Monday Dec 01, 2008

New Breakout Board


Ok, so this is cool! It actually came from someone in Sun Labs, but not from the Sun SPOTs project. This is just one of those things that 'happens' when folks start playing with Sun SPOTs. 


What is it? It's a breakout board that makes access to all the various pins and inputs on the Sun SPOT eDemo Sensor Board really easy to access for prototyping. And the really cool part about this is that you can buy this board today, either as a pre-stuffed, complete and ready to use board, or as a 'kit' that includes the PCB and all the components so that you can practice your soldering skills. Once you're done, you can use a ribbon cable to connect to the Sun SPOT Header and have easy access to all the pins without having to solder to your Sun SPOT and (potentially) damage your Sun SPOT Board.


 And it's (relatively) cheap, too! Check out CircuitMonkey.com for the full scoop, but the fully populated, ready-to-use board is about $33.00 (US).


Cool stuff!


[ "Benson, you are so free of the ravages of intelligence"                -- Time Bandits ] 

Tuesday Nov 25, 2008

SPOT In Nature Article

So this is a really cool article on Sun SPOTs, our good friends over at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC, and their project in the Cocobolo Nature Preserve down in Panama. (How's that for a sentence chock-a-block full of links to just about everywhere on the inter-tubes?)


I highly recommend reading it, even if they did get the job titles of Roger Meike and Arshan Poursohi mixed up (unless there was some organizational shake-up of which I am unaware).


But the big news -- or at least the answer to the biq question is -- that you can go here to actually get involved and be a part of the project. You may not get a trip to Panama out of the deal, but you can contribute to the project, and do your not-so-small part to fight Global Climate Change. There's a lot of additional information over here as well. Come on, get involved!




[ Yes, but every time I try to see things your way, I get a headache. ]


Wednesday Sep 26, 2007

Moving towards Purple

491878171_d7e2b6d6bf[1]
So we in Sun SPOT land seem to have a particular affinity for colors. We started our with animal names for our releases, but quickly realized that we didn't know enough animals that actually had spots on them (Beagles don't have proper spots, and neither do giraffes) after which we gave up. (To quote one of our British friends "could we use an animal that actually has spots next time?" :-) )

728302642_2b11b18b10 [2]
So our first release was called 'Green.' That was v1.0 of the Sun SPOT SDK. Good, solid release. Lots of features, and we supported a fair number of platforms. Actually, it was way better than that. It rocked. Servo controllers built in. Tone generators built in. Lots of supported sensors. Fabulous stuff.

217083999_36467ae647 [3]
Then came 'Orange' our 2.0 release. More platforms supported (Solaris x86 and Intel Mac, to be specific), and better performance, more features, and lots of other coolness. Multi-hop support, access to the UART, better sensor support. It out-rocked Green, for sure. But software is a moving target. And perfection is even faster-moving. Before Orange was even out the door we had already begun work on v.next.

202093703_578566f363 [4]
So now we're in the final stages of preparing our next release (Purple) for beta. We hope to be going live with a Purple Beta as soon as this weekend, if things check out with the latest release. We spin an SDK, and then we all pound away at it for a few days. If we can't break it, we figure it might be ready. Hey, this stuff does say "Experimental" right on the box. :-)

So look for a Beta of the Purple (v3.0) Sun SPOTs SDK soon. Don't know where to look? Well, I'll post something else about looking for Betas later.

And yeah, we're already starting work on v.next ...

["Whom are you?" said he, for he had been to night school. -- George Ade ]

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[1] (photo courtesy of carrera911e under Creative Commons license)
[2] (photo courtesy of watertownsurfer under Creative Commons license)
[3] (photo courtesy of vigneron under Creative Commons license)
[4] (photo courtesy of rooneg under Creative Commons license)

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