THINGM NEWSLETTER, JULY 13, 2010

CONTENTS
– LinkM on sale!
– Welcome Watterott!
– We will trade you free MinMs for your project documentation
– Open source BlinkM/LinkM code on Google Code
– Two simple BlinkM projects
– Information is a material

LINKMS ON SALE!
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LinkMs are HERE!

After a hilariously protracted manufacturing process (I think some parts must have crossed the Pacific four times), LinkM, our USB I2C adapter is on sale!

LinkM compact, inexpensive adapter that lets you program BlinkMs with no electronics or programming knowledge. Plug it in, plug in a BlinkM (or MinM or MaxM) into it, fire up the ThingM Multitrack Sequencer, and start programming color patterns. It requires no drivers, additional software or hardware.

It has a hard plastic case that protects it from the environment and it can power and synchronize groups of BlinkMs without being connected to a computer (just plug it into an iPod USB charger or something similar).

Find more information here: www.thingm.com/products/linkm/

Buy it from:

FunGizmos: icanhaz.com/linkm-fungizmos
Maker Shed: icanhaz.com/linkm-makershed
Sparkfun: icanhaz.com/linkm-sparkfun

WELCOME WATTEROTT
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We would like to welcome our newest distributor: Watterott Electronics, in the lovely German state of Thuringia.

www.watterott.com

DOCUMENT YOUR BLINKM PROJECT, GET A MINM
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We want to know what you (or anyone you know) has done with BlinkMs, MinMs or MaxMs!

Send us documentation of your working BlinkM project and we will send you a MinM (which normally sells for $13-20). The first 50 people who send in a description that meets the requirements below will get a free MinM. If we think a description is particularly awesome, we’ll put it in our projects gallery, give you full credit, and link it to your blog/FB/Twitter page.

Here’s what we need from you:

– A 500-word (or more!) step-by-step description of what you did. This doesn’t have the be the best documentation in the universe, but it should describe the project well enough so that someone could follow the steps and repeat it. For example, you could start with why you did this project, then describe what materials you used, what steps you followed, what you ended up with, and what you learned from it.

– At least 5 high-resolution (800×600 or more) images of your project. Ideally, these pictures will illustrate various parts of your description.

– Your address, so we can mail you a MinM.

Email the description, photos, and address to info@thingm.com.

This offer is good until August 13, 2010 or until we’ve gotten 50 complete descriptions, whichever comes first, so hurry! By sending us your description, you agree that we can use it in our project gallery and newsletter, but we promise to give you credit if we use it.

OPEN SOURCE BLINKM/LINKM CODE ON GOOGLE CODE
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We’re continuously developing small pieces of code to do interesting things with BlinkMs, and we decided to put much of this on Google Code, Google’s Open Source code repository.

You can find BlinkM example code, all the code for our TweetM Wifi Twitter client, and the experimental code for FreeM, our infrared BlinkM controller here:

code.google.com/p/blinkm-projects/

And you can find the source for LinkM firmware here:

code.google.com/p/linkm/

Since we’re firm believers in Open Source as a model, we encourage everyone to take a look at the code, play with it, change it and check it back in. We’d love to know what you make with it.

TWO SIMPLE BLINKM PROJECTS
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If you’re just starting out working with Arduinos and BlinkMs, it can be daunting to know where to begin. Here are two simple, well-documented BlinkM projects that create nice effects quickly while explaining a lot of the basics of using Arduinos and BlinkMs.

Ken Denmead, of Wired Geed Dad blog, wrote an excellent piece on how to make a lamp out of Legos, old CDs, an Arduino and (of course!) a BlinkM. It’s in his book (also called Geek Dad), and was reprinted by the Babble parenting blog:

www.babble.com/kid/activities/DIY-lego-lights-arduino-board/

Manuel Gonzalez wrote a very nice step-by-step tutorial on controlling a BlinkM with a photocell. Simple, straightforward and totally fun.

www.codingcolor.com/microcontrollers/using-an-arduino-to-control-a-blinkm-with-a-photocell/

INFORMATION IS A MATERIAL
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Mike recently gave a presentation at Dorkbot San Francisco, the monthly gathering of technology hackers, artists and designers. His presentation links the fall in price and power consumption of CPUs to the creation of object-oriented hardware, information as decoration and intelligent environments. It’s a big-thinky talk that explains where we think design with embedded processing is going.

The transcript of Mike’s talk, along with downloads of his slides is available on his blog:

www.orangecone.com/archives/2010/07/information_is_1.html

Posted in July 2010