What we think, what we like, what we make, and how we make it.
Salim Fadhley has taken on the job of rewriting the basic Python blink(1) library we provided and making it so much more awesome. You can get it here: https://pypi.python.org/pypi/blink1
As he says: “This is a rewrite of ThingM’s original Python library. It includes the following modifications:
- 100% test coverage on all library components
- Python 3.x compatible
- Automatic installation via Python Package Index.
- Higher level control over the blink(1).
- Single implementation with pyusb, intended to be installed with admin access or virtualenv.”
He’s also added features like gamma correction and white-point correction. Salim has been pushing his changes to the official ThingM blink1 github and we’re very proud to have it as part of the official blink(1) software set.
Jay Collett used the .NET library created by Jean-Francois Talbot (also in the ThingM github) to build a nice & small system tray app that does exactly what he wants.
Read about it here:
Jay includes all the source code so you can see how it’s done and modify it to your own tastes.
One of the downsides you might say of the Blink1Control app is it attempts to address the needs of many different use cases. If you want something very specific, building your own custom thing is the way to go. This is why we like Open Source so much: it let’s people customize their products to fit their lives.
We just opened pre-orders up for blink(1) mk2, our awesome USB RGB LED notification light. We’re still fulfilling orders to our Kickstarter backers, but we expect to get all them out before June. Then we’ll start shipping pre-orders.
So if you’d like to pre-order your blink(1) mk2, visit: http://buy.thingm.com/blink1
And if you want a blink(1) mk2 before then, join us at Maker Faire! We’ll have a few for sale there.
It’s super small, about as big as your thumb, but bright enough to be seen across a room.
The blink(1) mk2 has two independently-addressable RGB LEDs, so you can assign different events to different sides of the blink(1).
Once again ThingM will be at Maker Faire. We’ll be in the Maker Shed, demoing our BlinkM family, as well as showing off what the new blink(1) mk2 can do. So. many. LEDs. And we’ll be just one of many showing off LED projects.
And for the first time outside of our Kickstarter, you’ll be able to get your own blink(1) mk2! We have a limited quantity on hand for the Shed and they’ll be stocking them for us. (Any backers reading this, yours are shipping now, but come visit us at the Faire if you want more)
Maker Faire Bay Area 2014 is May 17 & 18 at the San Mateo Event Center. It’s mind-blowing and fun.
Brett sent us a message with this cool Node.js add-on called “buildblink“. It’s a continuous integration build light so you can tell when your code builds break.
Different colour patterns can be configured. Default configuration follows the patterns below:
- Green Successful build
- Flashing Green (temporarily) Newly successful build
- Police Lights (temporarily) Newly failed build
- Cycle Green / Yellow Building & previous build was green
- Cycle Red / Yellow Building & previous build was red
Currently tested with one build, one light.
It currently works with TeamCity but he plans on adding support for Jenkins and Travis CI.
Check it out on npmjs.org.
The Gray Area Foundation For The Arts (http://www.gaffta.org/) had a workshop for teachers of middle school students. They created a nice gender-neutral bracelet for sports fans using BlinkM MinMs (http://minm.thingm.com/)
As Grace says:
“The workshop went well. I had two teachers as my students, one who teaches middle school and one who writes curriculum for a children’s camp. They were both very interested in the MinMs and their potential to be used in teaching. One issue that came up was that one of the teachers was trying to come up with a gender neutral design and decided to make a 49ers wristband and wanted the LED to flash red, then yellow. However, we realized that there was no way to create a true yellow. We were able to get around it by covering the LED with yellow felt, as you can see from the video.”
programming the minms
making the bracelet
the almost finished bracelet
We recently received a photo of sample BlinkMs made from a new manufacturer. They look pretty good. Yay!
The theme for the Caltech Entrepreneurs Forum’s November event was “The Internet of Things, Arduinos and the ‘Maker Entrepreneur’“.
Tod’s talk “Intro to the Arduino Entrepreneurial System” touched on all these topics. The entire event was a blast, including a wonderful talk about commercial making with open source by Quinn of QtechKnow.
Slides with notes and MP3 audio of the entire event are below.
BlinkM Smart LEDs (http://blinkm.thingm.com/) were used in this delightful motion-responsive installation created by a team of students for children to play with light at night.
For more information, see:
Original video from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAZRagPvK6c
Go grab the latest issue of Make Magazine! In addition to it having a wonderful run down of many of the different types of Arduino or Arduino-like boards out there, it also includes a project Mike & Tod created: CloudFridge.
CloudFridge makes your fridge door Internet-connected, creating a real-time graph of when and how long the door is open. Applications of this data could range from a simple fridge energy monitor to diet planning. But mostly it’s a demonstration of just how quickly one can go from idea to working implementation with tools such as Arduino, BlinkM, and Xively: we went from idea to working implementation in an afternoon.
We originally created this article over a year ago and its showing its age a bit (today the Arduino Yun would be a great alternative to what we used), but the techniques are still very valid. Thanks to the Make magazine staff for helping update the article in the light of the Pachube->Xively transition. And check out this awesome cute title graphic they made for the article.