Monthly Archives: May 2012

Introduction to Arduino Class this Saturday!

Hi, all.  I’m a little bit late with this, but, hey, I wanted to get it out there….

Coming up this Saturday, 1:00 p.m. at the Denver Hackerspace, I’m teaching the “Introduction to Arduino” class. (Click that link up there if you need a map or directions.)

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s Wikipedia’s first paragraph on the Arduino:

Arduino is a popular open-source single-board microcontroller, descendant of the open-source Wiring platform, designed to make the process of using electronics in multidisciplinary projects more accessible. The hardware consists of a simple open hardware design for the Arduino board with an Atmel AVR processor and on-board input/output support. The software consists of a standard programming language compiler and the boot loader that runs on the board.

In short, though, it’s an incredibly useful little critter for people who are looking to get started with a number of different kinds of hacking, including hardware setups, programming, art projects, costumery, and many others, really.

If I’ve intrigued you just enough to have some interest in joining us, feel free to just show up, there is no charge to attend and learn.  However, there are some recommendations, which I will list below:

  • If you have a laptop, bring it.
  • If you bring a laptop, and have time, download, and ideally, set up the software, from here:, although part of the class will, indeed, be to provide assistance with that.
  • Bring any Arduino hardware you already have, and other electronics, if you’ve got ’em, to connect up.  Yannow, blinky lights, buzzers, whatever.  We’ll find something cool to do.
  • There will be a few loaner boards, as well as, I hope, a few available for purchase, so come even if you don’t have your own hardware, to learn.

Please drop me a message, in whatever form you like, if you plan to attend, and don’t already have an Arduino of some sort, but would like to purchase one.  I intend to get several of these to make available for sale: Pricing is unknown yet, but should be at least a moderate discount from the price on the website, and definitely not more.

Crazy Addictive Chip Dip

Recently some friends ran into a dip I make occasionally.  It is crazy addictive, and ridiculously easy to make.  It’s a version of “French Onion” sour cream-based dip using good spices from Penzey’s.

I actually feel a little silly calling it a “recipe”, even, since it’s such a tiny collection of things, but I suppose that’s what a recipe is….  Anyway, here it is:

ACR0’s Chip Dip, as recently deployed at Denhac

  • Large tub o’ Sour Cream (I think it’s 16 ounces?  Might be 24.  I’ll look when I get home.  Heh.)
  • 4 Tablespoons Penzey’s Chip & Dip Seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons Penzey’s Toasted Dried Onion (the toasted part is important, that’s what gives the “French Onion” flavor)
  • Any other spices you might want to alter general flavor a bit.  I think I added a bit of Penzey’s garlic powder, just to kick it up.   Cayenne or other peppers are delightful.  Might even think about a bit of curry, just to send the flavor that direction.
  • Couple tablespoons “light” olive oil (whisked in to become mayonnaise-like)

Whisk everything together, until  spices and olive oil are thoroughly integrated.  Serve with your favorite chips or veggies.