MicroView: the Chip-sized Arduino Compatible with built-in OLED Display

Just backed this on Kickstarter: MicroView is an ATmega328P-based, Arduino-compatible DIP package with built-in 64×48 OLED display. A beefier chip might have been nice, a la Teensy, but the 328 should be plenty for most projects, and really this OSHW project is about giving you that integrated display, as well as widgets to help you leverage it in just a few lines of code. Backers around the world can get their hands on one for just $45 shipped, or $55 for one MicroView plus USB-Serial Programmer (looks like a nice little unit, and more fun than fiddling with an FTDI Friend and half a dozen wires, so I went for it). SparkFun are handling manufacturing and fulfillment, so I’ll be looking out for a little red box sometime in August!

First Impression: Automatic Smart Driving Assistant

I had been keeping an eye on Automatic Labs’ Automatic Smart Driving Assistant for some time, after seeing their announcement of IFTTT support and a $20 discount on Best Buy’s eBay store, I decided to take the plunge. Despite their Android app still being in beta, it is quite functional, and other than their web site omitting my car from the list of supported vehicles (which proved inaccurate), the process from discovery to installation and setup was a fairly smooth one.

The first “trip”, however, did not seem to “do anything” – there were no audio alerts, and the app didn’t seem to indicate that anything was “happening”. [Update: Automatic Support got back to me in < 24 hours and explained this was due to a firmware update in progress] Toward the end of my second trip, however, I did finally notice a “hard brake” alert, and upon arriving, found that both trips were logged to my phone after all. The trip summary with MPG, cost, “driving feedback” and a little route map was exciting to see. Though that is really all it does for the most part, other than summarizing the same data each week, as well as diagnosing “check engine” lights should they happen to arise.

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Hieroglyphics X Hundreds POST 6th Year Anniversary Mixtape

Hieroglyphics X Hundreds POST Mixtape

DJ Icewater unites Bay Area hip-hop legends Del, Casual, Souls Of Mischief and others from the Hieroglyphics crew in commemoration of The Hundreds San Francisco’s 6-year anniversary:

Hieroglyphics X Hundreds POST 6th Year Anniversary Mixtape

[Update 2014.03.28: In other Hiero news, join A-Plus, Phesto, Tajai, and Opio as they look back at the past 20 years: 93 'Til Now: An Oral History with Souls Of Mischief]

[soundcloud url="https://soundcloud.com/hieroglyphics-1/hieroglyphics-x-hundreds-mix"]

The Elephant on Your Wrist: Evernote for Pebble

The launch of the Pebble appstore has brought Kickstarter’s most funded project of all time dramatically closer to the promise made to backers almost two years ago. With Evernote for Pebble, the wearable evolves from pretty face to legitimate business tool.

Evernote for Pebble allows users to browse Notebooks, Reminders, Checklists, Shortcuts, Tags, “Nearby” Notes (based on current location), and Saved Searches and view basic, raw note text. Formatting is not preserved – this has been problematic for me since I tend to use strikethrough to cross items off of lists – though I may start using more Checklists since these are the one type of content that can be edited right from the Pebble. The app is being marketed as v1.0, but at times feels more like a beta. I have 1000s of Notes, and dozens of Notebooks, so may be an edge case, but I encounter frequent “Loading…” messages while waiting for content to be displayed, and even the occasional “App crashed” – but Pebble users, like any earlier adopters, are used to the occasional hiccup. Such convenient access to the immense body of information that is my Notes is of tremendous value, and less-than-stellar performance and the occasional crash is a small price to pay. Evernote and Pebble are an obvious symbiotic pair, each of whose utility and enjoyment are increased by the other.

Anamanaguchi and Sabrepulse at the Blind Pig

Tonight at The Blind Pig: Anamanaguchi & Sabrepulse & TusksI had already bought my tickets and was greatly looking forward to seeing Anamanaguchi at the Blind Pig, but the surprise addition of Sabrepulse to that night’s lineup was like (A Very Chiptune) Christmas come early!  After an atypically long (and freezing cold!) line, all the way around the corner and down Washington, and an uncharacteristically unfriendly and drama-filled experience at the door, we (well, some of us
( ̄へ ̄)) made it in just before Sabrepulse was about to start:

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I Have Forgiven You Pebble

Almost seventeen months after backing Pebble on Kickstarter, and two and a half after the initial (severely delayed) unit died within hours of arrival, I finally have a working replacement!  The RMA process was actually pretty impressive – a little over a week from filling out the form to holding a replacement in my hand (or…wearing it on my wrist!).  Despite the initial disappointment, I’m quite pleased with the device now – controlling music while driving and being able to see who’s calling when I’m not next to my phone so that I can decide whether or not to run for it is just as good as it was in my imagination for the year and a half during which the Pebble existed as no more than a figment of it.  It still seems rather limited and beta-y, but ignoring the wait and other tribulations, I’m happy enough with its current out-of-the-box functionality, and look forward to finally getting a chance to hack on it! (⌒o⌒)

Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale

Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo TaleAttack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale is the latest 3DS eShop title from Japanese indi game dev Level–5. A cross between a Sierra graphic adventure game (The Adventures of Willy Beamish in particular comes to mind) and a Miyazaki film, it tells the story, over a series of “episodes,” of Sohta, whose newfound home in an otherwise quiet rural town is subject to weekly visits from kaiju (giant monsters), not all that dissimilar from the ones in his favorite TV show. Like Journey, this is a game as much about emotions and visuals as the gameplay itself – if not more. At  Read More…

Disappointing Pebble is Disappointing

My excitement about the Pebble watch had already started to wane long before the unapologetic lump of plastic and disappointment finally made its way to my wrist. I received shipment notification over 13 months after backing the Kickstarter project, yet this was preceded by numerous milestones of disenchantment. The failure to make good on the original September 2012 delivery estimate was to be just the first of many upsets. The device being available for retail purchase in Best Buy before mine had even shipped was perhaps the most bold, in that it required a decision to be made by Pebble to intentionally mistreat original backers (unlike for example OUYA, which I backed a month after Pebble and which I received only 3 months after the original estimated delivery date (over a month before Pebble), and as promised by OUYA, before they started selling in retail stores). It was at that point that I became completely disillusioned with the product and with the team, no longer anticipating the watch’s arrival with excitement, nor bothering to be offended by subsequent delays and other missteps.

When it arrived, I opened the box more out of morbid curiosity than of hope that after Read More…

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for Wii U and 3DS

I Love Poogie Guild CardI don’t really consider myself a big gamer – not necessarily by choice, as much as due to lack of time – but there are a handful of franchises that I care about (for some reason mostly belonging to Capcom), and the Monster Hunter series is certainly among my favorites.  I first discovered this universe by a very strange means: merchandise of a relatively minor character from the series – the Poogie.  This lead me to Monster Hunter Freedom Unite for the PSP, after which I eagerly anticipated the 2010 release of Monster Hunter Tri for Wii.  As much as I loved Tri, I didn’t get very far into it due to the limited amount of time that our TV is not already in use for something else, vs. being able to pop open my PSPgo whenever I had a few spare moments.  As such, the ability to transfer MH3U save game data between the 3DS and Wii U versions Read More…

Nexus 7 Dock: Can You Pogo Or What?

I’m really into docks. If I get a device, and they make a decent dock for it, I buy! Glancing across my desk right now I see an iPad dock, an S III dock, one for my 3DS XL…my PSPgo…my Fujitsu U810…and several others for devices I don’t even use any more! Until recently, however, there was a glaring exception – the continual absence of the Nexus 7 Dock forced me to improvise – combining a generic portable stand with the standard USB charger. I wanted to keep my N7 docked in order to use the Currents Daydream to supplement my Chumby/Dash and G19 information feeds – but the pathetic truth is that while I had found myself favoring the N7 over the iPad for casual web browsing etc. since its arrival, the meager chore of having to continually unplug it and plug it back in had me favoring the slightly less tedious action of lining up the iPad’s connector with its dock lately.

I would regularly search to see if there were any developments on the release of the Nexus 7 Dock, leaked so long ago, yet with no news or release date mentioned. Then they started to show up on Amazon, but well above list price – but one day, when I’d all but given up, I finally stumbled upon an article announcing their availability, dated only one day prior – with a link to the Google Play product listing! But, it had sold out – in less than one day (in fact, almost immediately!). I kept Read More…

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