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Design for a portable Commodore 64

There have been modern designs for portable Commodore 64s, and the official portable Commodore 64 you perhaps didn't even know about, but none of them are as handsome as Cem Tezcan's.

The Adafruit Blog:

As a part of my monthly product design practice, I decided to make an handheld Commodore 64 that uses “mini cassettes” to load programs or games.

I inspired by most of the old Commodore electronic products to create this dream device

All it needs is a giant leather holster. Read the rest

John Park's online show-and-tell for DIY projects today (4/2/2020) at 2;30pm PT

I'll be showing and telling one of my projects in today's SHOW and TELL, hosted by John Edgar Park. The fun starts at 5:30pm ET / 2:30pm PT today.

We (Adafruit) are mixing things up and running a show and tell after John Park’s Workshop on Thursdays! All are welcome, show your 3D printing project, Arduino project, CircuitPython project, Raspberry Pi project, work bench, your work from home desk set up, your cat, your dog, the things your kids made over the last week while home from school.

To show and share a project, view the chat or in discord and look for the JOIN link to join. Read the rest

A new blog post series exploring the history and import of cyberpunk launches on Adafruit

This morning, I launched a new series of posts that I'm going to be writing on Adafruit on the history of cyberpunk science fiction and how it has evolved, how it has influenced culture and technology, what it got right (and wrong) about the near future in its fictional speculations. Read the rest

Making a flying saucer clock (with data storage) controlled by a Raspberry Pi

I love this strange and wonderful project on Hackaday.io. It is digital clock which uses a ring of 60 NeoPixels in a 3D printed flying saucer and 12 lights on the inner ring to indicate the hours. It also does backups. And light shows. All it needs is a cow being sucked up into it.

At the end of November 2019 my trusty old iomega StorCenter NAS (Network Attached Storage) started behaving eratically and would keep disappearing from the network and locking up every few hours. I immediately made sure I had several copies of the data and started the search for a replacement. But it dawned on me that whatever I would buy would ultimately go the same way: unsupported and unfixable.

So, with the new Raspberry Pi 4 having USB3 ports and a long running desire to make a circular neopixel clock at some point, it dawned on me that there are two devices that run 24 hours a day: my NAS and my trusty old Tix clock that I bought several years ago.

Why settle for another boring NAS when I can make the ultimate NAS come Clock combination? So began the flying saucer clock project...

So, how does it tell time?

The inner ring of the saucer contains 12 LEDs behind diffusers made from a ring of transparent PLA with black PLA colour separators, which are lit according to the current hours. The minutes and seconds are shown on the outer 60 LED ring. This also displays the hour as a series of 5 LEDs lit blue and also hour markers shown at spacing of every 5.

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HackSpace magazine lowers its US print subscription price

In case you don't know, HackSpace is a terrific monthly maker magazine from the U.K. Published by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, HackSpace includes articles by bunnie huang, Andrew Lewis, Marc de Vinck, Sophy Wong, Bob Knetzger, and many other authors you many recognize from the pages of Make: magazine and other domains of the maker movement. I contribute a monthly tips and tutorials column.

One of the great benefits to HackSpace is that it has always been a free PDF for those who can't afford the high (over $100/year) international subscription rate. Well, good news, everyone! You can now get HackSpace for $60 a year (12 issues) and your sub comes with an Adafruit Circuit Playground Express (worth $25). Read the rest

Reinvented, a new magazine about women in STEM written by women in STEM

Yesterday, Sherry Huss, former Maker-in-Chief of Maker Media, did a Facebook post about a new magazine, Reinvented, which has just released its second issue. The magazine, available in both print and digital formats, is written about women in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) by women in STEM. Read the rest

Make a Game Boy inspired pendant with a miniature display of animated Mario clouds

Adafruit has a tutorial on how to make a pendant that looks like a tiny Game Boy and has a display with endlessly scrolling Mario style clouds.

Read the rest

Buy a Circuit Playground Express and a second one will be donated to Black Girls CODE

Phil from Adafruit writes, "For a limited time, whenever you buy a Circuit Playground Express the regular price of $24.95 here, on this page, Adafruit will automatically donate one to Black Girls CODE. Black Girls CODE's goal is to empower young women of color ages 7-17 to embrace the current tech marketplace as builders + creators. Read the rest

Electronic "sand toy" features LEDs that shift as if affected by gravity

There's a detailed guide to building the LED Matrix Sand Toy at Adafruit:

These LEDs interact with motion and looks like they’re affect by gravity. An Adafruit LED matrix displays the LEDs as little grains of sand which are driven by sampling an accelerometer with Raspberry Pi Zero!

The 3D Printed handles make it easy to hold the 64x64 LED Matrix and the two buttons make it easy to switch modes or reset simulations!

The code, written by Phillip Burgess, simulates physics by calculating collisions and terminal velocity.

It looks particularly beautiful in the dark:

Read the rest

Make: a robotic xenomorph candy collector for Halloween

Phil Torrone from Adafruit writes, "Why roam around with a boring pumpkin bucket when you collect delicious candy with a robotic Xenomorph head? This robotic candy bucket shoots out a small receptacle to retrieve candy and bring it back into the bucket. Some 3D printing is required to create the linear actuator. Two servo motors controlled by a Circuit Playground Express, coded with MakeCode, power this project." Read the rest

Turning a recalled children's unicorn boot into a display for endless product recall notices

Phil Torrone from Adafruit told us about Consumers Should Immediately...: "This uses a live data feed from The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC) to randomly display thousands of products recalled for reasons such as fire, electrocution, entrapment, choking and a variety of other unintended dangers. Every two minutes the embedded screen lists the name of the product, the identified danger, the product manufacturer, and the original recall date. The electronics are enclosed in an actual recalled children’s unicorn boot, along with an embedded rechargeable battery, allowing for an uninterrupted stream of recalled products in any location." Read the rest

Photos from MAKE's 2008 visit to MAD Magazine

Phil Torrone from Adafruit writes, "A million internet years ago in 2008 when I was Senior Editor at MAKE Magazine, Ladyada and I went to DC Comics to meet the MAD Magazine folks for a collaboration issue with MAKE and MAD, it was the Spy vs Spy issue, volume 16 cover by Sam Viviano. Spy vs. Spy is a wordless black and white comic strip that has been published in Mad magazine since 1961. It was created by Antonio Prohias, a Cuban national who fled to the United States in 1960 days before Fidel Castro took over the Cuban free press." Read the rest

Make: a machine-learning toy on open-source hardware

In the latest Adafruit video (previously) the proprietors, Limor "ladyada" Friend and Phil Torrone, explain the basics of machine learning, with particular emphasis on the difference between computing a model (hard) and implementing the model (easy and simple enough to run on relatively low-powered hardware), and then they install and run Tensorflow Light on a small, open-source handheld and teach it to distinguish between someone saying "No" and someone saying "Yes," in just a few minutes. It's an interesting demonstration of the theory that machine learning may be most useful in tiny, embedded, offline processors. (via Beyond the Beyond) Read the rest

This device does just one thing - it plays Keanu gifs

John Park says: "I made this Keanu GIF player using an Adafruit PyGamer and SD card. It autoplays each GIF for 10 seconds before moving on to the next one. You can also use the L/R thumbstick controls to advance or go back."

Image: YouTube Read the rest

How to make arpeggio music using MakeCode arcade

MakeCode Arcade is a Scratch-like programming language for writing retro-style games. In this video, John Park shows how to make arpeggio music using MakeCode arcade. In the early days of video games, the existing technology didn't allow for chords, so arpeggios were a way to get the feel for a chord by playing all the individual notes in a chord as quickly as possible.

Image: Adafruit/YouTube Read the rest

PyBadge is a credit card sized computer with a built-in display

AdaFruit recently announced the PyBadge and the PyBadge LC (Low Cost), a single board computer with a 1.8" 160x128 color display, buzzer-speaker, and 8 silicone-top buttons arrange for handheld gaming. The video above shows the PyBadge in a 3D printed case designed by Pedro Ruiz. Read the rest

An "e-ink typewriter" that can only do one thing

Lucian's SPUDwriter (Single Purpose User Device) was designed to help him focus on creative writing after a long day of staring at a screen in his engineering job: it uses an e-ink screen and a keyboard, and only outputs via SD card or thermal printer.

As a person who does all of their engineering work on or adjacent to a computer, the idea of coming home and spending even MORE time on the computer for creative writing isn’t super appealing. So I made an e-paper typewriter – no browser, no games, just you and your word count. It has a character LCD at the bottom for the current line you’re typing, to make up for how slow E-paper updates, and when you’re finished you can save your file to an SD card or print it all out with the internal thermal receipt printer for redline editing. I call it the SPUDwrite (Single Purpose User Device), hopefully the first of a couple of SPUDs. It’s built on MBED and the STM32F401 Cortex M4.

The SPUDwrite (Single Purpose User Device) for creating writing made with E-paper, MBED, and STM32F401 Cortex M4 [Adafruit]

(Thanks, PT!)

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:)