Arduino Duemilanove Side View

Arduino Duemilanove Side ViewJust a brief post to alert RSS subscribers that my how-to Arduino article is now live over on

Anyone who has ever hacked around in their PC will have been hit with an urge to take their tinkering to the next level and create a custom-built device, but few actually try – believing such things to be far too complicated. At least, until the Arduino appeared on the scene.

Originally developed in Italy in 2005 as a tool for students building interactive design projects, the Arduino is a microcontroller-based prototyping board – but one that pretty much removes the barriers to entry that previous electronic prototyping systems had.

The idea behind the Arduino is simple: to create a system that allows electronic circuits to be created, modified, and tested in minutes – complete with a programmable chip in the centre to take control of everything.

What are you still doing here? Go! GO!

I’ve been going through some of the older stuff I wrote for bit-tech, and came across a couple of articles that never made it.  Rather than consign them to the digital dustbin, I figured – having already written them – I’d resurrect them here.

The first is an article about the agreement ‘twix AMD and Intel over the latter’s allegedly anticompetitive behaviour, written back in November of last year.

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It seems that Microsoft is scoring a bit win in the netbook sector, with claims doing the rounds that Windows XP has gone from a mere 10% of the market in February last year to 96% now.

As someone who uses – and likes – Ubuntu on most of his hardware, this is a surprise.  Sadly, it’s not that surprising – most people will always vote for the status quo.

I did write an article for Bit-Tech on the matter, but a real journalist did the same.  Accordingly, here’s the article that never made it:

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Davenport Lyons, the by-now infamous lawfirm situated, sadly, here in the UK, is continuing its campaign of sending threatening letters alleging possibly copyright infringing actions and demanding money.  You may remember a post I made in which I drafted a response asking to see the evidence the firm allegedly has under the auspices of the Data Protection Act.  Although I’m not a lawyer – thank god, I never could eat a whole baby – I do have more than a passing interest in the law and my rights therein.  Accordingly, the letter was drafted as best I could.

Since that time, many individuals both on bit-tech and another forum called Slyck have downloaded and sent off the letter along with the required payment.  Since then, most – as I predicted – have not heard back.  However, some of the very earliest letters have had a reply – here’s an example from bit-tech member nw104hh:

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Members of the //bit-tech// forums are reporting receiving letters from UK law firm Davenport Lyons demanding dosh – £520 and upwards – for ‘making available’ a range of games on peer-to-peer networks. If the money isn’t forthcoming, they threaten court action with a plentiful supply of legalese.

Well, hooey. So far the only people they’ve taken to court are individuals who ignored the letter and didn’t turn up on their court day – which resulted in a default victory for Davenport Lyons.

If you receive such a letter, **do not ignore it**. Instead, ask to see the ‘evidence’ that you made the software available. I’ve drafted a sample letter to send back to Davenport Lyons which //bit-tech// members have found useful.
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When I write articles for bit-tech I occasionally happen upon a topic that a full-time staffer is writing about. When this happens, one of the stories gets put on the long spike – usually mine. Below is one such story, which I figured I’d reclaim from the archives and post here – despite it being somewhat outdated.
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