Yes, I did it again. Needed a 25 cent Molex connector and while browsing the electronics supply store I bumped into a rack with Arduino stuff. Maybe it was the Buddhist music playing in the background (the owner of the store is a devout Buddhist and only meditative music is played in the background), but I suddenly felt the urge to buy one. Now remember, I have a love-hate relationship with computers. I prefer having nothing to do with them, but since I cannot avoid them I just go with the flow. Apart from that, I never really got the coding bug.

bx2abt-duemilanoveBut for some reason the urge was too strong this time. And so I spent 15 bucks on a Arduino Duemilanove and 3 bucks on two add on boards: a 3 color LED and an analogue temperature sensor. Not much money to try it out and if I don’t like it then no big loss. Because of the name alone you should buy one, too. Can you name me an electronics product with a sexier name than Duemilanove??? And it just means 2009!!! Sometimes I wish I married an Italian girl, then I would be living in Italy now and be immersed in that wonderful language every day.

Back home I found out that installing the IDE was a simple “sudo apt-get install arduino” and I was connected. It took me all of 15 minutes to get the 3 color LED blinking and I was hooked. This is not difficult at all and a lot of FUN! Now it’s not that I have all the time in the world to start learning to write sketches now. Far from it, I’m as busy as ever. But after introducing the Arduino to my 11 year old son he started playing with it and it took him an hour to make the LEDs blink his name in Morse code (because that’s the only Morse code he knows). This might turn into a nice father-son play-thing and who knows, maybe I finally start to get the coding bug.

Hans "Fong" van den Boogert, BX2ABT, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Taiwan. Contact him at [email protected].

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