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Product Reviews

Micro:bit Review

Posted by Jason Robinson on

It seems like everyone is launching educational boards to teach kids to code these days.  While many do an O.K. job, we really like the micro:bit from our friends at the BBC.  Yes, the BBC.  This isn't a pure hardware review of the micro:bit - we are more concerned with how why we plan to use it. As always we have to start with our disclaimer: we paid wholesale for our micro:bit boards so this review is brought to you in part by honesty. I think the easiest way to describe the micro:bit is something between an Arduino and a Raspberry...

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Suckit Dust Boot Review

Posted by Jason Robinson on

The Suckit Dust Boot is a solid addition to your home CNC setup.  Our friends north of the border have done an excellent job designing a product that makes life easier and actually safer when it comes to your next home CNC project. Full Disclosure: Although we received a modest discount on our Dust Boot - we still paid near retail for the device - as shipping from Canada can be expensive.  We didn't get it for free so rest assured this (like all of our other reviews) is our no B.S. assessment. In all, it took 10 minutes for...

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Onion Omega2 Initial Review

Posted by Jason Robinson on

Definite Positives: Price point for board and expansions are great Console GUI is great way to manage the Omega2 Form factor - its tiny even with expansions Webcam addition was one-click Opportunities for Improvement: There are still some bugs in the system - its not ready for mass market just yet The forum is helpful, but it can be daunting to find your particular issue Security on the device is iffy right now - lots of default passwords that are difficult to change Recommended for: Intermediate to advanced DIY'ers Users who are comfortable with SSH, Linux and Command Line interfacing...

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Sparkfun PiRetroCade Review

Posted by Jason Robinson on

The Sparkfun PiRetroCade lets you reclaim your youth without the need to make change for a dollar.  After about an hour building and one quick retrofit we were back in 1989 playing video games like we were at a sleepover. Pros: Using the box as a joystick is a perfect. Great stepping stone into building a full-size or table top arcade machine. Assembly is straight forward. RetroPi "OS" is a great as a standalone and adding ROMs is super easy. Cons: The wire lengths are not forgiving. You can easily make a rat's nest in a box. As a child...

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Adafruit's Circuit Playground (Developer Edition) Review

Posted by Jason Robinson on

Adafruit's Circuit Playground is a cost-effective way to dip your toe into the world of embedded electronics.  On-board sensors and switches allow for beginners to learn how to pull information from inputs without having to worry about wiring.  Ten Neopixels (RGB LEDs) allow for visually expressing sensor inputs or just being generally creative with color outputs.  This is a great board to start with and for $20 you can't argue with the value-for-money. Best Suited For: Beginners who can easily find and interpret documentation. Wearables enthusiast looking for more power/bells/whistles than Adafruit Flora or Gemma. Seasoned pros looking for a...

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