Forgive this dumb Amazon thing. It’s part of an experiment … but STEM toys are pretty cool.
When I was a kid, I loved to put together electronic project kits. I’d get these things from Radio Shack (RIP Radio Shack) and build radios, super basic games, synthesizers, and other fun things. I liked that stuff so much, when I was curating my Quarterly boxes last year (does anyone want me to do that again?), I put a Little Bits starter kit into one of them.
I have spent so much time in the creative part of my brain, I wanted to get out of that part of my brain for a little bit (it’s full of bees) and do some other kind of making/creating, so I got myself a Raspberry Pi, and an Arduino starter kit. I’ve read a bit in Make and I have a bunch of cool books and junk from Humble Bundles that I can’t put onto my Kindle because they’re over 50mb and for some reason the current software on my Kindle won’t let it mount on my desktop as a device.
I spent some time last weekend reacquainting myself with the Linux command line, learning nano (my heart will always belong to vim, but I’m trying new things), and building a super basic home server, samba server, and trying (and failing) to get a media server that I don’t need (Plex FTW) up and running.
I have just realized that there are a lot of parentheticals in this post. I’m acknowledging that right now, just so it isn’t weird if you’re like “wow that’s a lot of parentheticals and it’s kind of strange that you aren’t acknowledging it.”
Playing with the Pi has been a lot of fun. It’s quite powerful, especially for its size, and there’s something super satisfying about investing less than $90 to have a full on computer with a ton of storage (thank you, inexpensive 64GB USB drive) that is portable.
I haven’t gotten into the Arduino, yet, because whenever I open the box and see all the wires and electronics, I panic and close it.
Which brings me to the point of this dumb post: for all you nerds out there who have built stuff or made neat projects with one or both of these things: what do you recommend? I’m pretty competent and I can follow directions pretty well. I’d really dig it if you guys filled up my comments with links to tutorials, examples of your own projects, and other recommendations for cool things that I can make with this stuff. I also have a magnificent 3D printer that I can use to make cases, gears, and that sort of thing too, if a murderkillbot is a thing to be built.