postermmxvicom writes: I have a friend who is a mechanic, but enjoys tinkering with software and hardware as a hobby. I want to get him a gift that will either broaden his horizons or deepen his understanding in these fields. He is proficient at soldering components and removing them from circuit boards. His programming experience is with a wide variety of scripting languages. He recently used teensy and arduino boards and an accelerometer to add some bells and whistles to a toy car he made. He also used his knowledge to help a friend find and correct weaknesses in his shareware (that would have let 'customers' share more freely than intended). He is fascinated that people can create chips to modify existing hardware. Do you know of any good books or kits (or even tools of the trade) that would appeal to a hobbyist and allow him to grow? Is there anything that might also play off of his handyman/mechanic abilities?
postermmxvicom writes: My father has worked for decades as a carpenter and, like the village blacksmith, has large and sinewy hands. His pinky is larger in every dimension than most men's thumbs. With the downturn in the economy, he is retraining for a job which requires him to have a certain typing proficiency. He will eventually meet the standards, but I think his practice would be more fruitful if he had a keyboard which matched the scale of his hands as it is difficult for him to press just one button. I've looked for otherkeyboards, but they seem geared towards learning disabled or visually impaired people and I am unsure if some of their design decisions would do more harm than good in this situation. Does anyone have any experience with these products? Would it be best just to tough it out on a regular keyboard? Are there other, more practical solutions?