these are the posts tagged ‘tech’:


the arduino counter

this past christmas, i gave the boy an arduino microcontroller and an lcd keypad shield, which he has been programming into a postcard counter for postcrossing.


i love the simplicity behind the arduino concept, and its flexibility… there are so many things you can do with it – it’s like lego for grown-ups!

an italian friend showed us the beautiful documentary about arduino below, which shows not only arduino’s roots and inspiration, but also the little details – like how it took them one year to make the perfect blue for the board. it only made me like it more! :)

paternoster

yesterday, we had a quintessential german experience and rode a paternoster elevator. well, paulo rode it, because i was too chicken to give it a try… just looking at it go was making me all sweaty and anxious. if you don’t know what it is, watch the whole video below and behold the magic! :)

isn’t it awesome?! :D it was really exciting to finally see one actually working!

the paternoster is basically a cyclic elevator, consisting of a chain of compartments that move slowly in a loop without stopping.

they used to be somewhat common in europe, but have slowly been retired for security concerns. some people even say the elevator’s name, paternoster, comes from people praying for a safe ride :)

this one is located at the rathaus schöneberg (on the steps of which JFK proclaimed he was a berliner). the lady at the entrance was very helpful, and took my eager german attempts as an invitation to talk at length about the proper way to ride the elevator… i didn’t get most of it, but it was something like: go when it’s level. don’t hesitate. stand back. got it! in reality though, a never-stopping elevator is a bit more daunting than i had thought. granted, it’s slow, but still… while we were there, several people working at the town hall hopped in and out of it easily and smiled at our hesitation. i think i’ll go back someday and do it, but meanwhile, i’m happy to have seen it in person. who knows for how long they’ll still be around?

if you’re brave and in berlin, i’d highly recommend it! :)

fool me once twice…

“TechCrunch answers to no one. Your complaints fall upon deaf ears oh puny startups. We will select five of you to put on our pedestal, but only those five who will wash our feet and … you get the idea. We don’t need to stick to deadlines, yes we said the 17th, but it could be today, tomorrow, or a week from now and there is nothing you can do mwah ha ha ha.”

an ironic comment on the crunchies awards blog, after 2 missed deadlines (17th, 19th dec) for the release of the nominees. no explanations given, whatsoever.
not pretty, if you ask me.

ps – it’s not the fact they haven’t released the nominees yet. it’s the fact they had 82k votes and dare to miss 2 public deadlines without an explanation – knowing they have all those people waiting on them.