• Meet a Tesselator - Nick Hehr

    Thursday, July 7, 2016

    Nick Hehr at Disneyland
    (@hipsterbrown)

    What is your favorite fiction/non-fictional robot?

    My favorite robot is Wall-E, which is not a surprise if you know about my admiration for Disney/Pixar animation. I really like Wall-E’s curiosity and sense for exploration, while imaging how various everyday items could be used in different ways.

    Wall-E lightbulb gif

    How did you discover Tessel?

    I kept seeing all these neat hardware projects and hearing great talks by folks like Suz Hinton and Francis Gulotta in the New York JavaScript meetup community, but I didn’t have an idea of what to build for the longest time. Once I finally came up with an idea, the Tessel 2 was the best match for the constraints of the project (JavaScript-friendly, affordable price, open source). Then I got the chance to meet some folks from the Tessel team at the jQuery Dev Summit 2015 and the experience left me wanting to continue working with the platform even more.

    What’s your role / what have you contributed to Tessel?

    I started contributing to the Tessel project at the jQuery Dev Summit, where I met some of the project founders, starting with some documentation and then experimenting with new features for t2-cli. One of my favorite contributions has been adding the ability to start a wifi signal (access point) on the Tessel using t2-cli, as well as adding that ability to the tessel node firmware. Recently, I was invited to join the steering committee for the project, which I happily accepted. I look forward to helping the Tessel project become a welcoming and inclusive community for folks to get started with hardware development.

    What is something you enjoyed building with Tessel?

    One of my early projects was something I built for a local meetup talk, showing how I got started with Tessel as someone new to hardware. With a plain t-shirt, an Adafruit Gemma, some sewable LEDs, and a Tessel 2, I served a web app through a Tessel access point that allowed folks in the audience to control the lights on my shirt. It was really fun to create an interactive hardware demo that didn’t depend on the event’s wifi network to work. The most difficult part for the whole project ended up being the sewing! All the detail for building that project can be found in this repo.

    What advice do you have for aspiring Tessel contributors?

    No matter what your experience with hardware or open source, there is usually some way to start contributing to the project. It could be documentation, tutorials, community outreach, design, or code, all are important for the continued maintenance and development of Tessel. The Tessel team is always working to improve how folks are introduced to the project, so any constructive feedback or questions about the contribution experience is extremely helpful.

    #meet a tesselator

  • Ramping up Rust, Backing away from Python, Johnny Five Inventor's Kit, Tessel Talks

    Thursday, June 30, 2016

    Hello, Tesselators!

    TL;DR:

    Multiple language support

    Ramping up Rust

    We’ve long been intrigued by the Rust Programming Language, and have lately been pushing forward for a more native Rust support experience, including easy deploy from the t2 command line tool.

    We will have a beta version of Rust support available in the next CLI release. We’re using a remote cross-compilation server to build Rust projects for Tessel (so you don’t even need Rust installed on your computer) but plan to switch to defaulting to rustup in the near future so Rustaceans can easily cross-compile locally.

    Currently, support is limited to blinking LEDs on Tessel 2, but our next step is to build out support for all the Tessel 2 hardware with the tessel-rust repository. We’ll also need to port all of our module libraries from JavaScript to Rust; this could be an excellent way to learn more about Rust, so please get in touch in the #rust-lang channel of Tessel Slack if you’re interested in contributing or reviewing code!

    Backing away from Python

    Ever since our announcement of Python on Tessel 2 last year, we’ve been waiting eagerly for a crowd of Pythonistas to charge in and excitedly exclaim, “I want that! I want to make that happen!”

    However, we haven’t seen it. The basic pathway for Python on Tessel 2 has been proven out, but we haven’t heard from anyone who’s interested in taking on full support - or even much interest for using it. So we’re letting it go. You’ll see it disappear from the homepage soon. We can always pick up from here if the enthusiasm arrives.

    Introducing the Johnny Five Inventor’s Kit

    We’re very excited to announce that a collaboration with Bocoup and Sparkfun has recently come to fruition in the form of the Johnny Five Inventor’s Kit.

    The Tessel 2-based kit focuses on electronics learning, with breadboards and standard electronic components rather than modules. If you’ve ever been interested in prototyping beyond Tessel modules, the detailed and beginner-friendly new experiment guide will walk you through it.

    Talks and projects from the community

    Recent Tessel talks:

    In time for the 4th of July, try making your own any-color VR fireworks with this Tessel 2 + Oculus project by Ron Dagdag.

    See Tesselators at events around the world:

    • Kelsey and Flaki are speakers at RuhrJS in Bochum, Germany on July 2-3.
    • Jon and Kelsey will give a Tessel 2 hackathon with prizes at Fullstack in London on July 13-15.
    • Keep an eye out for more speaking announcements soon!

    Want to give talks and join Tessel’s speaker community? Find opportunities and make announcements on the #events-speaking channel of the Tessel Slack.

    Development updates

    • On Tessel’s command line, the latest releases include some patching and corrections, improvements to the crash reporter tool which helps us identify and debug issues, and some background work for multiple language support.
    • In the firmware, recent releases have improved Windows USB driver support and added a few features to GPIO use of the module ports.

    Want more updates?

    You can always find our weekly steering committee notes here for the cutting edge of Tessel Project updates.

    Want to write this newsletter? It’s an easy way to stay on top of Tessel development and be a participating member of the community. Reach out to @kelsey on Tessel Slack if you’re interested.

    Until next time,

    the Tessel team

    #update #updates #this week in tessel #twit #python #rust #tessel #sparkfun

  • Tessel 2 Has Shipped!

    Monday, April 11, 2016

    We are thrilled to announce that Tessel 2 has shipped to all domestic and international pre-orders.

    This is one of the first times a distributed, unpaid team of open source contributors has shipped a physical product. We are proud to be a part of the open source hardware movement.

    Huge thanks to everyone who has contributed so far to the Tessel Project. Whether you’re a core contributor, someone who found a typo to fix, or one of our test subjects for the start experience: thank you. We value what you’ve done.

    “This sounds like a cool project, how can I get involved?”

    New contributors are always welcome! Here are a few ways to get involved:

    You can read more about how the Tessel Project works as an organization under open governance on the Tessel Project repo.

    “I just got my Tessel 2, what do I do?”

    The best place to start with your Tessel 2 is at tessel.io/start. You can find tutorials there for everything from blinking lights to tweeting to creating your own local internet.

    If you’re interested in trying something off the beaten path - electrical fun, advanced hacks, and more, check out tessel.io/docs. If you’re new to hardware, don’t worry! They’re intended to be accessible to electrical newbies - and if they’re not, please file an issue to let us know.

    We’re continuing to update the start experience and the Tessel 2 docs, so please check back again!

    “But wait, I don’t think mine shipped!” - if this is you, please contact support@tessel.io, and we will figure it out. Please do note that orders from Seeed Studio’s page are fulfilled by Seeed directly.

    “What’s next for the Tessel Project?”

    Phew, shipping one product was a lot of work! Realistically, there will be some bugfixing to do as all of you let us know how it’s going and what you’re working on.

    As far as a next product- no promises, but we have some ideas….

    Partially, it’s up to you: what do you want to see? What’s the best way we can further the Tessel Project Mission?

    Much love,

    The Tessel Project team

    #update #updates #shipping #tessel #tessel 2 #oshw

  • Tessel 2 Shipping Progress

    Tuesday, March 29, 2016

    Eager backers, here is the latest:

    Pre-orders within the United States: the shipment of Tessels from China has “partially” arrived in the San Francisco warehouse, according to tracking. We are looking into what this means and how we can move along the rest of the delivery. For the box that has arrived, it still needs to be unpacked and put on shelves (this usually takes a day or two), and then our fulfillment house will begin shipping them out to you. Once we get the rest of the shipment through customs, fulfillment can typically ship 100-200 orders per day, so it could take a couple of weeks to get to everyone. Tracking information will be emailed to you when yours is on the way!

    International pre-orders: we just heard from Seeed; they are shipping a large number of these orders directly to backers today. More soon.

    If you ordered from Seeed’s website: please contact Seeed directly! We are not involved with shipping these orders.

    It’s so close! You can learn how to use your Tessel 2 at tessel.io/start. We can’t wait to see what you do!

    #tessel #tessel 2 #update #updates #shipping

  • Hi, where’s my Tessel?

    Monday, March 21, 2016

    Hello! Many of you are getting antsy about Tessel shipments. This is totally reasonable, and trust me - we hate the wait at least as much as you do.

    We had thought Tessel 2s would begin shipping by now, but they are still in transit to fulfillment centers. Here’s the latest information:

    If you ordered a Tessel from the Seeed website (from this page): please contact Seeed directly. We do not have any information about your order; Seeed is handling everything about it, from money to manufacturing to shipping. Their support page is here. If we had to guess, we would guess your orders will ship out as soon as international pre-orders finish shipping.

    If you pre-ordered a Tessel at tessel.io and are located in the United States: The Tessel 2s are en route to our fulfillment house in San Francisco. You can watch along with us as we track its progress from China to Los Angeles, through customs, and up to San Francisco (tracking). Once it arrives in San Francisco, it might take a few days for our fulfillment center to unbox everything and put it on shelves, and then a few more days as they sort out individual orders to each of your addresses. However, shipping is pretty fast once it gets sent, usually a day or two.

    If you pre-ordered a Tessel at tessel.io and are international/outside the United States: Seeed is shipping these directly from the factory, so it will be more effective to contact their support directly than to email us. Their support page is here. They informed us last night that they will ship these orders this week.

    For everyone: You will receive an email with tracking information when your order is sent. Thanks for sticking it out with us; we sincerely hope you find Tessel 2 worth the wait.

    With love,

    The Tessel Project

    #update #tessel #tessel 2 #tessel project #updates

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