Well, this is "Cool Beans" news indeed, because I just saw the Hands-On Speed Training schedule for the forthcoming DESIGN West Conference and Exhibition.
Each of these 45-minute sessions features some sort of development platform that the students get to keep so they can continue experimenting at home after the conference.
[Click here to register for DESIGN West 2013, April 22-25 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. Options range from an all-access pass to free expo admission].
The really great thing is that this hands-on speed training is open to all attendees, even those holding FREE Expo Only passes (Click Here to bounce over to the registration page to peruse and ponder the various passes).
First of all, on Tuesday April 23, we have the Learn the Four Basic Concepts of Arduino in 45 Minutes hands-on training provided by the guys and gals at SparkFun. This training will be repeated five times throughout the day, thereby making it easier to arrange your schedule. I'm planning on attending this one myself. Check out my blog SparkFun's going to teach me all about the Arduino!
Also on the Tuesday, we have the Program Your Very Own Wireless Mesh Networked Propeller Beanie Hat! In this case, the development platform giveaway is a wireless mesh networked propeller beanie along with a wireless USB stick to plug into your host PC (notepad computers will be provided for the training). Check out my blog Atmel MCU to power world's first wireless mesh propeller beanie network. Once again, this is repeated five times throughout the day, so you can pick a session that doesn't interfere with whatever else you want to see at the conference.
On Wednesday April 24 we have Learn MPLAB X, Microchip's Next-Generation IDE. My chum Joe Farr in the UK is a "black-belt" when it comes to using Microchip's PIC microcontrollers. Joe can have a small design prototyped (including designing and fabricating a PCB) in an afternoon. On several occasions, Joe has designed a board for me, so I think I'll need to take this training so that I'll be able to keep up with what Joe is doing and also so I'll be able to modify what he sends me.
Last but not least, on Thursday April 25 we have the Raspberry Pi and Gertboard Intro Workshop. The Gertboard is a new companion board that allows the Raspberry Pi to connect to the real world by converting analog signals to digital and back again. Did you know that the Raspberry Pi is a year old? Check out my blog The Life of (a Raspberry) Pi. In the case of this hands-on training, students will receive a free Gertboard and – if they wish – will be put on a priority list to get a Raspberry Pi. Gusee what I'll be doing on Thursday?
The important thing to remember is that the hands-on speed training sessions discussed above represent only the merest fraction of all the amazingly cool things that are going to be going on at DESIGN West. This is the conference people will be talking about for years to come, so it really is a case of "B there or B Square"!
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. For example, in addition to blogs by yours truly, microcontroller expert Duane Benson is learning how to use FPGAs to augment (sometimes replace) the MCUs in his robot (and other) projects.