We held our third Coffee Break at the pleasant Cafe Delirium. We had enough people show up that we may have to consider a location that can accommodate more people for next time. We forgot to take pictures again, but I did try to do a better job of taking notes.
- Pat brought his Arietta board to show us. He had attached a proximity detector on to the I2C bus. The proximity detector has a range of 5mm - 100mm. He is investigating incorporating the detector into his pick and place machine (previously discussed here and here).
- Pat also mentioned a youtube video which gave what he felt was an elegant explanation for capacitors in series. (I'm still tracking down that video, so I'll try to update this page when I get a link.)
- We briefly discussed the pros and cons between Xilinx and Altera FPGA development tools and their different soft CPU cores.
- We also talked about a desire to learn more about Linux containers and web development frameworks. Charles is using some of these things in his work, and utilized containers in the IPython notebook demo he gave to the group.
Michael thought to bring with him several examples of items he had printed from his 3D printer. He has been finding many uses for it.
- He discussed some of the pros and cons of the designs that can be found on Thingiverse.
- He prefers to use Thingiverse for inspiration for creating his own designs as he has found he often cannot use the designs straight from the site.
- He mentioned that he has discovered the importance of the interaction of the slicer software and the printer control software, and he has learned a lot about the work flow for 3D printing.
- Michael pointed out that the company that produces his printer has just announced a smaller scale printer: Printrbot Play.
- We also discussed vacuum tube audio amplifiers and restoring other older equipment. Bill has found he can often find many pieces of older test equipment that can be had cheaply and just needs a little effort to get working again.
- As we were discussing this, Chuck mentioned that at one time people actually installed phonographs into their cars. Something that most of us did not realize, and we were astounded that people would actually play their records while driving down the road. Virginia later dug up some internet evidence of these entertainment systems.
That's everything from my notes, and I know these are just the highlights. If I've left anything out you'd like me to include, please don't hesitate to mention it.
I think everybody had a good time. The coffee breaks make a great opportunity for pleasant, wide ranging conversations. Thank you to everybody who came out. And if you couldn't make it, we hope to see you next time!