i touched a breadboard once.

adventures of a software engineer in the land of physical objects

Who are you?

Hi! I'm Eleanor. I'm a current junior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studying computer science (or course 6-3, as we call it around here.)

What is this?

I took this class - 6.943, ‘How To Make (Almost) Anything - because I realized this summer that I had managed to get through more than half of my engineering curriculum without actually learning to make objects. That exist. In physical space. All I know how to make is code. Also, neural nets. Also, cartoons. Also, sci-fi novels. But no physical objects.

This seemed like a problem. Hence: this class, which claims to teach you how to make not only some physical objects, but “(almost) anything”. Does it really teach that? Well, I guess I’ll find out.

Regardless, this blog exists because I am required to document all the work I do for this class throughout the semester. I will probably do this as I do all things, with an excess of both italics and SAT vocabulary words.

Okay, I am definitely waiting with bated breath for your projects. When do I get to see them?

6.943 runs for fifteen weeks, from September through December 2017. Each week we learn a technique, and each week will yield a project, whose documentation (with lots of photos) will appear in the page for the relevant week on Tuesday of the following week. Click the week number above to see the project for that week. If that week hasn't yet arrived at the time you're reading, there won't be a project yet. Check back, it'll change!

Did you reeeeaaaaally touch a breadboard once?

Yes. I have touched many a breadboard.

(Also, y’know, built circuits on them.)

The title of this blog comes from my application for this class, in which I was supposed to list off my skills vis à vis the subject matter of the class. I rattled off all the things I was really good at, continued with things I had experience with, tossed in some things I'd worked with a few times, and then concluded with “I touched a breadboard once!”

I then deleted the last sentence, because it seemed to be tempting fate to proclaim ignorance of electronics in an application for what is, partially, an electronics class. (Even ironically.)

But this is my about page, not my application, and no one can stop me now! Muahaha!