I signed the contract today for the Second Edition of Beginning Arduino. This will be completed by May 2013 ready for production a few months later. I am looking forward to correct some of the mistakes that crept into the first book, updating it for the new Uno and Leonardo boards and also adding in a few items that I wished were included in the first edition. It is going to be hard work but hopefully will all be worth it. Watch this space!
I am pleased to announce that thanks to the success of ‘Beginning Arduino’ the publisher has asked me to produce a second edition. This will be an updated edition for the Uno and Leonardo and other new hardware. It will be ready around the 2nd quarter of 2013. Watch this space for further news!
I am currently updating The Complete Beginners Guide to the Arduino. It’s been about 2 years now since the guide was last updated and is well overdue. The new revision will have new projects for the new RGB Piranha LEDs and the quad 7-segment display. The existing projects for the dot matrix display will be moved to a bonus project section.
Keep an eye out in the next few weeks for the next revision.
Last weekend I finally got to blow the dust off my Arduino and do a bit of hacking. I went over to a friends house and we spent the entire Saturday messing around with Arduino’s. I decided to try and get a 320x240 Kent display (e-Ink) I bought last year up and running. After a lot of messing around I managed to get it to display images. I intend on using this for a low power fridge display one day to display weather information, upcoming diary dates, birthdays, etc.
The display has no graphics driver of any kind so fonts will have to be done entirely in software. This display is crying out to have a library written for it, but I am not sure how popular the display is.
I also got a 320x240 colour TFT display up and running using some demo code I found online. This display requires a LOT of pins. In fact, all 20 digital pins on the Arduino Uno were used and there were still some pins on the display left unused. It would be better with a Mega.
I finished off with getting a Thermopile to work. Very interesting little non-contact temperature sensor. I may use it for another incarnation of my Cloud Sensor project one day. Overall it was a great day of Arduino Hacking.
So far I am 2 weeks into my new lifestyle choices (I don’t really want to call it a ‘diet’ as I am not restricting what I eat nor am I calorie counting). So far it is going well. I’ve lost 5 pounds in those two weeks, which is quite a feat for me as my weight rarely shifts below the 16 stone mark. Also, I am feeling a lot more energised than I used to. I no longer feel sluggish and lethargic all the time.
It’s been difficult trying to find meals that do not contain potatoes, bread, rice or sugar, but it’s getting easier. I don’t really miss them at all as I have already found that the advantages of eating this way outweigh the disadvantages of going back to eating carbs.
Like I said, it is early days so far, but i’ll keep you updated.
Well a lot has happened since my last post. After New years I decided I would get myself a decent DSLR camera again as I was fed up with my existing cameras lack of ability to focus quickly. I was trying to focus on some rabbits in a field about 100 feet away, but the camera insisted it was only going to focus on a spiderweb about 5 feet away from me. It was very frustrating.
Anyway, after some research I got myself a Nikon D7000 with the 18-105mm VR Lens kit. I then purchased a 10.5mm F2.8 Fisheye lens, a 35mm F1.8 lens and a cheap Tamron 300mm zoom lens. So far I have been very pleased with the camera and can see already my images have improved dramatically. I am now re-learning the techniques of photography that I learnt as a teenager with a film SLR and are now having to re-learn for the digital age.
In other news, I have also decide to try out a low-carb or “Paleo” diet, to see if I can lose weight once and for all. I’ve been trying out all kinds of diets and none have worked so far. This one sounds promising. I started yesterday and weighed myself in at 15 stone and 11 pounds (221 pounds or 100Kg). This is the weight I have hovered at for many years now despite eating a diet considered healthy, i.e. low-fat, high in carbs, etc. Well, after reading a book by Dr. John Briffa it would appear that this idea of eating is not only nonsense, but is bad for our health. It actually makes a lot of sense, but the proof as they say, is in the pudding (or not in this case). I will therefore report back over the next few week as to how my diet is going and how much i’ve lost.
I have recently tidied and rearranged my workshop, throwing out a load of old clutter, to make it free of junk and have plenty of space. I can now resume my Arduino projects that have been neglected for many months. I also have about 200 old CDs I was going to throw out. Instead, I am going to turn them into an RGB Mood Lamp. I will post pics once done.
I was approached by a publisher recently to do another Arduino based book, but it was linked into a field that I know little about so I had to decline. Not only that but my last experience of writing a book with Apress was certainly not a pleasant one and with hindsight wasn’t really worth all of the effort I put into it to see Apress put very little effort in once it was complete. I would happily write a book again at some time in the future but it would have to be on my terms and with sensible and practical deadlines.
Well that’s all for now. Sorry for neglecting the blog. I will try harder to post more frequently in future.
Yeah yeah, OK it is the 10th Jan so it’s been 2012 for 10 days now. But i’ve been very busy with stuff lately (as usual). I am looking forward to 2012 for lots of reasons. There are some plans afoot to make some minor changes to the Arduino Starter Kit contents as well as update the Complete Beginners Guide to the Arduino to reflect the changes. I will also be working on some video tutorials over 2012 as I think some concepts are easier to explain if you can actually show people what you are doing rather than them just look at some diagrams. I intend to (finally) finish my High Altitude Balloon project and then have a few more projects in the pipeline too. I will keep you updated.
Wel, another year gone and Christmas Day is nearly upon us. December has been a very busy month for Earthshine Electronics. As expected, the Christmas rush has been crazy and we have been sending out kits all over the world in time for Christmas.
In 2012 we will be making some further tweaks to the kits and our product lines to bring you the best possible options. Our Arduino Starter Kit is still the best on the market anywhere in the world. Just look at the parts you get and the price and compare it with anyone else’s kit and you will see what I mean.
Some new tutorials are on the way including an update to our Beginners Guide to the Arduino, which has now been downloaded over 100,000 times since launch.
My book, “Beginning Arduino” is still selling extremely well on sites like Amazon and is still one of the best Arduino books available on the market. We are now onto the second print run!
Anyway, signing off now. All of us at Earthshine Electronics wish every one of you a very merry Christmas and all the best wishes for 2012.
We now have the new Revision 3 Arduino Uno’s in stock at Earthshine Electronics. These will be the default version of the Uno used in all of the Arduino Starter Kits too.
The kit contents have seen a minor revision with the dot matrix display now replaced with a quad 7 segment LED display. These are for more versatile and easier to use for beginners allowing a visual readout of sensor data. They can easily be made into clocks and counters too.
I am currently working on some tutorials that will compliment the kits and also be free to use for anyone.
The planning for another Arduino Workshop (Number 6) at London Hackspace is now underway. Keep an eye out for further updates on this.