PCBWay: Educational 555 Board

I got an email from one of the marketing people from PCBWay who said they could offer me free PCB printing services in exchange for a review of their service on my blog. I am very happy to do that!

Today I signed up for an account over here: https://www.pcbway.com/Member/Login/

The signup process was extremely painless: email address, password, terms of service, privacy policy, done.

(Note: I am not a lawyer, but I did read the ToS and privacy policy, and basically they claim the rights to your design files for various purposes and might transfer your data over an insecure network. I think these services are fine for hobbyists dealing with open hardware, but if you’re a commercial entity dealing with higher value intellectual property or larger volumes you might like to get legal advice before engaging.)

After logging in I got an email confirmation code emailed to me. I updated my account settings including my basic information and contact information so they know where to ship my PCBs. In exchange for my having filled out my full profile they gave me US$35 worth of vouchers with various terms (e.g. minimum spend).

I then used their shared project service to search for a 555 timer circuit that would meet my requirements. I found this one: Educational 555 Board.

I clicked “Add to cart” and accepted all the defaults (shown below) on my order for 5 PCBs. So far I am a happy customer! (Update: as part of our sponsorship deal PCBWay covered the shipping costs too! I was a bit worried they might ask me to cover the shipping, but they included it, which was super excellent, especially as the shipping was about five times as much as the boards themselves!)

I’m just getting started with PCB printing. I expect that in future I will do much more of it. I have been working my way through PCB design with KiCad – updated for KiCad 7 to learn how to design PCBs using KiCad. Apparently there is a PCBWay Plug-In for KiCad, so that might be something worth checking out.

When my PCBs from PCBWay arrive I will make a video of me putting together the 555 timer circuit and then using it to test my IC test probes. Stay tuned for that one!

Large Language Models and The End of Programming – CS50 Tech Talk with Dr. Matt Welsh

Here’s an interesting talk about how we won’t need programmers very soon: Large Language Models and The End of Programming – CS50 Tech Talk with Dr. Matt Welsh.

If refers to the following books:

I’m on Patreon now

I suppose it’s a poorly kept secret that now I’m live on Patreon. My Patreon page is here: https://www.patreon.com/JohnElliotV

I would like to stress that I do my blog and my YouTube channel for love and I do *not* expect anyone to send money, so please don’t feel pressured to do so. <3

If you have any thoughts on the Patreon page or how my YouTube channel is configured I would be happy to hear from you, particularly if you have suggestions about how to improve things.

Don’t End The Week With Nothing

This on HN today: Don’t End The Week With Nothing. It referenced Developer Evangelism: The Whole Story and Jason Cohen – Designing the perfect bootstrapped startup MicroConf 2013 (audio and transcript here). Jason Cohen’s formula is:

Predictable acquisition of recurring revenue with an annual pre-pay option with a product which solves a demonstrable, enduring pain point for a business.