Here at IEEE Spectrum, staffers routinely put Post-It notes on their doors and cubicles to let colleagues know they’re out. But you can’t slap a note on your door if you decide to work at home at the last minute—which, as I learned this winter, happens quite often when you have a very pregnant wife about to go into labor any instant.
That’s why I set out to replace those yellow sheets of self-adhesive stationery with something less, uh, analog—something that would allow me to post the updates electronically. An idea then popped up in my head: Twitter for my door.
It turns out to be a simple DIY project that an experienced hobbyist can complete in a few hours. Or if you’re me and this is your first serious hardware project, it might take you a couple of months and nearly drive you insane.
It worked out in the end. Now, when I’m home—or actually anywhere with my phone—I can send a tweet to a small LCD that hangs by my door, thus keeping my coworkers informed of my whereabouts. The LCD also shows current weather conditions in New York City; I thought my colleagues would appreciate this value-added service.
Adafruit + Instructables Make It Tweet Challenge We’re teaming up with Instructables to bring you the Make It Tweet Challenge. Ever wish you had a tweeting coffee pot that would announce via Twitter when a pot was ready? What about a potted plant that twittered when it needed to be watered? This is your chance to make it tweet! How can you win the Adafruit Make It Tweet Challenge? Submit a Photo, Step-by-Step or Video Instructable explaining how you made an object tweet. Create awesome photos, good documentation and clear steps for how your project works. Your creativity and ingenuity may rewarded by winning awesome prizes!
Eink, E-paper, Think Ink – Collin shares six segments pondering the unusual low-power display technology that somehow still seems a bit sci-fi – http://adafruit.com/thinkink
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.