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I got my packages from Sparkfun and LaunchPad Electronics today. From Sparkfun I got a soldering station, solder, a brass sponge, an Arduino Uno, and the MIDI synth breakout board.

The Arduino Uno seems smaller than my last Arduino, but that doesn't make sense. The breakout board feels tiny. Here's a picture of things, with a penny for scale:

From ConcertinaProject

Added to the list of things to get from Unicorn tomorrow is a 3rd hand to hold the tiny boards when I solder to them. As you'll note, the breakout board lacks headers or leads. That's the other thing I bought. But it'll mean 20 solder joints, each of which is 0.1" from its neighbor. Hence the new temperature-regulated solder station. I remember the good old days when electronic components were big enough to see. Some of you may even remember the good old days when electronics were big enough to work on.

The Arduino is currently sending "Hello world!\n" over it's serial line at 9600baud with a half-second delay between characters repeatedly. Without more kit, it's about the limits of what is useful to do with this thing. I can blink one built-in LED, or I can send stuff over the serial line. It makes me wish I could find my Arduino Starter Kit box, since that has components and having this thing sit here sending "Hello world!\n" makes me wanna play.

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Shitfire, I remember when electronics were made out of glass, and got hot and glowed orange when turned on!

many of them still work. Real radios glow in the dark.

They all do. Some of them glow because of hot filaments, and some of them glow because of LED displays, but they all glow :-D

When I was a kid, I had a classic five-tube Philco with a brown bakelite case, on the nightstand next to my bed. When I grew up and became a radio engineer, I got to meet and work with some of the people who had warped shaped my personality with their voices in the dark (most notably Jean Shepherd, Long John Nebel, and Murray "the K" Kaufman).

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