Open West Slides

I recently spoke at Open West about selling open source hardware on a small scale. Here’s my slides:

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The Future

I launched catskull.net just over 2 years ago. At the time, I had been blogging on svtble but was frustrated at the limited control I had over layout and content. The purpose of my blogging was primarily documenting various development activities I was engaged in primarily for my own reference, but also for others that may find useful. When catskull.net was launched I wasn’t working full-time/professionally as a developer. Because of that, I didn’t have nearly as much to document. Instead I naturally shifted towards documenting various hardware projects I built, reviews of tech, and personal narrative general blog posts. In September 2015, I began selling products for what is now known as Catskull Electronics. At that time, I only intended on selling one product and it made logical sense to me to have the store live on my personal blog. Since then, it’s expanded to over 10 unique products,...

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Qualtrics 'Opportunity'

Early this afternoon I received an email out of the blue from a Qualtrics recruiter. This came as a surprise to me, not only because it was unsolicited, but because the last time I interacted with Qualtrics their smarmy cuss of a recruiter wouldn’t even look at my resume because I hadn’t taken a very specific computer science class. It’s also very uncommon for me to get hit up by recruiters, since I’m not that big of a deal, and I also don’t have a linkedIn profile. Keeping with the company’s apparent love for the “brogramming” culture, the email was equal parts hysterical, sad, and insulting. Going against my better judgment, I decided to post the full content of the email with comments explaining how I felt about it. Hi David, A colleague of mine passed your resume to me today as she thought that you could be a great...

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Your Idea is Worthless

As an electronics hobbiest and software developer, I’m often approached by acquaintances with various ideas for apps, websites, or electronics. What’s interesting is that often people take very serious ownership of their ideas, as if they have some kind of inherit value. In reality, ideas are worthless. This post was not written in response to any specific experience I’ve had, but rather it’s just something I’ve been thinking about lately. About a year ago, I received an email from an old coworker. He put me in touch with a few students who were looking for a “hardware guy” to help them develop a commodity electronics project they had an idea for. I eagerly accepted their invitation to meet up and discuss it further, as I’m always interested and eager to help people out with hardware stuff and just to get to know people. Their idea was pretty simple really, it...

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PCB Manufacturing Review

Disclaimer: PCBWay gave me a $25 credit for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. They did not influence my opinions in any way. Since getting into printed circuit boards (PCBs) about two years ago, I’ve had boards made at three different companies: OSHPark, Dirty PCBs, and PCBWay. I think all are very good options for beginners, so this blog post will be discussing the pros and cons of them. Hopefully it will aid budding hardware hackers in their quest to get boards made! It should be noted that all three of these services are considered “PCB prototype” services. Meaning, if you want to make 100,000 boards, you may be better off going somewhere else. OSHPark I’ll be honest up front: this is my least favorite of the 3. Before you go grabbing your pitchforks, please hear me out. OSHPark is a PCB fabrication house based in the...

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