Sunday, 17 January 2010

Super Happy Dev club meet

In the background is a SIMON game, by Milton Bradley, the intention is to replace the micro (presumed non re-programmable) with a modern version. A java version of the Simon game is available here.

The club has also started a TGIMBOEJ and a google site has been created to show it off. I am quite keen on TGIMBOEJ, and have started 2 myself, just look on the tgimboej wiki for boxes called Cambridge.

The club normally seems to have been very 2 months, but are looking to haul it in to fortnightly, because a permanent venue has now been found. Join the google group to find out more and get updates.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Groups near you

A quick little post to add some links, the full monty is here.

Setting out the competition - some nearby community e-news sites:
Histon and Impington News

.NET developers

Milton Chat  

Milton News

Why local websites, well today it'sabout reaching the community using our digital communication skills, so put that soldering iron away and start listening.

If you are not listening yet, you have to watch this video - fast forward to 2:16

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Intermediate C++ Programming Book reviews

Good intermediate books, beginner books are often too slow to get underway, these titles are definitely not.
The E-book that comes with Visual C++ is not bad, it's just not deep nor broad enough and lacks examples, so. Although the C++ Gurus may glean some gems from these titles, they are more likely the ones we passed on to our padawans.

In no specific preference order.

C++ Common Knowledge 
I own other titles in this series.

review - CodeGuru
review - Amazon

Sams Teach Yourself C++ in One Hour a Day
Now this book is the follow-on of the Tech yourself C++ in 21 days book, which I did get to hold in my grubby mits, and found pretty impressive. It's not lightweight mainly because it has space for all of the examples.
review: Amazon

Schaum's Outline of Programming with C++
This is the C++ programmers cheat-sheet book, it will not teach you C++, but is a easy to search resource, with just enough example code to show each language technique off. I think this book is a text-book for college courses. This book is so good, I would call it the beginners "paper" version of the online C++ FAQ :
review: Amazon

The 1st 2 books included a DC-rom too I believe. There are other comparable books out there, but I have not seen them up close yet.

I've not currently got any of these books on hand anymore, so the recommendations are based more on :
I have gotten good books from the same publisher or by the same author or co-authors, or I have had a chance to read and use them.

Remember good engineers are always learning.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Hacking space updates

I recently bookmarked the london hackpace, here is a video of a typical meet. To find a space near you, try this interactive map.

I think the hackers are obviously living in places where we just have gotten bored of the rampant consumerism that civilization brings.
If you have not got a space nearby, you could try start one, or just participate in the hacking community by sharing your ideas, designs or implementations.

One way to participate is to collect all the junk you have not figured out what to do with, and box it and post it to these people .

Friday, 1 January 2010


Soft Circuitry. Do we ever marvel enough at the accomplishments of consumer society? The ability to create demand for things we do not really need. The marketing angle that pushes the barter system way over the value price-point in such a way that you feel obliged to purchase something you cannot use for personal gain at all?

Do we think "what-if?" "when it's battery dies?" "when it looks grubby?", or "can I re-use it?". I'm always thinking of the re-purposing of consumer electronics, which is why TGIMBOEJ is such a cool idea.
  1. Pop over to the TGIMBOEJ website.
  2. Fill a shoebox with re-usable electronic parts
  3. Go back to the website, and sign up to get or send a box.

All the fun that can be had when you give a gift, of junk. The most interesting part of electronic junk is finding out what it is to start with. Most of the electronics forums have a thread where you can post a good photo and write down the markings. Do not worry if you do not know how to interpret the prefixes and suffixes, the guru's know that it's not easy, and they are all keen to help introduce the honest investigator to the world of discovery. Next step is to understand what a part was intended for, and then to use it to do something completely different. I think the proper term here is innovation.
Let the juices flow.

Older Relevant Posts

A collection of posts from my own Journal, in future these will all appear under the soft circuitry Journal.

Electronics & TGIMBOEJ:
Well, that is my back-links for 2008,2009 signed and delivered. Happy 2010!