what they had done...bwahahaha!!  They had created a "monster" who loved computers and similar stuff haha. Since then I have loved computers, programming and electronics...not that I have done any electronics for a few years now though. At college (1989 - 1990) I designed and created a PCB that allowed a motor to be controlled in both forward and reverse directions using relays to switch the flow of current.  I also created a numeric keypad using switches and diodes, etc. for my Commodore 64 computer that connected to the userport. My first full time job (1991 - 1994 was as a trainee Biomedical Technician (fixing machines that went ping lol) at a hospital, and my longest software/electronics job was at an Electronics Design Automation company (1999 - 2012).  I still want to do electronics, but just don't have the money or time, but I do like looking at other people's projects, the Ben Heck show, and similar things.  I do computer programming as a hobby

     

    akhilrbMy interest in electronics started from something as small as impressing my friends by switching on a small LED with a simple switch when I was 7. The look on their faces gave me a sense of achievement. Fast forward 8 years, and I made a radio for a school exhibition. It was because of the radio that my crush thought I was smart. I remember the shine in her eyes as she looked at the project (and me) and my friends remember the shine in my eyes as I looked at her.  Although the waves of limerence didn't last long, it was at that moment in time that I knew I had to pursue Electronics.

    A lot of Years have passed since, and electronics is now a passion because it is a necessary, omnipresent technology, that can possibly attract my crush, but definitely change the world continuously.

     

    silicaphysics : It would be difficult, if not impossible, to pin down a single moment, gift or experience that sucked me into the abyss of engineering. It could be chalked up to genetics (Dad was a EE) but I think that it was more nurture than nature... My father had his faults but engaging his sons with his passion for all things man made was not one of them. My earliest memory of this is probably the crystal radio we put together out of his junk drawer one freezing winter day in Dallas, around 1962 or 1963 when I was just four or five years old... My father introduced me to lasers around age 7 or 8, with a HeNe and my Mom's engagement ring. He took me to lectures by Townes and bought me a subscription to Scientific American -- I maintain one to this day... After that I had access to just about any of his tools I needed from oscilloscopes to signal generators to torque wrenches. Of course, it also meant I was the son chosen to get up on the roof with him, guiding a stinky plumber's snake into the perpetually slow kitchen drain vent, but I could build lasers described in the Amature Scientist column of Scientific American and calculators on his breadboarding equipment. Heathkit became my BestBuy.... It was in pursuit of my Ph.D. in analytical chemistry where the engineering bug again took hold again, and it's grip proved unbreakable this time. My research advisor taught part of a course in instrumental analysis as a tale of intrigue that truly fascinated me: a battle between Beckman and Cary for supremacy in UV-visible spectrometer performance circa the '40s and '50s. I have been in optics pretty much ever since, starting in fiber optics, followed by lasers, and on my own since 1991 designing and building mostly laser surgical instruments, with a bit of analytical instrumentation on the side: 20 patents and counting. It's no crystal radio, but I enjoy almost every single day.

     

    rdallonsMy love electronics began at the age of ten. My grandfather owned a motor-court and store in Bakersfield, California and in 1956 he took me into a back room and uncovered a large slot-machine in a beautiful wooden cabinet. Slot machines were (and probably still are) highly illegal in California, and having one in storage was making him nervous. He gave it to me with the condition that I would completely dismantle it. I eventually had it dismantled. It has all kinds of lights, bells, relays and electronic parts. I then began to study each part and figure out what they did, the transformers, rectifiers, capacitors, etc. I was hooked. Now, at 70, still hooked.

     

    Workshopshed: When I was young I got given some old electronics magazines and some bits to take apart. I still have some of those including a resistor which is almost as thick as a pencil.

     

    jlangbridge: Like most people here, I started off by accident. I was born in Singapore, and my parents travelled a lot; And I mean, a lot. I was let alone pretty often, i suppose that explains a few things today. Anyway, details. I found their home computer at age 6, an Apple IIe. There wasn't much you could do with it, my parents tried a few database programs, but I was fascinated with its capacity of storing data. Then I learned about programming, using the BASIC interpreter. My first program was written at age 6. It didn't doo much, just a vague copy of CeeFax, something you don't hear about much today, but before Internet, you could get information about TV programs using CeeFax on your TV. This was a machine of pure logic, it did everything I told it to do, no more, no less. If something went wrong, it is because I did something wrong, and I could correct my work of art, perfecting it, or tear it down and remake it again. I went through a few computers; ZX80, ZX81, Spectrum +3 and a few others. Aged 8, I had a BBC Micro at school, and a few real lessons that went with it. My teacher was into computers, but also electronics. However, he was heavily into radio, and analog just wasn't my thing. It still isn't. I finally got an Amiga 2000. It was then that I started assembly programming, which also taught me a lot about low-level programming, knowing what information is sent on which wire. It didn't take me too long to get into electronics...  Flash forward a few years, and here I am, almost 40. I'm still into electronics, but I'm more into teaching people about my love for the systems, going to different schools (secondary to engineering), and writing books.... Today, I'm a maker, teacher, and tester. I receive cards from different makers, and make tutorials on how they work.

     

    cherenkovchase : My father used to work for a communications company and he would bring back circuit boards that failed testing and we're being recycled. I loved them, I would sit for hours and imagine that they were tiny metropolises. Then he started teaching me what each component was and whatnot did. I being around 4 or 5 years old I would sleep with them as if they were stuffed animals and all my shirts had holes in them from the solder connections on the back, my babysitter found it very odd to say the least. By the time I was 7 I could name all the components, I could make a solder joint by age 10 and built my first Tesla coil (hv flyback driver technically) at 13. Long story short I love building circuits as a hobby to this day.

     

    RovertScottGrowing up I loved technology, I was fascinated by the inventors who created our modern world. The insight and creativity of inventors like Edison, The Wright Brothers, Philo Farnsworth and others, inspired me to become like them. I was the only kid in grade school who was excited to watch documentaries on History Channel, Discovery, TLC, and etc. My mind was a sponge and I was compelled to learn all that I could about the world of technology around me. I always imagined I would someday become a great innovator like my heroes, inspire others through my inventions, and change the world. I remember spending third grade making paper airplanes every day, trying to discover the perfect design. These were the dreams of a child, whose imagination knew no bounds, but had no ability to make those dreams a reality... At this point, I moved away from electronics and focused on Film and Television. Through Junior and High School I devoted my time to filming, editing, and showing film projects. I had abandoned my initial curiosity with electronics with something less volatile. Thanks to the rise of home video editing programs, Mini DV-Camcorders and DVD-Burners, I had an outlet for my imagination. By High School, I was helping film, edit, and broadcast morning video announcements and I never really thought about designing electronics. However, it was during this time that I stumbled upon BenHeck.com and his gaming portables that re-sparked my interests in inventing. I was still just an outsider looking into a mystical and exclusive world of engineering. Yet, it was DIY inventors like Ben Heckindorn and Jeri Ellsworth that now inspired me.... When I went to Junior College, I took an introduction to Audio Technology class. My professor made it a point that we learn how to solder electronics as part of our understanding of audio technology. Part of our final was to put together an audio amplifier with a microphone pre-amp and enclose it in a case. This was the moment that I truly fell in love with electronics and engineering. The ability to walk into a Radioshack, talk to the regular old guys for advice, and hold the parts that I needed to build my device, was exhilarating. The experience let me know, that I could make the inventions that were once reserved for my imagination. I even adding a photo-diode and a laser pointer to my audio amplifier, to include a "laser microphone" option. At this point on, I continued my studies in film and television, but electronics became a side hobby of mine. I also began scraping broken radios and alarm clocks for the additional parts I may need for future projects...

     

    doctorwho8: Me? I got interested in electronics when I was asked by my father, the usual question; and he steered me into the direction I'm in. Eventually that turned from things analog into things digital. After realizing the why and how, behind why computers respond the way they do, I ended up learning how to repair them, and even advise people on what the machine they are working on is doing. I also help out via my local LUG, (when it meets.) it also includes a hack night, and I'm in constant demand there to answer nearly impossible questions, that includes the reasons behind why a Raspberry Pi sometimes responds differently to Linux commands, as regards to a PC running Linux. And the time honored question, regarding the later (and newer) methods for installing Linux on a newer machine, (after 2009) versus doing so on one from 2000 to 2008 for example.

     

    mikeyman64 : My earliest memories of thinking about electronics and how they worked came when I watched my older friend play Super Mario World for the SNES.  I remember being fascinated by the concept of human input making a little man jump around on a TV screen.  I must have been close to five or six years old. When I asked my dad how it all worked, he told me it was very complicated like a puzzle, and that he would show me some time what "it" looked like.  One day, I think it was my seventh birthday, he brought home his recently replaced security system panel home from his vet clinic. It was a steel 12"x12" box with a keyed door, and inside was a large circuit board. He handed it and the key to me, and told I could do what I wanted with it. I promptly opened it and began poring over the intricate network of traces, ICs, capacitors and semiconductors, having no idea what they did. For the longest time, I salvaged the parts of any busted electronic device my parents no longer needed or wanted by prying them off with screwdrivers, and kept them in this box. It was my special stash of "electronics". As I got older, I starting taking more care with the components and learning as much as I could about how they worked and what they did. I was home schooled, so my mother, seeing this fascination, did her best to get me books and equipment suited for my interests. Eventually, I was able to harness my fascination by fixing things that were broken instead of just collecting their "guts", as well as making things that could help make life easier for people, like custom game controllers or automatic dog feeders. Now (I'm 26), after a few years of gaining IT and engineering work experience, I am spending my time refining my understanding of all things electronics as an EE student at Georgia Tech.

     

    luelui : My dad was friends with a guy that owned a TV/radio repair shop. I was a junior in high school back in 1967. The shop was 2 blocks from my house so I ended up loafing there for my junior and senior years. One day I asked the owner about a Zenith AM/FM and 78 speed record player that had been laying around the shop forever. All of the components (tubes and related electronics) were in 4 old milk crates. The console was completely bare.  He said "You can have it if you think you can put it back together." He said you'll need the "SAMS" book for the model. I went downtown to the electronics and part store and got it. I spent about a month putting it back together. I learned a lot by doing it and asking him when I got stumped. I'll never forget the joy I had when I finally got it working! The neat things I remember about the console was it had a Nixie cat's eye tuner tube.The green circle would fluctuate as the FM signal intensified and decreased. I also replaced the turntable with a multi-speed turntable. That was the beginning of my love of electronics and my entrance into geek-dom...

     

    gypo : My first introduction to electronics and electrics was in my pre-teen days back in the 60’s some of my mates (or their parents) had record players for birthdays and Xmas, I got a cast off bare record deck without a needle, box, speaker or amp. My Dad was a coal man and saw it discarded in a coal shed and thought I would like it. He didn’t know if it would work or how much was missing or what was needed to get it working.

    I was pleased as punch, I had a record deck! but I didn’t know any more than my Dad at that point.  The motor worked connected directly to the mains and a bent knobby pin fitted into the cartridge.  That meant I could put a record on and listen to the sound coming from the pin.As you can imagine it wasn’t great but it worked and that is how it was for a long time (except I mounted it on top of a biscuit tin).  I did try and find ways to make it louder like putting weights on the arm and wondered about amps etc, but a school kid as I was could only dream of such things.When I moved up to secondary school science had 3 different classes you could choose from, Photography, Electrics and Chemistry, I’m sure they wasn’t called that but in essence that is what they turned out to be.  I chose Electrics, I wanted to build an amp for my deck and although it wasn’t what the class was about the teacher took me under his wing and helped teach me how to build an amp using valves.  I wasn’t an expert but I then knew how to make an amp for my record deck, I had my dad asking for anything electric dumped in coal sheds.  I got loads of old valve TV’s and radios and through necessity I found what made them tick and eventually how to fix them, I managed to build a fantastic amp with only one drawback, it only had very loud or even louder volume settings. The biggest help in doing that was the teacher who had helped me and set the seed to find out more.  However in those days the circuit diagrams of almost every British built TV & Radio was published in a series of yearly books called ‘TV & Radio Servicing Manuals’ which the local library kept copies, no such luck now days.That was it, I got to know valve equipment very well and was asked to repair a lot for my parent’s friends before leaving school which helped fund a better record deck…  As the electrics & electronics moved on it kept my interest going and 50+ years on it’s still there.

     

    mrkeiman: My love of electronics and technology began when I watched my Father repairing a television, of course things were a bit different back then. The most common fault in televisions was a filament failure in a valve. Most of your readers now probably have no idea what I am talking about but long before transistors the main active component was the electron valve, They had a heater element in them and if that failed then the valve didn't work. of course there were other problems but the first thing to check was that all the valves were "lit up". I they were then you started replacing them 1 at a time, hopefully one of them would make everything spring to life again. then when I started work as an apprentice electrical fitter I was invited to study electronics as well. that convinced me that it was my future. after the apprenticeship I entered the world of computers with NCR. I have been working in the computer field ever since. Then in recent years I revitalized an even older interest in model railways, it occurred to me that there are many areas where the 2 interests can be linked and that is what I am currently trying to do.unfortunately life keeps side tracking me but I keep coming back.

     

    slashthedragon : When I was a child I designed a perpetual motion machine. It was a simple cart with two axles. Both axles had a pulley in the middle. The front pulley was slightly smaller than the real pulley. As the cart moved the rear wheels would turn the the pulley which would turn the front pulley a little faster which moved the cart a little faster. I put it on the road and gave it a shove. The cart kept going and going. I haven't seen it since. Then I came out of my imagination. About the same time I was experimenting with magnets and electricity. I  wonder how long a magnet could hold a needle on a thread in the air. I would play with mercury switches. Then break them open and play with the mercury. I would cover dimes and squeeze them between my fingers. So did my brothers. I wonder what I would be like if I had skipped that experimenting. In high school I started a radio club. It never did have its first meeting. I got my AS in electronics in 1971.  The LED was beginning at the time and the vacuum tube was ending. This was when 1971. I serviced mechanical calculators which was replaced with the electronic ones. They cost $2000 and would add, subtract, multiply and divide. I saw the print heads evolve. Each company would make their own unique design. Eventually one design would win out and the other companies would stop designing their own and buy the most successful. I expect to see the same with 3D printers. I serviced audio equipment and repaired instruments in at a capacitor manufacturing company. Finally I serviced medical equipment from blood pressure cuffs to linear accelerators for last thirty years. So what do I do when I retire?  I go back to college just for fun. I just finished ECE471, embedded systems with Vince Weaver, at the University of Maine.

     

    dcirka : A long time ago, in a galax.... OK, it was the 70's and I was at grandmas house. I just got all excited about seeing Rogue One and was reflecting back when Star Wars was released... Back then, dad and grandpa were vacuum sales/repairmen and I always got to play with random parts, discarded wires and such. I recall one day disassembling, meticulously cleaning, replacing a worn belt and reassembling a powered attachment... and to the surprise of myself and kinfolk, the thing worked - that was the hook! I was roughly nine years old when that occurred. I was also a bookworm so naturally I migrated towards the 530 section of the library - physical sciences. I began with the basic coil of wire wrapped around a nail making an electromagnet. I had replicated this several times experimenting with different nails, number of turns, different wires, etc. Well, my curiosity could not be quenched and my what-would-now-be-classified as hyperactivity-disorder led me to find a bigger power source than an old lantern battery - naturally the wall receptacle would deliver the power I so desperately craved. (cue the Tim Allen "more power" grunt from 'Home Improvement'). Thankfully, the outlet was on a circuit that did not have a penny in the fusebox. I think I was 10 or 11. That was my first learning-through-experimentation experience. Once the tears cleared and the sting from the butt-whoopin' I received had dissipated, I had to figure out why my mondo-magnet failed, so back to the library. I remember the book that hurled me forward - "The Boys First Book of Radio and Electronics." Or was it the "Second" or "Third Book," I cannot remember. But what an impact it made! Years went on, Radio Shack was my favorite store and every Christmas or birthday wish included the latest "Science Fair nnn-in-One Electronic Project Kit." After which building all the circuits, were disassembled and resurrected into random creations of my own. Proud of my accomplishments, yet, disappointed as the more enthusiastic I became, the less folks near me were interested in what I was doing. Years more of tinkering and learning... and actually repairing equipment, but now was my time to move out on my own and do something with my life... enlisted in the military as an aircraft electronics tech. Everything from tubes to digital circuits. I also moonlighted working on tube- and transistor-based gear... and some basic integrated circuit gear. But nothing really digital. Several years in the military and I was introduced to the use of a personal computer. There were brief, past encounters with an Apple II. And Pong, Activision, and Atari games. But the military was the springboard into actual computing. Until then, C:\> prompt, hard drives and operating systems were strange and new to my vocabulary. One thing lead to another, here I am 20 or so years later as a senior network/systems engineer, but I still have a love and passion for old, analog equipment. Then a year ago, I stumbled across Arduino, now Raspberry Pi and oh my! Now I wrestle with family and work schedules and desk space to fiddle and fidget - looking for any excuse to integrate and make. What's in the works now? My wife is a baker and needs a proofing box - a temperature and humidity controlled environment for raising bread. Sounds like a job for Arduino. Our wood fired oven needs temperature-monitoring - some thermocouple, Arduino and a digital display outta work... maybe slap in a Raspberry Pi and include databasing of times and temps. Ah, what next... homemade weather station? I just read about a Pi-based Point Of Sale system... we don't necessarily need it, but....

     

     

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