• Tessel is in your hands.

    Thursday, July 10, 2014

    7/10/2014– Updates

    It’s been about a month since we started shipping, and things have been overwhelming. Let me try to catch you up:


    We have a contribution guide! We’re still working on filling it out, but please PR/add GH issues for anything you want to see there.

    Here are a few tools we’ve seen so far:

    Hopefully the contribution guide makes this sort of project easier– and if you’re looking for a way to help out, we’ve started a task list in the contribution guide repo.


    We’re also starting to see some cool projects. Probably the showiest is Eran Hammer’s LED fireworks display from Nodeconf, Rob Hidalgo is definitely the most prolific– see his YouTube channel– and the youngest person’s project we’ve seen so far is a temperature gauge by Dunmail Hodkinson’s daughter. We’ve also started collecting more on our company Pinterest.

    In order to properly showcase your projects, we’re working on a projects portal. It’s tailored to helping people share what they’ve made on Tessel in a replicable way– link to GitHub code, pictures and videos, text for instructions, metadata re modules, etc. Expect to see it live in the next week or two– and in the meantime, please take pictures of what you make!

    Orders and Support

    All of the pre-orders have been shipped, and we’re continuously sending out new orders. We’re working on improving the fulfillment process; it’s been shaky, and we apologize sincerely. Kelsey is in the process of writing a blog post about that process and our plans for better support.

    That said, it’s possible we’ve missed a few support requests while figuring out our system. If you have been waiting on a response from us for more than a day, please email again to support@technical.io and we’ll make sure to get back to you right away.

    Meanwhile, we’ve seen really wonderful engagement on the forums. Thanks for surfacing issues, fixing each other’s problems, and bringing up your ideas. Keep it up!


    Meanwhile, we’ve written a bit to the blog, mostly introducing our three summer interns (Paige, Evan, and Nathan):

    All right, other than bug fixes, Nodeconf, and tracking parcels, that about sums up what we’ve been working on! Look forward to some cool R&D soon.

    All the best, Kelsey, Jon, Kevin, Paige, Eric, Nathan, Jia, Tim, and Evan

    #update #updates #forums #projects #portal #tools #toolchain #contribution guide #contributors #lua #open source #javascript #microcontroller #DIY

  • Tessel Run Internship

    Tuesday, July 8, 2014

    7/8/2014 - Nathan Lintz

    Hi TM Blog Readers,

    I’m Nathan Lintz - aspiring DJ, JavaScript ninja, and Technical Machine intern. In my spare time I like to create playlists on Spotify and read Pitchfork to stay up to date on whatever music craze is sweeping the indie charts.

    Coffee Time

    For the past two summers, I worked as a front end web engineer at Intuit, where I developed a passion for making beautiful user interfaces. As a UI designer, I was frustrated by the limited interaction possibilities afforded by software platforms. What draws me to hardware is the ability to create new user interactions that are impossible on purely software platforms.

    With software alone, we are limited to a small set of gestures such as swipe, hover, and pinch. I am interested in leveraging the hardware capabilities of the Tessel to build new forms of user interaction which were previously impossible on a software platform. For example, using the climate module, a program can detect changes in the user’s environment. A clever interface might use this data to blend the UI with the user’s surroundings. An application could use hot colors if it detects the user is outdoors on a sunny day or it might use cool colors if the user is indoors.

    Since starting my internship, I’ve been working on some side projects which connect real world devices to software applications. Last week, I wrote an app which sent accelerometer data from the Tessel to my laptop’s mouse using a custom Objective C library that I wrote. I plan to abstract this Objective C library into a framework for controlling any Mac functionality from any Tessel module.

    In the coming weeks, I want to build even more devices that can communicate directly with my Mac’s hardware. Some ideas I have are controlling Spotify via text messages or adjusting my screen’s brightness based on the ambient light in the room. If you’re interested in helping me out with these projects, send me a message nathan@technical.io and I’ll send you the library. You can also follow me on Github (nlintz) to see my up and coming Tessel creations.

    #nathan lintz #technical intern #summer 2014 #user interface #user interaction

  • New Intern #2 - Introducing Evan

    Monday, June 30, 2014

    6/30/2014 - Evan Simpson

    Last month I left my internship at the world’s largest single-site employer with over 70,000 employees to come join Technical Machine’s team of 6. Well, maybe that’s a little bit misleading. You see they weren’t employees, they were cast members, and they all referred to a single mouse as their boss.

    Hey there, I’m Evan, one of the three new interns at Technical Machine, and if you haven’t figured it out yet, I left my job at Walt Disney World in Florida to be here. I made the switch for the same reason many other people choose smaller companies - to have a larger impact. After just a few short weeks here I can say without a doubt that I’ve already accomplished more at Technical Machine than at any other company I’ve worked for. Not only have I been responsible for making improvements to firmware and modules like BLE and RFID, but I’ve also had the opportunity to share what I’ve learned on our forums, and help community members resolve some of the issues they’ve run in to.

    Me standing in a parking lot

    My biggest goal for the summer is to help make the Tessel and its modules as easy to use as possible. I’ll be spending plenty of time improving the BLE library and contributing to full node compatibility in our runtime. Having a predominantly software background means I still have a lot to learn about hardware, but the team has been very supportive and has helped me learn a lot already.

    That’s enough about work - let’s hear some more about me. I move around the country quite often, so I typically spend my weekends exploring whatever new area I’m living in. Bonus points for me whenever I stumble across that restaurant that doesn’t look like anything special but actually has the most amazing food. You know the one - the one only the locals know about. Aside from restaurants, I also enjoy checking out museums and finding a nice trail for running or hiking. When I’m not working full time, I’m actually still a student at Olin College of Engineering, working towards a degree with the words “Engineering” and “Computer” somewhere in the name. I’ve still got one year left come September, and the closer it gets the more excited I am to graduate.

    Watch for more posts from me in the future, probably about BLE, and feel free to reach out anytime on Twitter @evanmsimpson, our forums, or email at evan at technical.io. I’m really excited to be working at Technical Machine where I can surround myself with knowledgeable people, and hopefully learn a lot this summer.


    #Tessel #intern #disney #ble #rfid #hardware #evan simpson #technical machine #olin #student

  • Friday, June 13, 2014

    #kelsey breseman #ubiquitous computing #sensors #oreilly #solidcon #o'reilly #neurosky #myo #emotiv #tessel #hue lights #EMG #embedded devices

  • Intern Introduction: Paige

    Thursday, June 12, 2014

    6/12/2014– Paige Cote

    Hi there!

    I’m Paige, and I hail from the great northern land of Maine. I’m currently working towards a degree in Electrical and Computer engineering at Olin College, with a bunch of bio-engineering classes thrown in for a good measure.

    In my free time, I do engineering education research at Olin, read cookbooks, and go to an excessive number of concerts (three, including a music festival, in the last week and a half!)

    I decided to join Technical Machine because I really wanted the experience of working for an early stage startup where I could have significant impact on the product. So far, following my inclination to work for a start-up has been an extremely positive decision; it would be an understatement to say that I’m never bored.

    This summer, I get to code quite a bit, but I am not exclusively focused on coding. As the summer goes on, I hope to use my newfound Tessel skills to make the experience of using Tessel even better for our users. This means I am doing everything from finding bugs in the codebase to helping define the style guide for all the documentation that an open source project requires. Plus, I get to come up with all sorts of awesome projects for the Tessel, and then get paid to make and document them. Pretty cool, right?

    My work this summer is guided by the goal of understanding all the ways Tessel can fit into and improve the the world of connected devices. I’m having a blast so far, and I can’t wait to see where my experimenting takes me.

    Expect updates on my projects and what else I’ve been up to in the near future! Until then, you can always say hello on twitter @paigereads, or by email at paige at technical.io.


    #paige cote #tessel #technical machine #intern #intern program #hiring #olin #student

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