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The Gadget Itch

By Steve Jones,

Many of the people that work in technology are interested in gadgets and hardware as much as software. Not all of us, but many of us have had side projects where we've melded hardware and software together. For those of us that are older, and started working with computers decades ago, that might have been the only way that we could get a computer system to work.

I'm glad that I still find people interested in hardware. My son recently built his own gaming computer from parts, and I'm hoping to distract him from some games and get him to help me build some robots with a Raspberry Pi computer and BrickPi add-on board. However it's not just kids as I've seen a number of people at Red Gate working with hardware to build a variety of interesting projects.

This week I'm wondering if any of you are interested in creating your own devices. If you had the chance to build a device or gadget for work, what would it be? A panic button when there's a problem that you can press and instantly set of Star Trek "red alert" sirens? A status display based on your continuous integration builds? The question this week is:

What would you build if you had a parts list like this one?

Whether you've started actually assembling things or you're just dreaming of something, or perhaps even just seen something that's intrigued you, let us know. I actually think this might be a fun competition of some sort for an event, perhaps a hacking competition across a couple hours at a SQL Saturday or conference.

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