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Comments by Jon W.

  • Coronavirus impact update: still shipping all orders

    Coronavirus impact update: still shipping all orders

    - 30 March 2020

    Gift certificates are bad from an accounting point of view, because you can't recognize the revenue until they're cashed in or they expire.

    They might help from a cash flow point of view, although it's a bit of a one time deal -- some future cash is brought into now, which seems good right now, but less good in the future. (Might still be the right choice)

  • Coronavirus update - please help Pololu survive

    Coronavirus update - please help Pololu survive

    - 28 March 2020

    I really hope your landlord is smart about not enforcing the rent during the shut-down.
    It's not like they're going to find someone else to pay the rent in the meanwhile.
    I have two friends who are landlords, and one is postponing rent collections (basically floating a loan) and the other is reducing rents by 50% (taking the haircut right now) for now. Not everyone is so understanding, though.
    Your service to the maker community is invaluable, and makers of all kinds are the kind of people who will get us through and out of this situation!

  • Purchasing electronics components in America

    Purchasing electronics components in America

    - 26 February 2018

    I think the problem goes all the way to how sales compensation and expectations work in the American corporations. We pay more for American, because American workers expect more from their work than Chinese workers, at all levels. This is how we can have a higher standard of living.

    The natural texting is to outsource manufacturing to China, and just keep sales in the US. Good for the individual, bad for the society.

    The better solution would be to have a real discussion about what standard of living should be in the US and how we should achieve that while improving costs, but that's basically impossible in the current climate.

  • Continuous testing for Arduino libraries using PlatformIO and Travis CI

    Continuous testing for Arduino libraries using PlatformIO and Travis CI

    - 13 March 2017

    Continuous Integration sure revolutionized the industry when it came into widespread use! I'm glad you're seeing the value, too.
    The next step up is Continuous Testing. One could say that "it links cleanly" is a kind of smoke test, I guess?
    I've found it worthwhile for my longer projects to go further, and build a "dummy" software version of my hardware devices, and build and link against a library that implements a simulated device.
    I can do this on a full host (Windows or Linux) and then run a full-software simulation, against which I can then write acceptance tests.
    It's actually pretty easy to write a fake "Wiring.h" library and provide fake serial port objects and such. I highly recommend it as a next step!

  • Jon's dead reckoning robot

    Jon's dead reckoning robot

    - 10 April 2014

    That sensor seems to be very far forward compared to the driving wheels -- even a small amount of difference in rotation will turn the front very far. Did you consider putting the sensor between the two big wheels, and driving the robot the other way (dragging the ball behind it)?

  • USB connectors: Mini or Micro?

    USB connectors: Mini or Micro?

    - 4 February 2014

    Micro, because all the cell phones lead to unbeatable scale.

  • Three and a half months to plug in our machines legally

    Three and a half months to plug in our machines legally

    - 6 December 2012

    It's funny that the standards scam comes from those who have lobbied to outsource testing to private interests. If standards are government produced, FOIA means they would be free!

    Codes come from the time when unsafe businesses burned down entire blocks. This still happens in places like China. If all US businesses had the integrity of then all these rules wouldn't be needed for public safety. But history shows it only takes one corrupt utility to poison an entire city. ..

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Why we don't have comments on our product pages

    Why we don't have comments on our product pages

    - 26 November 2012

    You might also consider that distributor sites that professionals rely on every day, such as or, do not have product comments. What they do have is good parametric search, which is something that your site now also has.
    Another commonality between you and Digi-key is that what you sell, requires skills and research to use, is well documented, and works as documented. On Amazon or Newegg: not so much!
    Btw: I think you allow open discussion in your forums. Good enough for me! A link to the appropriate forum section for each product would be icing.

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