Hacking the Holidays

IntelGalileo

One of my favorite things about the maker revolution is the availability of tools that a decade ago were out of reach of the average hobbyist. Sure, magazines like Nuts & Volts catered to the die-hard hobbyists, but before the internet, and before e-commerce it was difficult for the average guy to find the parts for their projects. It wasn’t just availability either, the price of these things was high. Development boards for microcontrollers cost upwards of $100 and more, and small parts often had a minimum order of 100 units.
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Your Young Scientist Will Love Playing in This Sandbox (App)!

Opening Screen

If you’ve got a young and budding scientist like I do, you may find yourself having to hit the internet for all kinds of questions — Why is the sky blue? How does a battery work? Can we make a volcano? (Yes, that last one came as a surprise.) My problem is that while I often enjoy sitting down and investigating hows and whys with my 7-year-old, I often wish he’d do a little self-study and digging. That isn’t always easy, however, when I limit his Internet access or if we lack the book on the subject-of-the day. My son likes to discover things by himself, and while I’ve done my best to put small kits and experiments in his reach, often times I just can’t sit with him 24/7 and monitor both his safety and his progress. But a new app is helping me with this problem… Continue reading

GeekDad Review: Aether Cone, a Futuristic Intelligent Music Player

Aether Cone speaker is portable

I’m a big music geek, someone who follows technology closely and a guy with an appreciation for premium sound and industrial design. I’m the curator of an ever-increasing collection of speaker docks and wireless speakers — always in search of a great listening experience. You can bet I jumped at the opportunity when GeekDad sponsor Aether offered to send me one of its Aether Cone wireless speakers. The Cone is billed as an intelligent music player, one that not only takes your voice requests, but learns your preferences. It looks like nothing else out there, too. I spent a few weeks getting to know the Cone. If you’re a serious music fan, someone with a keen interest in technology or you appreciate interesting design, the Aether Cone should definitely be on your wireless speaker short list. Continue reading

Meze Headphones Review and Giveaway (No, Really, You’ll Want to Enter!)

meze66classics-gloss001

I’m a fan of Meze Headphones, indeed a very big fan ever since Antonio Meze contacted us two-and-a-half years ago asking if we’d like to test his new line of high-quality and high-design headphones. Antonio has sent me four different sets now, and each one has been a winner, but the most recent are my favorite. Continue reading

New Kickstarter Alert — Bitsbox Teaches Kids Programming

Bitsbox

A few weeks ago my oldest son (age 7) came up to me and asked one of those questions that many parents dread — “Dad, can you teach me to program?” While I’m half-kidding, I’m also half-serous. I’m not a programmer! I have some training (mainly in college, but some self-taught) and I’m comfortable hunting down a book when I need it, but, when it comes to teaching my son, I’m really at a loss. What I’d like to do is find a way to make programming fun and interesting, but also something he can do on his own or at least with me watching over his shoulder but providing minimum assistance. Continue reading