As you may have read me mention in other posts, I’m starting a new microcontrollers user group in Nashville, Tennessee (aka NashMicro). We’ve found someone to sponsor our meeting space and it looks like we’ll be kicking it off the first week of October. I’d like to kick off this first meeting in style and get a lot of people in the door. We already have 20 solid members but I think we can do much better once it gets started.
I’m calling out to you module makers and companies in the group for some giveaways that will help generate some buzz in advance. If you’re interested in donating a module or two or have some old Pandas laying around that you no longer use and would like to donate, contact me (ian AT house of lees DOT net). Of course, if you or your company are interested in becoming a higher level sponsor I’m definitely interested in talking.
There’s a great thing going on in Nashville right now in regards to tech and I don’t plan on having our tiny computers left out of the action. If anyone is ever coming through the area and would be interested in presenting or just sharing your projects, definitely look me up in advance.
If I may suggest, run over to http://communitymegaphone.com/addevent.aspx and add your meeting, and it’ll automagically show up everywhere that Community Megaphone gets listed…including a new Windows 8 app for finding community events:
I have a few Rewire V1 modules left here I could send over, but I’m not sure how useful they’d be for a group of beginners. I can toss in one of the new “Ian Lee” edition V2 modules as well, and an Ethernet board + adapter. I’d need an address to mail it to. I believe you have my email address.
That would be great! They’re not all beginners. Most are new to Gadgeteer but we’re merging in an existing Arduino UG also. We’re going to have so many modules that need sockets soldered on that I’m thinking I may hold onto most of them and have a socket soldering lesson at our next meeting. Email is on the wire. Thanks!
I’ve been running the DallasMicro user group for over a year now. It’s been well worth the effort each month. You and your attendees will look forward to it each month!!! I’ll send you an email with contacts for a few sponsors to help get you started. I’ll make some notes this weekend about our past meetings and get those sent to you as well.
That would be great, Todd. Honestly, the hardest part about getting this going has been putting down my projects long enough to do the planning I certainly welcome any experience you have to offer. I’m sure I’ll be pinging you for other ideas/collaboration in the future.
In late October I’ll be doing a Gadgeteer presentation to the Calgary .Net User Group (should get at least 70 people there) so I’m looking for slide decks as I’m planning on about a 2 hour dip into the Gadgeteer pool (a good over view and then its into the good stuff of buidling and coding). I think I’ll order a Fez Spider Starter Kit or two as door prizes but that should be enough as Gadgeteer might have a bit of a ramp to go up to get going in Calgary as every coder in town is busy working in the oil patch (not a lot of spare time here). While we aren’t ready to start handing out modules etc as door prizes I intend on highlighting a number of the third party modules I’ve purchased as I think the whole third party module vendor thing is a huge feature of the Gadgeteer space and I have a pile of cool modules to show off. It would be so cool if we could get a Calgary Gadgeteer group going so no doubt I’m envious of the NashMicro group.
That’s how I started this group. Did the local .NET user group and a few local conferences. Hopefully, I’ve generated enough buzz now that we can get our own user group started and have enough participants to keep it going. Stick with it and you’ll probably do the same before this time next year
When I’m presenting NETMF/Gadgeteer, I tend to shy away from slides and focus more on demos. I think there’s a useful role for a slide deck in introducing the very basic concepts, and perhaps laying out the different players in the mCu realm (Arduino, netduino, FEZ, and of course Gadgeteer), but nothing beats showing the boards and modules in action.
Do you have a document camera? IMO, this is an absolute MUST for good demos of NETMF/Gadgeteer. Here’s the one I use:
Pete uses this one, IIRC:
Not sure what the differences are beyond price, but both are really good, high-resolution cameras, and both do pretty well in low light. Attaching a couple of pics, the first showing how nicely the P2V camera can zoom in, and the second being one of my demo rig boards (using a Hydra with an HD44780 display, and also the VideoOut module, to do “Hello, World” demos).
PS - if you’re going to use a slide deck, the one Gus posted is a great place to start…lots of good info in there. And no, I’m not just saying that because one of the slides features my handsome mug.
I couldn’t agree more. The first time I gave my presentation, I think I lost the group about 30 min into it until I started doing demos. Unfortunately, there weren’t nearly enough demos in that first presentation. Since then I’ve added a lot more demos and a lot less technical info. Most programmer audiences are going to be totally new to micros and the specs really don’t mean anything to them. So, focus on wowing them with demos and they’ll seek you out later for the specifics.
As far as the camera goes, I’m still using my HD webcam attached to a wooden dowel. It works great. I’ll eventually upgrade to something better but I wouldn’t put that high on your priority list if you already have a good webcam.
Here’s my slide deck from DevLink. It probably won’t be much good to you since it’s fairly specific to my demo projects but it might give you some ideas. I zoom through the first info slides as fast as possible then dig into the demos.
@ ianlee & @ Duke Nukem (or anyone else with a user group or who wants to use one in their blog/videos) - I’d be glad to donate gift certificates for my products, or if I can get some time next week to cut out some boards, will be glad to donate a few to both of you for your groups. @ ransomhall asked me to do a couple of custom boards for his hackergroup, I could totally do something similar for you guys.
Shoot me an email and let me know which you’d like…
@ devhammer, I have one with your name on it too, but it won’t be ready by RichCC as I messed up and ordered an engraving bit that I don’t have a collet for. I can cut you something custom while you’re here Friday if you want though, and send you the other one later