Arduino Uno Fun and Continuous Learning

So, a million years ago, I bought an Arduino Uno Starter Kit from MakerShed. When it arrived, I tried a tutorial and had fun with the first LED lesson, but the second lesson, which I remember was more focused on programming, left me in the dust. I boxed up the Arduino and put it in my geek closet. I always wanted to get back to it, but never did.

My new local library is awesome. They let you borrow eBook readers (I played around with a Nook the other night), telescopes (for three weeks at a clip!), and fishing poles with stocked tackle boxes. Seriously. Awesome library. But, they offer one other service, too. They have a 3D printer! Wanting to take advantage of this service, I went looking for something nerdy enough to justify claiming that it was printed on the library 3D printer. I went to Thingiverse.com and quickly found my target.

Arduino Uno and breadboard holder

Arduino Uno and breadboard holder

Yes, a 3D printed Arduino and breadboard holder! I think that is nerdy enough! 😀

So, with the programming I have been learning over the past..while. Hmm? I’ve been back at it for a couple of years now…since Java class at BCC. Anyway, I took out the Arduino from the back of the closet and set about playing around with it. First stop? Youtube! I found Paul McWhorter‘s Arduino video series and was instantly hooked. I guess he is a high school math teacher in Eldorado, Texas. Poking around his Youtube channel, it is obvious that he is an awesome teacher. I know I haven’t been in high school in a billion years, but we were not doing anything even remotely as cool as building full-on, high-altitude data and video collectors. I helped organize the first (and probably last) whale watching trip. That was good fun, but standing on a boat that someone else is driving and looking at whales, as much as I love them, is not as cool as building, launching, and recovering your own high-altitude flier. Sorry, whales.

This guy’s students must love him.

My goal with the Arduino is to get good enough with it that I can build and deploy my own weather station and have it post to Weather Underground.

There is your update. I am doing Paul’s Arduino course, a Coursera course on Programming Foundations (which is based on Python3), and I am on a Windows Batch Scripting kick at work. Have you ever heard of HTAs before? Neither had I! Looks good! I need to finish up with these things, however, and get back to writing Python full-time. I am about 90% complete with a data structuring program for genetic genealogy (input several csv files, output a formatted json file chock full of nested lists and dictionaries of dictionaries), and then I need to learn a whole bunch about MongoDB and some basic Statistics. Learning never ends.

Oh! I put down the Javascript Jabber podcast (looks like I got to episode 216) and picked up Talk Python To Me for listening on my commute. I’m digging it, and it is more in line with where my head is right now. It is interesting that the web dev aspects of Python that are being discussed on TPTM, I am already familiar with from Javascript Jabber. Only so many ways to peel a carrot, I guess.

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