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Comment Re:$4.30 MSP430 Launchpad for starters (Score 1) 228

I started with arduino, and I had no microcontroller experience. The community, examples from the absolute ground up, and vendor (sparkfun, adafruit, etc) support is excellent. It all makes for a really enjoyable experience. Digikey and mouser get you parts fast. Ebay and random asian websites get you parts slow but cheap. If you want graphics (eg. TV, or monitor) though, best go with the pi. A pi costs less than an arduino graphics shield. Ethernet is doable at least.

Totally agree, Sparkfun and Adafruit are certainly Hobby friendly, I am still tempted to do some AVR work as they had a great tut on Sparkfun... Which reminds me of another reason I decided to dip my toes with the Launchpad - I do have a Pi and its GPIO voltage is the same as the MSP, so they seam to be a good fit. I haven't actually interfaced them quite yet, so I could still end up releasing the magic blue smoke.

Comment $4.30 MSP430 Launchpad for starters (Score 5, Informative) 228

I recently starting wanting to fiddle with Micro controllers for this or that and stumbled across the Texas Instruments Launchpad. For $4.30 delivered (yes including shipping world wide) you get a complete development board, 2 chips, some headers and the USB cable. TI have a free IDE you can program it with, or if you are on Linux you can use the MSPGCC command line tools, which I use. Its ultra low power - 3.3V - which means if you want to interface to 5V systems you may have to do a little homework, but other than that, their is no risk in ordering one to try out with the money you would have wasted on Starbucks. Order directly from Ti -

Comment Drupal is a good start (Score 1) 161

Starting of with Drupal is probably good. It should more than handle the load on without too much trouble if you need more horsepower. You can pretty easily setup up and configure users to add content and its not exceptionally difficult to code extensions or find a developer to hack something together. I think the fact that power users can make it do 80% of the work means you will save time on all but the most complex stuff.

Comment Re:A few things (Score 1) 151

I am fond on SVN and we use it at my current company - badly. If you have a choice I recommend git for a number of reason. 1) Git is way faster (on the command line) 2) Git has a single folder '.git' to do its bidding at the top of the project tree ( no .svn folder in every folder) 3) You don't need a central server. Each workspace is interested in itself and you tell it about other repositories. Typically you have an Origin for your code which is kind of like a central server but is just another folder. 4) Git commands and errors are way clearer than SVN - IMO You probably want to separate the tool out from the deployment plan. SVN or GIT can work equally as well for deployment, but you need a good plan. When it is well thought out golives are fun - not stressful. Git is cooler, they even wrote a song about it

First Measurement of Magnetic Field In Earth's Core 34

An anonymous reader writes "A University of California, Berkeley, geophysicist has made the first-ever measurement of the strength of the magnetic field inside Earth's core, 1,800 miles underground. The magnetic field strength is 25 Gauss, or 50 times stronger than the magnetic field at the surface that makes compass needles align north-south. Though this number is in the middle of the range geophysicists predict, it puts constraints on the identity of the heat sources in the core that keep the internal dynamo running to maintain this magnetic field."

AMD Demos Llano Fusion APU, Radeon 6800 Series 116

MojoKid writes "At a press event for the impending launch of AMD's new Radeon HD 6870 and HD 6850 series graphics cards, the company took the opportunity to provide an early look at the first, fully functional samples of their upcoming 'Llano' processor, or APU (Applications Processer Unit). For those unfamiliar with Llano, it's 32nm 'Fusion' product that integrates CPU, GPU, and Northbridge functions on a single die. The chip is a low-power derivative of the company's current Phenom II architecture fused with a GPU that will target a wide range of operating environments at speeds of 3GHz or higher. Test systems showed the integrated GPU had no trouble running Alien vs. Predator at a moderate resolution with DirectX 11 features enabled. In terms of the Radeon 6800 series, board shots have been unveiled today, as well as scenes from AMD's upcoming tech demo, Mecha Warrior, showcasing the new graphics technology and advanced effects from the open source Bullet Physics library."

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