The true test of a man’s patience is crimping pins onto the end of a cable that leads to building a custom serial cable—especially if it’s the first time you’ve even handled a serial cable in a decade. So as I searched under my desk, using my phone for a flashlight, I wondered whether I had finally found the IT project that would send me over the edge. On a recent day, I set out to turn my recently acquired vintage Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 100 computer into a working Internet terminal. And at this moment, I crawled on the floor looking for a DB-25 connector’s little gold pin that I had dropped for the sixth—or maybe sixteenth—time.
Thankfully, I underestimated my patience/techno-masochism/insanity. Only a week later, I successfully logged in to Ars’ editorial IRC channel from the Model 100. And seeing as this machine first saw the market in 1983, it took a substantial amount of help: a Raspberry Pi, a little bit of BASIC code, and a hidden file from the website of a certain Eric S. Raymond.
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.