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1171  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Your router on: September 04, 2010, 04:10:44 am
Yes re: old computer consuming power. People talk about putting an old computer to work in your closet serving some minimal thing. "It's practically free!" But the type of old PC you find these days is costing you literally hundreds of dollars per year in power. If you actually want to save money then you need to find something relatively modern and low power to run your services. Thankfully, these days computer makers are actually addressing that market, instead of eking out the last cycle of performance. At the moment I'm bringing up a mini-ITX D510 Atom system that should run pretty much everything I need continuously and draw hopefully less than 40 watts. Don't have to worry about processing power for a long time and it's nowhere near as bulky or power hungry as, say, an old Athlon system.
1172  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Your router on: September 03, 2010, 05:34:39 pm
If the cable connection I have now (8Mb/1Mb) was merely RELIABLE I'd be more than happy with it. Of course it's a little better now that I went out to the box and tightened all the connectors, but Comcast still likes to have outages after midnight.
1173  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: SMT and Breakout boards on: October 08, 2010, 03:26:07 pm
If you're just talking about soldering the one or two boards, I'd do it for free for the cost of postage. I'm nowhere near the East Coast but Priority Mail is decently fast and cheap. Basically if you sent the parts to me Monday with $5 for postage I could have it back to you Friday-ish. (I just realized Monday is a government holiday, but still the turnaround will not be too bad.)
1174  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Fritzing useable for pcb's? on: August 17, 2010, 06:37:21 pm
If you want to eventually learn to use gEDA for hobby use you can by all means. I'm just providing an opinion as someone who has been designing PCBs using Eagle for a number of years. Right now my rough count of PCBs of various designs produced and sold is about 25,000. Not exactly Sony but enough to have a pretty good idea what works when trying to get an electronics company off the ground. I learned Eagle using the free version years before actually starting a company, and then when I bought the pro version it paid for itself with the first design.

I did try gEDA, and Orcad, and PADS, and Pulsonix, and Autotrax, and Diptrace, and several others. Right now Eagle has the best balance of features and cost for me.

You cannot realistically start a business while being worried about a $1000 investment into a production tool that indisputably has value. Starting up the business we both had to put in $10,000 each that we didn't necessarily have to spare and could reasonably expect never to see again. Risk is always there. One time on another forum I saw someone ask if it was OK to make people pay for a kit product before he even produced and shipped them, afraid to invest any of his own money. That is the mindset destined to throw in the towel on a startup before it even has a chance.

I really don't want to point fingers because you have valid points on a philosophical perspective, and companies like EMSL do use gEDA, but by your own admission earlier in the thread you haven't even designed any PCBs yet. I highly recommend just trying a few packages, make the same design in each.
1175  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Fritzing useable for pcb's? on: August 17, 2010, 05:20:52 pm
Even the pro versions of Eagle are pretty cheap, if you're already using it to make money. It pays for itself almost instantly. Worst case is that you have to keep using an old version of Eagle, or learn/buy a different package.

People think going open source means they aren't at the whim of a company's decisions. Yet I see open source packages getting abandoned more than commercial software. Isn't WinAVR dead at the moment?

Having the source to gEDA would mean nothing to me. I only have time to design PCBs, not write and maintain the software to design PCBs.
1176  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Maker Faire NYC on: August 20, 2010, 03:45:36 pm
I'll be making the trek over to Queens for this, from California.

Actually, I live three or four miles away from the fairgrounds where they hold the SF Maker Faire. This will be the first Maker Faire I'll attend as a visitor instead of an exhibitor...looking forward to it!

I'm hoping a bunch of familiar names in the Maker and/or Arduino communities will gather for dinner in NYC.
1177  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Jameco and Arduino on: September 09, 2010, 07:45:40 pm
A lot of Jameco's parts are cheaper than you'll find most places. Their "Valuepro" blank label rectangular and DSUB connectors, for example, are a much welcomed relief from high prices for Amp and Molex connectors. I've been buying resistor packs from them forever. And what semiconductors they do have, are often reasonably priced too.

Of course the main draw for me is that they're a couple miles down the road, and I can order up components and walk in 1/2 hour later to get them.

And Osgeld: as for hanging up after you refused to pay the quoted shipping and said you would never buy anything from them, what did you expect? You called them to complain over a matter of probably less than 12 dollars, most of which they would be paying back out into shipping. The person on the phone obviously realized an incompatibility and decided not to waste more of everyone's time. You told them you weren't a future customer: conversation over.

They do actually have a USPS option but it's not any cheaper than the rest.

Before I lived close enough to to walk-ins I still ordered from them, but it's always been easy for me to pile up a big enough order that the shipping price makes more sense.
1178  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Video theft on the neinernet on: July 06, 2010, 04:31:59 pm
You can file a DMCA counter-notice with YouTube.

http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=155562
1179  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Making a audio analyzer on: June 30, 2010, 05:38:09 pm
You found a link for it somewhere, right? It should just open up and compile. By no means am I a Visual Studio expert, so I don't even know what would cause problems and how to fix them. The plugin code I made is really just a quick hack, even with a hardcoded serial port. You could improve it greatly.
1180  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Making a audio analyzer on: June 30, 2010, 04:04:26 pm
Just put "winamp" into the search box and you will find a number of posts using a simple plugin I threw together. Or just investigate winamp plugins, there are free SDKs available.
1181  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: What is the weirdest thing you've learnt... on: April 08, 2010, 05:35:56 pm
I learned how to quickly filter a few desired pieces of information from thousands of irrelevant items. How to listen for the ring of truth in a cacophony of lies. How to find an expert in a crowd of amateurs. How to detect the original in a sea of copycats.
1182  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Laser Cutting machine on: December 18, 2009, 09:22:16 pm
Everyone in this thread with less than 10 posts is a spammer.
1183  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: POST YOUR WORKBENCH on: March 15, 2010, 12:03:26 pm
Not enough pictures, too many text descriptions in this thread!

Mine:
1184  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Image to C array converter on: April 06, 2010, 01:19:31 pm
The GIMP export is pretty cool, but only really works for RGB or indexed images (as far as I can tell). For Osgeld's project, it's much less wasteful of space to pack 8 pixels per byte instead of one or more bytes per pixel.
1185  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: EAGLE alternative - larger boards on: March 22, 2010, 04:58:02 pm
The only feature the layout module supports is drawing free-angle lines from one point to another. It's a lot easier to say that than to list the hundreds of absent features considered standard in any PCB CAD program.

If your experience with electronics progresses at a normal rate, there's a very limited amount of time you'll even care about a breadboard design tool. Breadboards (physically) are design tools already, no one spends any time doing CAD to figure out how they are going to wire up a breadboard. Most of my designs go straight from a schematic to a PCB. If I use a breadboard it's typically very temporary, to test a few concepts that I want to verify while designing a schematic, usually in the analog domain.

I've only been designing PCBs for 7 or 8 years, non-career, so I'm probably in the bottom 10% of PCB designers experience wise. However I've used quite a few different tools and eventually settled on Eagle having the mix of features and price I found acceptable. Started with freeware and eventually bought the pro version.

Doesn't really matter which one you choose, though, as long as it has the basic set of features and you spend time getting used to it. Some people do very well with gEDA. Other swear by Kicad. Some (shudder) like ExpressPCB or PCBArtist and lock into a single proto supplier.

I would say that if you spend a lot of time in Fritzing you will eventually realize, if you plan to design real PCBs in the future, your time would be better spent learning some other tool.
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