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Hands-On

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When it comes to schematic capture and circuit simulation on a mobile device, iCircuit for iOS got it right from the start. iCloud integration, intuitive touch controls, and fast application performance. Now (or Finally?), my favorite mobile circuit simulator, iCircuit, is available for OS X.

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iCircuit is based on the Falstad Circuit Simulator, which sadly, is a Java-based web app. For years I’ve installed the App on my iPhone and iPad almost immediately after turning on iCloud [for Android users, that’s basically the first step of activating an iOS device].

The Gecko Zero EFM32 Weather Station Evaluation Board from Silicon Labs is intended to show off the low-energy or energy harvesting capabilities of the EFM32 Zero. The ARM-based board has physical and cap sensitive buttons along with the LCD. It comes pre-loaded with a demo program, which is the classic Space Invaders. If you’re interested in more about the board, I wrote a road test of Gecko EFM32 on element 14. (Spoilers: I wasn’t impressed.…

The Arduino IDE is great in that with a single download on any PC platform, new users can start writing code and see immediate results.   The same simplicity though, limits some of the more “advanced” features found in modern editors.  Also one of the IDE’s greatest strengths is cross-platform through Java.  This is also one of its weaknesses.  Java is outdated and it’s time to move on.

There’s a slew of other Arduino development environments out there, but most of them are limited to 1 or 2 platforms.  Electron is a novel idea because it is based on Node.js, meaning it runs in Google’s Chrome.

The initial implementation even includes a Serial monitor!