How has Arduino brought around a change for you?

Following mike’s question, I thought this would be interesting to know.

As for me, From being a purely functional marketing guy that was marketing technology education and technology services unable to relate to the techies / electronics (i didn’t even know the difference between a processor/controller, between arm, avr & pic! lol), now being confidently able to understand, demonstrate and offer prototypes to the same techies on ideas that can sell. Add to it the joy of being able to introduce over 300 students to arduino and kind of enable them to explore further(however, sadly, only a fraction of them seem to stick on to anything they learn beyond their first project!) Its just been wonderful! A big change.

Yes, it makes a massive change…
Mainly takes over your life!


Arduino has opened up a completely new awareness of electronics for me. I’ve always been an analog guy, but after completing my desk fan project ( and then discovering Arduino, I realized I could have made the desk fan perform better and for cheaper with an Arduino than I did with analog circuits. So desk fan v3 will be microcontroller driven. :wink:

Ever since that revelation, my brain runs constantly, trying to think of more things I can use an Arduino for. For example, my chicken coop - I want to create an automatic door opener/closer and inside light that senses daylight and has a timer for additional flexibility. This is really easy to do with a microcontroller and can be 'customized", but analog circuits would only give me a very basic capability unless I make a very complicated circuit.

The biggest thing the Arduino has brought for me is that it’s extremely easy to work with, and versatile, + the the amount of users is huge!

To get a micro to control something like a LCD without that library for the Arduino would be a PITA.

Wiring up 9 LED’s to a micro without pin headers would take ages, and be very delicate.

And you can do almost anything with it!

Being open source also adds to the awesomeness.

I tried to get into micros with PIC. The 16 series chips had to be burned using a burner and the code had to be written in assembly. That was very difficult since assembly really isn’t intuitive. With Arduino being USB and a free C compiler, I’ve been able to write code and learn very quickly. This forum, the playground, and the main arduino site have also made me very successful in writing programs and building circuits that would not have been possible for me with PIC. It has opened up a huge set of possibilities for me.

Arduino has caused me to write an insane number of small solutions to small problems.
Additionally I have written over thirty libraries for this enviroment.
This has helped me become much better at system design and implementation. In fact, I’m going to pursuit a masters degree in Enterprise Systems Architecture (I’m finished with my bachelor in game programming '10). I have the Arduino to blame for that :smiley:

Thank you Arduino.

Tried and failed several times to get into micros with the Microchip PICs programming in assembly and using the PICstart+ programmer. After hitting the half page memory problem I gave up for about 4 years until I went to a local Dorkbot and met the Arduino.
For me it was removing all the barriers of an insanely steep learning curve of new programming language and micro complexity into a friendly package with clear working examples. I know that at the bottom of it all the Arduino is a boot loader and a bunch of libraries but it has allowed me to get a few projects up and running and I now have the confidence and experience to continue learning about micros.

I do a bit of freelance electric repair on one-off pieces of equipment and the occasional prototype and the Arduino has enabled me to take on more work (albeit a small scale). Within weeks of loading the Blink sketch I was able to remove a defective and obsolete PLC in a interactive model display (switches / lightbulbs and motors) and replace it with an Arduino and charge them enough to pay a months mortgage, bills and buy a new set of tyres for my motorbike :wink:

I originally went to university for Computer Science, but I got fed up with all the abstract mathematical junk, and really wanted to get my hands on something concrete.

After dropping from CS, I was thinking of moving in a more artistic direction (graphic design). When I looked over the tuition costs one last time, I realized that for all the money I would blow getting a degree that probably wouldn’t get me a job, I could spend probably half as much tinkering with electronics allowing me to invent something that was interesting to me.

Ultimately my love is music, and no matter what education/hobbies I may have, I’ll always want to do music in the end. The arduino is a blend of all the things I have an interest in (programming, hardware, electronics), and has applications in something I love (music).

I suppose you could say it has and will change my life.

I just look back on my early education, and wonder how my life might have been different if you could have something like this for 50 bucks in those times.