The Hobbyist and Arduino

In the early stages of development, a tech product like Stick Computers tends to attract a certain category of buyer. The first adopters are generally considered very technical or hobbyist type people. As the product category matures, the user base widens to include all sorts of participants, including the most novice.

If I’m being honest, the first couple of generations of Stick Computers that came on to the market were not very good. There were exceptions, of course, such as the old reliable MK808’s. But many of the others were simply not good. Often they suffered from shoddy manufacturing and inferior components.

Early adopters look past all that.  We’re willing to put up with the minor inconvenience of perhaps having to return an item to get one that’s working properly.  Or, we don’t mind flashing the BIOS to get the latest custom ROM from one of our hobbyist compadres. The main thing is that we have a new gadget that fills a need for whatever it is that drives our inspirations.

Now that the Stick Computer and TV Box market has matured, it’s attracted a whole new type of buyer.  People today are looking for off-the-shelf solutions. They want something that runs reliably out of the box and is pre-loaded with loads of applications specifically tailored to their needs, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime.

In contrast to the maturing consumer Stick Market, we have the single-board hobbyist computer.  While not exactly a Stick or TV Box, they can be configured and used that way.  I consider them to be a close enough relative to invite to our Thanksgiving gathering. You might say that the single board has become the new version of the earliest Stick Computers because it’s aimed squarely at the hobbyist.

The difference with single board computers is they don’t have any pretense about crossing over into the general computing arena.  They are bare metal and wires and you better expect to get your hands dirty if you’re going to get involved.  It’s the kind of throwback that gets early adopters and hobbyists like us excited.

I’ve already written about the Raspberry Pi.  I think the Pi is the standard for single board hobbyist when it comes to what I’d call the “soft” applications.  If you want to set up a web-attached device, a server, a media center, or any number of pre-determined varieties of applications, then the Pi is your choice.

With the Pi, you still get to fiddle around with casings and shields and attached devices, but you will likely spend more time in getting your software setup than working the hardware.

On the other side of the single board spectrum is the Arduino.  Arduino is an open-source platform that features both hardware and software.  Arduino is more about the IOT.  Since the Arduino is closer to being a pure controller than a general purpose computer, it is designed for real-world connectedness.

Arduino boards are able to read input from sensors, a fingerprint, or even a Twitter message – and turn it into an output – activating a motor, turning on an LED, or publishing something online. These things are designed specifically for the hobbyist to create products that interact with the world.

Over the years Arduino has been used in thousands of projects, from everyday things like environmental monitoring to complex solutions such as 3D printers and complete security systems.  From it’s humble beginnings in an Italian bar, it has become the choice of a multitude of hobbyists and professionals for experimentation and technical solution.

Getting started with Arduino is easy.  All you have to do is purchase one of the boards from a recognized maker and download the necessary software.  Of course you can greatly simplify things by getting a ready made kit with all of the necessary parts.

Whatever you choose, you’ll find that working with Arduino can be as simple or detailed as you want to make it.


Elegoo UNO Project Super Starter Kit

Product Highlights

  • Free PDF tutorial(more than 22 lessons) and clear listing in a nice package.
  • The most economical way to starting Arduino programming for those beginners who are interested.
  • LCD1602 module with pin header (no need to be soldered by yourself).
  • This is the upgraded starter Arduino kit with power supply module, 9V battery with DC .
  • High quality Arduino kit with UNO R3,100% compatible with Arduino UNO R3

There are a lot of Arduino kits out there, so it’s difficult to choose.  What you’ll find with this kit is a whole lot of components for a very low price.  If you’re just starting out, you’ll have everything you need to get started with a project in minutes.

What Customers Say:

When I ordered this, I figured it would be some cheap little (you get what you pay for) kit. I figured it would at least be good enough to dip my hand into the Arduino world. Then when it arrived, I quickly realized this isn’t some little makeshift kit. This project kit comes with everything you could need to get you started with learning arduino.

This is a great kit with a lot of cool sensors to get you started. I recommend pairing this with an acrylic baseplate so you can mount your Uno R3 next to a breadboard instead of chasing it all over the work bench.

II made a plan to learn Arduino. Wasn’t sure where to start and saw this kit. I figured it would be cheap or funky, wow was I wrong. The kit is packaged in a small box but it explores to so many projects. The code provided on the Elegoo site works perfect. I downloaded several sketches (programs) for the various lessons and every one worked straight out of the box.