Function, Not Form

When I study a problem the thing that is foremost on my mind is do I understand the problem at its most basic functional level?  To get past the current form of a thing so as not be prejudiced by how things are done today in their current form.  To understand the function of thing…

Read More

The Future of Programming

Two trends are occurring as we speak.  First, the smartphone has become the new PC.  Secondly, programming computers is becoming child’s play literally.  Case in point look at the two image belows, similar, yes? On the top you have Scratch, a program from MIT used to get kid’s excited about programming through Lego block-esque “click…

Read More

Electronics for Kids: Vibra-Bot

Vibra-Bot Over the weekend my family attended RobotFest at the National Electronics Museum. It was an awesome event that introduced my daughter to soldering, rockets, and R2-D2. Hopefully this will inspire her to find her inner geek. The highlight for me was watching my daughter solder her first bit of electronics. It was a simple…

Read More

Books for Learning Electronics

I recently picked up “Make: Electronics” by Charles Platt from Amazon from $23 (vice $34 on MakerShed). It is one of the best introductory books written for those with little or no electronics experience. It is fantastic mix of theory and practical, and is all based on experiments that are well explained and illustrated. The…

Read More

The Space Shuttle Was Designed For Roman Horses

I heard this story by watching a recent lecture given by MIT’s Open Coursware initiative. It traces the history of how the rocket booster design of the Space Shuttle was influenced by Roman Empire horses. t goes a little like this. Thoikol is a Utah-based company that builds the rocket boosters. The boosters are transported…

Read More

Product versus Platform

I have been having an interesting discussion with friends on the future of various businesses. One topic that we keep hitting on is the idea a company providing a product vice providing a platform. A company that provides a product is the traditional corporate model. Some market research is done, a product is designed, and…

Read More

Engineering and Science for America’s Youth

President Obama today addressed the National Academy of Sciences and made a quote that harkened back to his book “The Audacity of Hope” where he wished the world had more engineers and less lawyers (which is a bit ironic coming from someone who was the president of the Harvard Law Review). He challenged the members…

Read More

Microcontrollers 101

I am putting together some slides for a talk on microcontrollers later this year and would like to get feedback from anyone who is knowledgeable in this area to provide feedback, comments, thoughts, suggestions. The talk will use the Arduino platform as an example. I am also trying to teach some basics of electronics, electrical…

Read More

Memristor: The Path to True AI?

So I’ve been reading anything I can get my hands on about the newly invented memristor. You can read more about the history and general concept over here. The basic idea is this, the memristor is the fourth basic circuit element (the resistor, capacitor, and inductor are the other three) that has been speculated to…

Read More