You know those flimsy nylon
backpacks that never seem to
last more than a single season?
Time for something more rugged. The Convoy is made of
thick, water-resistant canvas
lined with nylon and is covered
in pockets. Like any serious
pack it has a built-in sleeve
that’s able to accommodate up
to a 15" laptop. There’s also a
pull-out rain cover you can use
if you get caught in a downpour.
KID R E VIE W
While we were cursing over our
oven, trying to figure out if a roast
chicken was done, our engineering-geek guests were rolling their eyes.
A few days later, a Thermapen
showed up in the mail, a generous
gift given out of pity. This is a
serious meat thermometer: with
a needle-tip probe, lightning-fast
readings, and range up to 572°F (it
can also be configured in Celsius),
you can be both scientist and
artist in the kitchen.
The tiny thermocouple sensor
in the tip means that not only
are the readings super-fast (about
3 seconds), you can check temperatures of even the thinnest of
Plus, the company’s customer
service is great. A few months later,
a handy info booklet showed up in
the mail — again, out of the blue —
but this time from Thermo Works.
The booklet is now included with all
thermometers, so they sent them
out to previous customers, too!
Now that’s taking care of business.
—Arwen O’Reilly Griffith
Altium NanoBoard 3000 Series $395 altium.com
The NanoBoard 3000 is a great electronics development
tool. Installing and licensing the Altium software was
probably the most challenging part of setting it up.
Altium makes creating schematics easy with its library
components and user-friendly GUI. The OpenBus palette
offers a range of “puzzle pieces,” allowing you to connect the
peripherals (touchscreen, speakers, etc.) without having to
get down and dirty and write several lines of commands.
With Altium’s software, I was not only able to create a
schematic, but with a bit more work and time, I was able to
actually test my project on a device rather than having the
software debug it. Prototyping has totally changed for me!
The NanoBoard can be used by a wide range of people, from
hobbyists with a good grasp of computers and electronics
to computer-electronics professionals. —Max Rohde
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