Embedded systems podcast?

April 23, 2013

At the embedded systems conference, Star Simpson, Jen Costillo, and I did a talk called Start Tinkering. The goal was to get people interested in doing hobby projects: why we do it and how to get into it. We did a radio show, I announced at the inaugural podcast.

But if it is the inaugural, that indicates there would be more podcasts. So what would we do podcasts about?

This one was very high level, an introduction to getting involved. I think I'd want to do a deeper dive into technical things, but still with a hobbyist bent.

I'd like to have a podcast that was just Jen and me, getting a box from Amazon that contains an Arduino and maybe one other board (accelerometer? ThingM LED?). We'd chat and open the box and download the software to make Arduino work. We'd do the normal Hello World to make the LED on the board work (that code is included when you install the compiler), and then change it so the LED blinks at a different rate and all the stuff we'd want to do to get started. Then we'd make the other board (accelerometer? LED?) work to show a few more things. Then, I think we'd rip the Arduino part off and treat it like an Atmel processor. Jen and I would chat over all of this, talking about what we were doing, talking about why we'd do this instead of that, mentioning AVR Freaks and other helpful communities.

I suppose we could do this with Raspberry Pi as well. Oh, MBED, XPresso and MSP430's cheapest board as well. It could be a segment “box to xyz”

And I'd like to do an interview with Jeri Ellsworth, asking her about what she's done and what's she planning. Actually, I'd like to interview all my friends first- Phil over at Weekend Engineering would have a lot of interesting things to say, especially about designing for consumer products. My husband could talk about FDA and UIs and embedded systems. Star could come on and talk about TacoCopter (she's locationally challenged so having her be a regular part might be difficult).

Maybe we could do a radio show of teaching someone to solder. Or talking about software design.

We'll need theme music, I think. And editing software. And good mics. And time. Lots of time. That may be the most difficult part.


  1. Go for it!

    I’d love to listen to any of those topics!

    And I’m happy to not care about theme music, edited audio, or good mics – just put something out there and see what happens!

    I enjoyed your book, and now I’m looking forward to your podcast!

  2. Thanks for dropping by. Jen and I have been discussing it further and we’re sorting out the details. If you’ve got ideas about what you’d want to hear, let us know.

    Some other segments I’ve been pondering: “Beginner learns X” where we talk a beginner through different things, letting them fail a little, helping them through the tough spots. Already, though, I can think about next April Fools where “Beginner learns where the fire extinguisher is”. Oh, maybe we could do that for Fourth of July because I can’t wait to blow up some capacitors.

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