Last night I shared some pictures from my travels in England on Show and Tell. Here is a recap for those who missed it!
Ada Countess of Lovelace
London was the home of Ada, Countess of Lovelace, the first person to describe an algorithm for use on a general purpose computer (a mechanical one at the time) and Adafruit’s namesake. So, since I was in London, I went to find the place she lived. Luckily, many buildings are marked with information on blue plaques about famous people who had lived and worked in different buildings. This is the home of Ada, Countess of Lovelace (aka Ada Lovelace).
The next day before Show and Tell I headed out to Reading to visit the folks at rLab, the Reading makerspace. Thanks to Jeremy for the invite!
Before open night at the makerspace, Jeremy arranged a visit to the Reading Buses depot. There they organize and maintain (like the mechanic Zara with the orange hair) the bus system. That’s not all they do at the depot, they also develop and design new features for buses! They showed us a number of things they’ve done including light up logos on the bus front, wood floors, group seating on couches, usb chargers at every seat, free wifi, and leather trimmed seats. They are working with rLab to open an experimentation space in the offices and house a large 1 meter x 2 meter 3D printer in the shop. Reading Buses is also hosting an open data hackathon this weekend.
After the bus tour we grabbed dinner and headed back to rLab for their weekly Wednesday open night where non-members can come hang out and see the space. There I got a tour of the place including the machining work area (pictured below), laser cutter room and electronics area. I showed off all of the different Adafruit boards I had brought with me including my Feather keyboard. Other members had their own projects including the PIC based processor (6502 for example) emulator pictured below.
Overall, I enjoyed meeting up with the rLab members and seeing how vibrant their hackspace is. In London I saw a canal boat with a sign that said “We don’t make things” and thought they need to visit rLab. They have around 100 members all making things.
After visiting rLab I headed back to London. London has a somewhat famous phrase “Mind the Gap” to warn people about the gap between the platform and train.
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.