A Brief Introduction to the Arduino

: For Christmas, I got an Arduino. Well, really I got two coffee pots. Identical ones. So I returned one of them to Amazon, and used the refund to buy an Arduino starter kit. It’s a neat device, with a ton of potential. Here’s why. Ok, so what is it? The Arduino is an open, hackable microcontroller, designed to be easy to program and easy to build things with. Simply put: the ultimate hacker toy.

The Coming Decline of Rss and Atom

Ever since I discovered Bloglines some years ago, I’ve been hooked on RSS. I subscribed to a slew of feeds and treated it like a to do list, always trying to get it to zero. Subscribing to those feeds enabled me to see and learn about a lot of things I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Since that time, RSS feeds have been my primary source of what’s new and interesting in the world of technology.

In Defense of Twitter

Twitter bashing has become a bit of a past-time for some people. I don’t think that the criticism leveled at Twitter is fair or accurate. It is generally based on a misunderstanding of the technical problems they are facing. In the case of TechCrunch, it’s a desire to drive traffic to the TechCrunch website by fabricating conflict and making personal attacks. Twitter has had a hard time scaling. This is obvious to anyone that uses the service, and is readily admitted by the people behind Twitter.

Cool OS X Application: Shelf

One of the most useful ideas I’ve seen in the past few years was Dashboard. Dashboard was an open source project launched by Nat Friedman of Ximian (since acquired by Novell). It’s aim was to provide a “dashboard” of information relevant to you while you were doing work. If you were having an IM conversation with your friend Bob, it would show you the last few emails Bob had sent you, previous IM conversations with Bob, Bob’s contact information from your address book, etc.

How to Make Sortable Tables in Textile

One of my favorite organizational tools is Instiki. I use it for note-taking, maintaining reference information, and keeping lists. I have several lists that I keep in tables, and the other day I had need to make them sortable. Here’s how I did it. The first thing you need is Stuart Langridge’s sorttable Javascript library. This is a library that allows you to make any table sortable, just by giving it a class of “sortable”, and a unique ID.

Basecamp Talk on ITConversations

Jason Fried’s talk from O’Reilly’s Emerging Technology Conference is up on IT Converstaions I’m only about halfway through, but it’s great so far. I’ve not seen Jason speak in person(Jason & Co, PLEASE schedule another Building of Basecamp in Chicago!), but I’ve heard several talks of his online, and they’ve all been great. This is no different.

Robert Scoble Is Not Right in the Head

In this post Robert asserts (as he has before), that “the thick client is coming back”. I’ll agree that some apps are best as desktop applications, but that list is dwindling quickly. Maybe you haven’t seen this, or this Robert, you’re starting to sound a little like these guys.

MS Security Response

I’m not a huge fan of MS, but there’s a fascinating article at eWeek on how Microsoft responds to threats (particularly this last worm). It’s an interesting insight into how good MS has gotten at responding to this stuff.