Connections: Interesting and Useful Places on the Web

Places to Buy Things


Jameco Electronics
A very wide selection of electronic components. Not a very deep selection. Often don't have the "latest and greatest" but they have most of what a hobbyist would want. Great prices and great service. Very hobbyist friendly.
Sparkfun Electronics
The "cool" place to buy electronic parts. Hobbyist oriented. Sell the most popular components, but focus more on modules and kits. Lots of good tutorials. Good pricing on most items.
Big Name, Big Time, full line distributor that is also hobbyist friendly.
Mouser Electronics
The other Big Name, Big Time, full line distributor that is hobbyist friendly. If it is currently being made, either Mouser or Digikey probably has it. Both are very good to deal with.



Nuts and Volts
General, hobby oriented electronics magazine. Over 30 years running. Bought out the other hobby magazines when they folded.
Nuts and Volts sister robotics magazine. Similar to and shares authors with N&V.
Circuit Cellar
Started by Steve Ciarcia from his Circuit Cellar column in Byte. In depth, engineer level embedded projects and information. "Merged" with the European Elektor magazine a few years ago and lost several authors, quality declined, price went WAY up, and they started business practices I didn't like. I dropped and never renewed my subscription when they started making harassing phone calls and telling me I said I was going to do something I never said. YMMV.
Never read it. Probably never will. See Circuit Cellar above. Very popular in Europe, apparently.

Computer Stuff

Hardware, Software, programming, architecture, design, whatever related to computers.

Retro Computing

I started working with computers in 1979. A lot of what is considered retro now is what I grew up on. I am interested in all things old-computing. For people who have never used a computer less than 100 MHz and 256 MB of RAM, there is a lot to learn. There are a lot of lessons to learn from looking at how things were done in less than 64K of RAM at 2 MHz. Plus, it's just plain interesting. The history of how we got here is fascinating.

Old Computers
The first place to check when looking at old personal computers. They have a large number in their museum, with lots of information. Links to other sites with more information on specific models.
Retro Technology
Retro Archive
Lots of old computer (more than 10 years old) stuff. Mostly software, with a large collection of CP/M stuff.
The Unofficial CP/M web site
Officially sanctioned, but "unofficial" web site CP/M and Digital Research software. Source and binary code of various Digital Research software and related
Retro Computing
A lot of information, mostly early personal computers up through the 90s.

Electronics and Robotics

There are a lot of sites dealing with electronics and robotics. Here are some of the best.

Lets Make Robots
A community website of smart and friendly people building robots. You can post your latest build, read about others' work, ask forum questions, and talk online with other members. Great site. If you build or want to build robots, you have to go here.
AVR Freaks
AVR Freaks is a great resource for anyone using Atmel's line of AVR processors. A lot of the members are Atmel employees or professional engineers using AVRs. It is mostly a high level site, and if you ask amateurish questions they better be well thought out and researched. You can get a lot of good information without ever asking any questions by looking through the archives.
PCB Design Tutorial
The best PCB design document I have EVER seen. Very comprehensive, yet easy to read. Read lightly through it at first to get started. Come back often to pick up stuff you missed the first time. Download and keep it handy whenever you are doing a layout.

Friends, Family, Coworkers, and other People

Some of my friends, family, and coworkers have websites that may be interesting. I am also including here other people's sites if they are interesting.


My lovely, wonderful wife. She sells real estate. If you need to buy or sell a house in the Pullman, WA area, you can't do better. Of course, I'm not biased or anything.
Christana, my multi-talented daughter. Plays flute, guitar, and piano. Draws and paints beautiful pictures. Writes wonderful, creative stories. Makes things. Runs cross country.
Jacob, my wild son. Loves anything that shoots or blows up (wonder where he gets that?). Has more Airsoft and BB guns than Wal Mart. Loves You Tube. Builds and fixes things. Lifts weights. Guess I better be nice to him!

Friends and Coworkers

Aly Farahat
Aly is one of the smartest people I've ever met. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering, a MS in Computer Engineering, and a PhD in Computer Science. Now he's working on Masters in Mathematics. Has done some very impressive research, which you can read about on his site. He also is a talented piano player. I enjoy working with him and learning from him. He even makes me feel good by asking MY advice and opinions!

Other People

Don Lancaster's Guru's Lair
Mr Lancaster is one of the true pioneers and very prolific. I have learned an awful lot from him and been inspired countless times. His books are timeless classics. If you can't find inspiration or something new to learn on his website you need to change hobbies. You must check it out.