Another month, another summary. I think this might become a thing from now on :)

Even though February is technically the shortest month of the year, it sure didn’t feel that way! I was lucky enough to be involved with some pretty exciting things over the course of few weeks, the biggest one being the Arduino classes we had for the first year engineering folks. I’ll probably write a longer post about it later on as we are still running the classes but I am happy with our progress so far. Tomorrow is the first assessed class so we’ll see if the lectures were helpful or not – I wish I was taught Arduino in my first year!

[]( #7 was another highlight of the month of February. It was great to catch up with so many of the OSHW gang over a few beers! The theme of this meetup was “Learning” and the material presenters covered was both entertaining and informative. The talks on BBC Computer Literacy Project and the Domesday Project gave us a good history lesson about the early days of computing in Britain. Coincidentally, I stumbled upon the BBC drama “Micro Men” the other day on iPlayer which is set around that time. It looks like it’s still available to stream so head over here if you fancy watching it.

The last talk of the evening was “Standing on the Shoulders of Hackers” by Daniel Soltis. The abstract read:

Learning is an intrinsic aspect of open source projects. Practices such as documenting and sharing work, following one’s own interests, and ad hoc organizing open up - and complicate - opportunities for learning and teaching, especially in informal and semi-formal contexts. Drawing on his experiences teaching Arduino workshops, Daniel will talk about how both the hardware and open-source aspects of OSH affect processes and tools for learning and teaching.

…and Daniel did a great job presenting his experiences. This was particularly interesting for me as this was just before we started the Arduino classes. His slides are available here.

Here are some of the other stuff that I played with during February:

Got myself a Netduino board and flashed a few LEDs. I must admit though, writing C# for a small device like that certainly feels a bit dirty :)

I needed a 3.3V Arduino, so I soldered up a modified Freeduino board. As this was based on the old board design without the clever power circuitry it was a single wire hack.

Added some really obscure pieces to my collection of ‘random lab items’ box. Maybe I should start a monthly trivia :)

Got µC/OS-III RTOS running on an ARM Cortex-M3 board by ST, played around with IAR Workbench and the Micrium Probe software. It was a relatively painless experience compared to my previous attempt at getting FreeRTOS running! I would like to explore this a bit further when I have more time.

Installed Debian squeeze on a tiny VESA-mountable eBox machine. The OS was installed on a Compact Flash card so optimising disk related stuff was fun.

Thanks to the smart folks at WebOS Internals, I am now running WebOS 2.1 on my Pre minus even though it’s not officially supported (and no one knows when it will be!)

Oh, and here’s a video of an angry (and confused!) robot terrorising my desk :)