Sunday, 24 April 2011

Is it time for mbed yet.!?

Despite last week only being a four day week its been quite exhausting mentally. And even now into and though the weekend I have felt quite warn down. Is it the warm weather we are having? Have I been extra busy and can I go have a lay down on my mbed now.!?

I’ve been busy putting out some extra blogs again this week first starting with a review of the National Electronics Week at the NEC which was good for me as the show allowed me to meet lots of people I normally only get to talk to via email or Twitter.

Then on Wednesday the whole Internet exploded with 555 contest stuff again, OK little over the top, but you get what I mean. Wednesday night we saw Chris Gammell and Jeri Ellsworth announce live the results. I have like all the people involved been very impressed with all the entries and personally feel I could not have matched them. However I did release a blog I’ve had for a while about looking at the 555 Timer and seeing if it could be matched with a microcontroller.

The other news I have is that my son Matthew (13yrs old) who has been playing around with electronics for awhile now has started experimenting with an mbed. He has used the processing language for some time now but been a little limited by it, played with the arduino but I think has fallen for the mbed. His first blog - yes he is blogging too! - is over on DesignSpark and talks about his first project. He is now working on getting the USB and Ethernet stack working so he can make it into a small web server as well as display stuff on an LCD. If only I’d had this stuff as a kid!

I’ve also spent some time looking at blogging and getting me updates out to you all. Blogging is about doing what you enjoy and talking about it but I enjoy the feedback and networking. So after watching a video about using twitter and social media I’m changing how I announce my blogs. I’ll now be using HootSuite to send out a tweet at around noon in Europe and than again at around noon for the USA. This is not about getting more followers - its about giving people the chance to see my blog. As I have stated before the world has lots of time zones and tweets get lost over night. So this way I’m just getting tweets out when your awake to see them.

So the last thing I’m up to apart from trying to get my project pages sorted (maybe I should start!) is to put together a 555 robot line follower which I have now sort of promised Erin I would do - I love a challenge and love robots so will work on this over next week or two.

Stay safe, Paul :o)

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Summary of Week | National Electroincs Week | Gadget Show Live

So the last week has been another really busy one with two shows, a seminar, blogs and testing video blogs for Resonance Weekly.

So like most weeks I started by putting together my blog for EngineerBlogs and this week was about how I felt FPGA engineers were being pushed into using the numeric library and not considering std_logic_arth. Not that I was supporting either but was surprised I did not get a single comment especially after the feedback I’d got on DesignSpark from my original blogs. Maybe I was just explaining it too well and everyone agreed with me.!?

A big chunk of the week was taken up with the National Electronics Week (#NEW) and The Gadget Show Live (#GSL2011). NEW was very towards surface-mount and PCB manufacturing which was OK if into that - I’m not. But had a good time meetings and talking to both the RS Components (DesignSpark) and Farnell (element14) teams. I’ve now got to write this up over this week and will post on DesignSpark this coming week. Promise!

The GLS2011 show is live visiting a massive PC World, Currys, Maplin store all in one. All the big Gadget names are their like SCAN, Cisco with Flip Camera (oddly!), NVIDIA and tons more. Again I will get a full blog by the end of the week with some pictures too! I also bumped into the presenters of LadyGeekTV which as yet I’ve not talked about, but I tell you more in a upcoming blog about the great work they are doing.

So you would think that was a enough for most weeks but no because on Wednesday at ebmpapst we had a Seminar. OK I was not presenting but spending a morning on your feet again was very draining but good to meet visitors and customers.

So to my two major Geeky things this week. First off if you get the eTech magazine (issue 6) then you will see that I have an article in it. This time round eTech is all about communications and I’ve done a bit on how you can communicate with modern hi-tech fans and gets lots of information and control out of them - long gone are the days of just switching them on and watching them go full speed.

I have also worked on the Resonance Weekly pilots as last weeks one have really bad audio and people were saying it was hard to understand. So I used a voice over and created an animated host that looks like me. This would have gone out at beginning of the week however it took ages to imports the audio as my files were too big. However I think its quite good this time. What do you think?

So apart from getting all these blogs done I don’t have a lot more to do, but think that's enough for now. Stay safe and tweet you all later.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Busy days and lots of blogs

When you get started with blogs you are often told that you should keep regular blogs and stick to your content. However my blog posts are far from regular unless you count the ones on EngineerBlogs. So why is this and what Am I doing about it. Well I have this and more to say...
I’ve not had much time to write blogs to be honest. The blogs I do for DesignSpark are encouraged by my company ebm-papst UK as they help to keep our profile up. This is good for us all as I get time to blog, DesignSpark get content and you guys get engineering blogs that's not full of marketing buff. However I've been busy training our technical and sales staff, have project to work on so blog time has fell back. But May will change, Training will be done and I’ll be back blogging on there. Also not to forget all my reviews of kits and product will appear on there too so look out for them too!
My blogs on here and how I use this site will also be changing soon too. I want this site to be about me as a hobby electronics engineer. I want to share all the odd projects I’m working on as well as talk about the details of stuff I’ve done for past employees (Stepping round the IP). I need to sort out where to keep my project pages as blogger is not designed for that.
The other thing that has taken host here for now is Resonance Weekly and its Pilot shows. For now this is their home while I develop how it moves forward. Issues like last weeks audio will get addressed and I’ve got a new Pilot due very soon and hopefully this will get some better feedback.
So what can we expect in next few weeks while I try and get all this sorted. Well next week in the UK its the National Electronics Week (NEW) at the NEC Birmingham. All the big guys will be there; DesignSpark / RS Components, element14 / Farnell and ARM just to name a few. I’ve got my ticket so will be going myself on the 12th. I’ll be taking pictures and maybe some video so look out over the next week as it will all be posted on DesignSpark who I’ll be stealing stuff off their stand! ;o)
Also next week is The Gadget Show Live which is a massive event here in UK for gadget lovers and its attended by a massive crowd. If you have not heard of it then check it out, and next week, yes I’ll be blogging about it on DesignSpark too as I have a pass to the show!
So till then - stay safe people!