It all started with Chumby One
Being a programmer my whole live, I have never really touched the hardware. I have developed all sorts of Applications, Platforms, web pages, etc. Being fascinated in small and mini computers I found myself buying a Chumby One a few years ago. This rather useless device (for me) launched my interest in small computers and programming them.
The Raspberry PI came into my home
A few month later I bought a Raspberry Pi (Model B) and started developing an interface for my ADF-Scanner. I loved the scanner, but I hated to mount it to my laptop and spending an evening scanning papers coming in the last months. I wanted a solution that runs the scanner and uploads the generated PDF-Documents to my Home Server (QNAP NAS) so I could scan a paper every evening without hooking up USB cables. As a simple user interface I ordered a simple LCD-Screen, hooking it up to the Raspberry PI. I got results, but I really did not like it and it was very unreliable. The Raspi lost WLAN connectivity, crashed or stopped. I think it has been powering issues perhaps now fixed in B+. But even besides that programming the Raspberry PI did not made me happy. Why? Because I had to use the Linux Shell, because all just felt like programming ordinary Computers without learning anything new but being restricted to odd C++ Frameworks, etc… And I did miss my Cocoa Frameworks. When developing rather large scale applications I really miss the clean, fast and reliable Cocoa-APIs for Mac OS X or iOS Programming. I ended up implementing a small App on my rather old Mac Mini running fine till today.
Anyone else out there who is waiting for a small, cheap ARM-based Apple Device with GPIOs that can be programmed with Cocoa?
Arduino got my heart
A few months ago I discovered Arduino for me. I have heard of it a few times before. But I never really got behind the idea until I took the time to read a few articles about it. For anyone who does not know what Arduino is, I try to sum it up in a few sentences:
Arduino is a convention and a product. The Arduino products are small mini computers based around rather slow Atmel Microprocessors, ranging from 8 MHz around 70 MHz and memory measured in KB and not GB! But it’s also a convention in that everything around Arduino is Open Source and there are a lot of rules all Arduino devices follow – if a device follows there rules it is Arduino compatible and should run everything that has been developed for Arduino before by other groups or person that followed these rules. What makes Arduino even more great is that every schematic is open, so you can build your own Arduino compatible device from scratch if you follow the basic principles defined by Arduino.