I’ve dealt with software for a long time, over twenty years. Software is quite simple really when you know the basics but to people totally outside of it, it no doubt looks like magic. I’ve always wanted to learn more about hardware. I remember buying an electronics book whilst in Japan but did nothing with it. A short while ago I picked up a starter Arduino kit.
Arduino is (to quote the site) an
open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.
The kit linked to above from oomlout.co.uk contains everything you need although having done the first couple of exercises I let it drop due to pressure of work. I picked it up again recently and made my first real project. It’s actually nothing. It’s an Arduino linked to a LCD (buy that separately from Oomlout) and a temperature sensor. It displays the temperature.
Putting it together was simple using the Oomlout guides for each piece. What was more important for me was understanding how a circuit gets wired up and how to use different components together. In terms of complexity this is very very simple but seeing something in front of me working that I put together has really given me a kick. Hey, little things make me happy!
More importantly it’s made me realise not to think things are complex just because I don’t understand them. That mass of wires looks difficult but they’re all pretty understandable very quickly.