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Power tools to the people

Pt 430

Power tools to the people.

ONE of the interesting things you’re likely to discover if you visit Australia’s first Mini Maker Faire, a free event that will take place at Swinburne University of Technology’s Hawthorn campus on January 14, is that while most of us haven’t been looking, some highly unusual things have been going on in this city’s kitchens, garages and workshops.

At its most obvious, the event is a showcase for the extraordinary phenomenon of high-tech do-it-yourself/do-it-with-others enthusiasm that was tapped, if not triggered, by the launch of O’Reilly Media’s Make magazine (makezine.com) seven years ago.

For a small but growing number of participants in activities such as Melbourne’s ”hacker space”, it has turned the once-exclusively commercial world of manufacturing into an international democratic movement.


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, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, 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.

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