Never heard of modifier keys? Maybe you didn’t, but for sure you are using them every single day. Keys such as the Shift, Ctrl and Alt are technically called modifier keys. What I surprisingly learned about them, read below…
You can’t be proud on everything you do, for most great achievements, failures were made before. Well, my project isn’t finished yet, but I already made a huge failure, does that count?!
For sure I have toasted a lot of electronic components so far in my life. Mostly caused by working too fast without letting my brain enough time to calculate the consequences. I guess, as a maker who has mostly practical knowledge, this is rather normal. Most electronic components are priced well under one Euro and therefore it’s not too bad, if such a component dies. However, a genuine microcontroller, purchased from a well known distributor can easily cost 10 Euro per piece. If such an IC releases its magic smoke, it starts to hurt.
Not comparable to a Raspberry Pi though. These single board computers cost more than 30 Euro and it’s a real pain to loose one of them. So what exactly happened you might ask…
I was working on a project which involves an RTC (Real Time Clock). These RTCs are used in mostly all devices which keep time. And you know, there are a lot of these devices out there. From your wrist watch, to you wall clock or radio alarm clock next to your bed, RTCs are used everywhere.
My idea was to build a very small word clock using these 8×8 common cathode LED matrix modules. You don’t know what a word clock is? Well, it’s a clock which tells you the time by reading words, such as “It is half past nine o’clock”. Each LED of the matrix is assigned to a specific character or word for the clock and the microcontroller coordinates to light up the required LEDs in order to tell the time.
Sounds complicated, is actually pretty easy – or at least it should be.