Robert Blackwell said I should try Arduino
So I'm in Madison, Wisconsin for YAPC::NA 2012. Yesterday, I was supposed to meet up at one of the hackathons. I went to the Pyle building and searched the rooms and even accidentally went into brian's workshop (sorry brian!).
When I got to the hackathon room, it was pretty quiet but active. I had met Robert Blackwell two days prior at a dinner and had a lovely conversation and fun time with him. Robert had brought a ton of hardware (11 hours drive!!) and set up an entire room just so we could hack on hardware. Wait. Hardware?
At this point, I should probably mention I'm not a hardware guy. I can hook up the computer, change memory sticks, and I even replaced a CPU once - but that's pretty much it. Hardware is totally out of my league. I really don't understand it, nor was I ever really interested in it.
So I'm there and I just wanna sit and work on pointless boring stuff when Robert says "hey, how about trying Arduino?"
About half an hour into it, we've set up the Arduino management application ("omgJava"(tm)), an ethernet shield (read: component) and hooked it up to sounds (and later to lights), set up a web server on it and ran requests using cURL and set up bits on and off. It was awesome!
We started talking about how to hook up Dancer into it (decision: no need), and how to set up a system using Dancer (simple, useful, fun!) and general ideas of stuff you could do with Arduino (Robert has a ton of interesting ideas).
Conclusion: Arduino is fun, hardware can be really cool, and I'm gonna write a follow-up post on how a Dancer-Arduino door-bell could be done.
Oh yes 1: at the end, Robert actually gave me the Arduino to play with. Woohoo! Thanks Robert!
Oh yes 2: I have a picture of Dave Rolsky sleeping on a chair in the hardware hackathon room. Contact me at the conference if you wanna see it! :)