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the nano is good design.

There are lots of ways to regard "good design". Let's just be as simple as possible and regard two common ways of evaluating good design.

1) Works well for intended function
2) Looks good

The two are often more intertwined than this simple formula, but you get the idea. Here's my current favorite example of dysfunctional design

2008 Lexus LS 600h L Hybrid
Engine / Horsepower 5L V8 438 hp
Fuel Economy 22 / 24
Price $104,000

Other examples – Apple computer one button mouse, apple computer round mouse, Apple computer G3-4 case. Most small cell phones.

It turns out to be impossible to evaluate a design without a design brief. The Arduino team and I probably don't disagree too much on what constitutes good design. We probably disagree more on the design brief (design specs).

I think the Freeduino should be a commodity design, with utility and function as the foremost qualitites. The real utility in a Freeduino is in the Atmega chip, which costs $2.30 or so in quantity. There are no designer Atmega chips with mother of pearl tops, or blue blinking LED's because it is a commodity. It works superbly, virtually without fail, and anyone in the world can buy it for around $2.30.

My idea is that the microcontroller board should just be a commodity representation of the Atmega chip. Works flawlessly, cheap as hell. With engineering and art of course, it's never that easy and there are always lots of trade offs.

The Arduino team seems to want to make brand name products. I mostly like their engineering, although the much-noticed pin 7-8 gap jumps out. I even like and  use some Apple products. This doesn't mean I like the fetishized and aggressive industrial design so typical of Apple products. The term designer water is a pejorative for good reason. Some things are just more honest (and better designed) as commodities.

I would argue that Brian's design is better than the Nano because it's easier to produce, as small, and avoids needless complexity such as 4-layer boards (not to mention LED's you know where). Then again he doesn't have all the functionality in there such as a voltage regulator. Even if his board was 20% bigger it would be a more useful board to most people because it costs $30 instead of $50.

For a small subset of Freeduino applications, the Nano might be more appropriate. It looks sexy. So does the Lexus – to someone. Call me puritanical.

As to Lady Ada's comments about my  products not having a retail margin built in, of course she is correct. In reality my business model is not sustainable and eventually (probably sooner) I'll have to raise prices and concentrate on other things, which have more profit in them. Although the team may not appreciate it, the real purpose of my commodity Freeduino's, is the promotion of the greater Freeduino project.

Paul Badger


Footnote: Freeduino is used here as the set of all Arduino and Arduino-compatible hardware.

 



« Last Edit: May 23, 2008, 05:01:44 pm by paulb » Logged

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I could rant a bit too, but as I see it there's not much point. I've come to accept the reality that the official Arduino hardware designs are developed in a closed way- i.e. active community participation isn't a part of it. I don't think this is going to change anytime soon.
Yeah, it's just a pity that it seems to give the project a "begrudgingly open source" feel to it.

But, hey, at least now as a community we now know to expect it. The official Arduino team has the right to develop their product as they see fit. And we're allowed to like the product but not necessarily the manner in which it's developed. smiley

Personally, I think the Arduino eco-system would grow more with a more open approach. [Snip extended commentary.]

--Phil.
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Those look awesome, but why are they $50? What's so expensive on the board? If they were $25 I would get half a dozen... I guess the BBB will have to do for now...


 I went to the webpage and looked down at the other items offered ....

    "Mini I2C Real Time Clock (RTC)" is list priced at $18.99. It is the ETT DS1307 Mini-Board which can be bought multiple places for $6.90 to $10.00" I sell it here at Wulfden for $8.00:

     http://www.wulfden.org/DataLogger/index.shtml
 
More power to you if you can get people to pay that much ... but still .....

Cheers ... BBR

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I went to the webpage and looked down at the other items offered ....

    "Mini I2C Real Time Clock (RTC)" is list priced at $18.99. It is the ETT DS1307 Mini-Board ...

Please beware of the discrepancy per brianbr on this post. The “Mini I2C Real Time Clock (RTC)” we are selling is base on Philips (NXP) PCF8583 NOT DS1307 as Wulfden is selling. The reason why we must response to this post, we don't want people to misuse our English manual on brianbr's board (it would help if his board comes with English manual).

Note: We're the authorize distributor for ETT so every board from us come with manufacture warrantee and support.

http://www.ett.co.th/inter_order.html
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ok everyone take a deep breath.... breath out and hold it out.

Feel the good vibes.

D
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I'd prefer to see something like these http://dev.emcelettronica.com/microcontrollers-usb-stick-tool for an arduino mini

A memory stick thing that u can plug into your computer and a small arduino board that plugs into that for programming. Would be a really nice, very portable development platform.
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ok everyone take a deep breath.... breath out and hold it out.
Feel the good vibes.
Ooooh ...... thats good.
... In - Out - In - Out ...

I can see it now  :o ....
...a world where every chip is available in DIP-Package...
...a world where my next guitar amp comes with a complete schematic and parts that are still available after 2 years...
...that is so beautiful smiley-razz

And then the question comes to my mind ... this is a note from the arduino where to buy page ...
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Made In Italy

Note [from massimo]:We stress the fact that all the boards are made in italy because in this globalised world, were getting the lowest possible price for products sometimes translates into poor pay and working conditions for the people who make them, at least you know that who made your board was reasonably paid and worked in a safe environment.
... still true for the Arduino Nano????

Eberhard
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And then the question comes to my mind ... this is a note from the arduino where to buy page ...
Quote
Made In Italy

Note [from massimo]:We stress the fact that all the boards are made in italy because in this globalised world, were getting the lowest possible price for products sometimes translates into poor pay and working conditions for the people who make them, at least you know that who made your board was reasonably paid and worked in a safe environment.
... still true for the Arduino Nano????

Eberhard

... at least the're not made in italy i guess. but this was one of the first thoughts that came to my mind as well (right after yeah sexy but expensive). So are the nanos actually produced in the US or is it just "designed in the US"?

|kuk
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I suppose that what it REALLY means is that $50 isn't "too expensive", as long as there is *A* low-cost version available for education/experimentation/etc.  After all, for all our gloating over "cheaper than a BASIC Stamp", that's partially marketing; if Parallax wanted to do a cheaper Stamp, they could...
And it's relatively common for me to be looking over the playground and be surprised as someone implements something in a what I consider a particularly expensive way (I mean like: max7219?  At $8+ each?!  Really?)
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And it's relatively common for me to be looking over the playground and be surprised as someone implements something in a what I consider a particularly expensive way (I mean like: max7219?  At $8+ each?!  Really?)
Given Maxim's sample programme, no probably not. smiley-grin

--Phil.
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I went to the webpage and looked down at the other items offered ....

    "Mini I2C Real Time Clock (RTC)" is list priced at $18.99. It is the ETT DS1307 Mini-Board ...

Please beware of the discrepancy per brianbr on this post. The “Mini I2C Real Time Clock (RTC)” we are selling is base on Philips (NXP) PCF8583 NOT DS1307 as Wulfden is selling. The reason why we must response to this post, we don't want people to misuse our English manual on brianbr's board (it would help if his board comes with English manual).

Note: We're the authorize distributor for ETT so every board from us come with manufacture warrantee and support.

http://www.ett.co.th/inter_order.html


 My bad, viewing the smaller picture  the board looks identical to the DS1307 based board. Though I still am having a hard time seeing how a different chip and  at most $2 worth of additional components adds up to an $11 price increase.

I must say that I like that it includes a trimmer cap to net the watch crystal.

cheers ... BBR
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And then the question comes to my mind ... this is a note from the arduino where to buy page ...
Quote
Made In Italy

Note [from massimo]:We stress the fact that all the boards are made in italy because in this globalised world, were getting the lowest possible price for products sometimes translates into poor pay and working conditions for the people who make them, at least you know that who made your board was reasonably paid and worked in a safe environment.
... still true for the Arduino Nano????

Eberhard

... at least the're not made in italy i guess. but this was one of the first thoughts that came to my mind as well (right after yeah sexy but expensive). So are the nanos actually produced in the US or is it just "designed in the US"?

|kuk

YES, Arduino Nano is designed and being made here in USA (even the PCBs are made in USA). That is another reason why the boards are more expensive.

Here is a picture of the Nanos being fab.


« Last Edit: June 01, 2008, 05:20:58 pm by coolguy » Logged

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YES, Arduino Nano is designed and being made here in USA (even the PCBs are made in USA). That is another reason why the boards are more expensive.

smiley thank you for that info.
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Happy Father's Day!

Arduino Nano, what a great gift for DIY fathers.

[size=14]Just a reminder, today is the last day of sales.[/size][/b] The price will go up tomorrow. Grab one at http://www.gravitech.us

Also, for those of you who have been patiently waiting. IT WILL BE SHIPPED TOMORROW! We've sold hundreds of them. Thank you for your supports.
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[size=14]Cool project using the Nano. Awesome work JD![/color][/size]

« Last Edit: July 02, 2008, 10:11:58 am by coolguy » Logged

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