This looks like it could be a sweet little unit.

This looks like it could be a sweet little unit.

http://blog.atmel.com/2015/02/24/qduino-mini-hits-kickstarter/

Oof “International shipping is an additional $24 per pledge.” twenty four dollars? wtf?

I’m pretty sure it would fit in a flat rate shipping envelope, $5.75 regardless of the weight or destination.

The real gem here, is the fact that this is a 14 year old’s project. Wow, kids these days huh…?

@Jon_Burroughs ​​ sure, its great that a 14yr old pulled this off, but times have changed. In the 35 years I’ve been wielding a soldering iron it’s never been easier than today to accomplish something like this, regardless of age. When I was 14 there was no CAD, if you wanted a PCB, you either taped it out by hand, or used a steno pen, and either way you etched it at home, there was no OSH park, or PCB pooling. Double sided, was an expensive option for large manufacturers, and all but impossible for home construction. Even large scale manufacture was taping boards by hand.

If you wanted to work with micro processors, then you would have to shell out hard cash for a development board, which would be ordered direct (via snail mail) from TI, Motorola or Intel, and then you would have to learn not assembly, but machine code (hex), and the toolchain was very limited (a number pad on the development board).

Even the cost has come down dramatically in the last 20 years. The price of copper clad FR4, the price of components all greatly diminished. A simple bicycle alarm I built in the 80s that used mercury tilt switches and some transistors cost me almost £50 (in today’s money) to build. It took months of saving. A 3rd of the cost was the project case.

Sadly, while the number of electronic component shops has dropped from hundreds here in the UK to barely a handful, accessibility (thanks to the internet) has never been better. 3 clicks of the mouse and a parcel of components is on its way to your door. No waiting for months for some 4000 series logic because you want CMOS not TTL.

So yes, it’s a great little project, but, given the available resources today, it’s also paradoxically, unremarkable.

That said, I wish him the very best of luck, not just with the kick starter, but also the media attention he will most likely receive.