IEEE Spectrum put together a solid "DIY Essentials" list for a hardware/electronics workbench. From IEEE Spectrum:
Most of us start out using batteries or cannibalizing power adapters, but a good bench Power Supply lets you control voltages precisely as well as measure and limit the amperage flowing through the circuit. You can get a reasonable single-voltage supply for $120 or so, such as the 18-volt, 3-ampere supply made by Extech Instruments. More advanced ones will offer multiple controllable voltages, useful when projects have more than one input voltage.
A bench supply goes well with a large Protoboard, one that supports multiple supply voltages and has lots of real estate to lay out chips. If you do a quick proof of concept on a protoboard first, you can save yourself a lot of grief when you try to set out a permanent version (or send it out to a printed-circuit-board fab).
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image.
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