…just holding these calipers and I’m back at Burning Man in 2011 with my face painted in Adafruit PCB blue, standing across the swirling sand floor, trying to put a laser cut Arduino mount on a pair of racing handlebars with their brake lines cut. There’s a fire burning in the desert night and I’m trying to get the distance between two mounting holes by the light of that burning fire and the stars that twinkle like LED sequins on a pulse pattern.
Across the dark desert floor there’s another group, all in red, trying to make the same mounting hole measurements. But they can’t in the blistering darkness because their CR2032 batteries ran out or they dropped their lower-grade calipers and their rack and pinion became unaligned while my capacitive sensor has worked continuously despite multiple drops and desert battles since the day I got them mailed, overnight UPS, from the Adafruit store.
That night, we passed around the calipers like they were a bottle of campfire whiskey and the sand swirled and the ride began and the night’s quiet blasted amidst the rhythmic wheels. And I shouted with my calipers pointed toward the heavens, as night yielded to morning light, “I have measured to the hundredth millimeter and I shall measure with accuracy again!”
I hold the same calipers now, sitting at home, measuring pieces of fruit. Why?
Because some products just take you somewhere. And there are words, since that day, that I live by:
We have like 2000 products now. Adafruit’s not just a SpokePov, a MintyBoost, and three people like it used to be. And while there’s probably some guy named, like, Kyle who’s memorized every PID, every product name, and everything we’ve ever discontinued, we don’t expect all of you to be as awesome as Kyle is. That’s why we’re starting this – because there are products in our catalog that are still exciting, still useful, and are still things that you probably want to add to your shopping carts but just don’t know it yet. We’re calling it Journey to the Center of the Catalog – because we like Jules Verne and we like to pretend, sometimes, that Adafruit’s a giant unstoppable volcano with a bunch of really cool dinosaurs inside of it.