Running a DC motor from the Arduino Using the Creatron Economic Starter Kit

I’m teaching a Critical Making course and a question came up regarding how to run a DC motor from the Arduino. It was a bit tricky to get figure out how to do this using the parts in the Economic Starter Kit that students were told to purchase from Creatron, our local purveyor of maker stuff. There were a couple of puzzles, how to use the parts we were given and which online tutorial to follow.

I played around a bit and here is my result. I used the tutorial from bildr, which I found via the page for my MOSFET transistor on Sparkfun.

Continue reading

Percentage Women Directors in Canadian Tech Companies Not Exceptional

Abstract

According to a recent report, only 15.9% directors of Financial Post 500 are women. When Crown corporations are removed, women make up only 10% of directors. The percentage of women directors in Canadian tech companies is slightly higher (16.1%), but when the boards of multinationals are excluded this figure falls to (11%), which is consistent with other sectors. Blackberry and Open Text have high representation, 28.6% and 37.5% respectively, but four others have no women on the board. Implications and remedies are discussed. Continue reading

The 80% Mom

One thing you said haunts me still. When I asked about motherhood, you said that children don’t need as much as you gave. “Eighty percent is probably plenty.” I was shocked by your words. Did you regret having given so much of yourself? Now, those words seem like a gift. A way of offering me a model of motherhood, beyond even your own example.

I first read this about a year ago and it really struck home. It comes from an open letter by Karin Cook to her mom who had passed away from cancer many years before.

Continue reading

Call for customers for Introduction to Software Engineering

It’s that time of year again, when I’m preparing to teach Introduction to Software Engineering at UofT. This will be my third time teaching the course and I have more students than ever, almost twice as many as last year. As part of this course, third-year students in computer science work in teams to implement a software application for a client. Consequently, a lot of the preparatory work is finding clients. Our clients have been non-profits, social enterprises, and schools that needed some software built. Here are some Q&A to help you decide if this is a good opportunity for your organization.

Continue reading

Climate Change Drives Startup to Hard Drive Farming

A blog post on Backblaze’s web site shares stories from employees, friends, and families about how they participated in a “hard drive farming.” In this scheme, they purchased external hard drives two at a time from retail stores and sent them to Backblaze to help the company survive a worldwide hard drive shortage. Although the stories are engaging and the images are amusing, underneath it’s a story about how climate change affected a Silicon Valley startup’s business plan. The hard drive shortage was caused by unprecedented flooding in Thailand, which produces about half of the world’s hard drives.

Continue reading

Seeking customers for student projects

I will be teaching CSC 301: Introduction to Software Engineering at University of Toronto this fall. The course is meant to teach software process for small teams, also known as agile. Students work in teams to complete a software project. I would like the projects to be for social enterprises to incorporate service learning into the course. As a result, I am now looking for non-profits or social enterprises who need some software built. Here are some Q&A to help you decide if this is a good opportunity for you.

 

Continue reading

Winners of the Singular Source Contest

After careful consideration and discussion, we have chosen the winners of the Singular Source Short Story Contest.

We received a total of eight submissions to the short story contest, which made for a small slate of high quality candidates. There were no bad stories and every one was entertaining in some way. Every entry was read by all three judges independently. We subsequently met to discuss our assessments and to decide on a winner. (Actually, getting all of us together at the same time for a conference call was the most difficult part of the process.)

Continue reading