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I am Elecia White alongside Christopher White. We’re here to chat about the interests, careers, and lives of engineers, artists, educators and makers. Our diverse guest list includes names you may have heard and engineers working quietly in the trenches. Either way, they are knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and inspiring. We’d love to share our enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM).

453: Too Dumb to Quit
Nathan Jones has been talking about building command line interfaces, good design practices in C, creating MCU boards, wielding the PIC of destiny, and going beyond Arduino. As we are too lazy to attend the conferences, we asked him to give us the highlights.  Nathan is giving two conference talks at Crowd Supply’s Teardown 2023 June 23-24 in Portland, Oregon: Make Your Own MCU Board Build HackerBox #0040 and Wield the PIC of Destiny! He spoke recently at the Embedded Online Conference about Object Oriented Programming (well, really good design practices). He has a related github repository so you can look at the examples for yourself. He also gave a workshop on creating a simple command line interface (another excellent github repo full of examples). Probably the best place to start is his Embedded for Everyone Wiki where he collects all the bits and pieces you might want to know about getting into embedded systems. Transcript
Thu, June 22, 2023
452: Numbers on Computers Are Weird
Julia Evans spoke with us about how computers compute. We discussed number representation including floating point as well as Julia’s extensive collection of ‘zines and comics. Julia’s zines about debugging, managers, Linux commands, and more are available on If you want samples, check out the comics section. Also, the experiments (aka playgrounds) are great additions to the zines (and fun on their own), letting you explore without changing your own DNS or removing all the files from your root directory. If you want to check out numbers, look at memory-spy (or from other sites like and Julia also has a detailed blog on and active github repositories Transcript
Thu, June 15, 2023
451: From Concept to Launch
Phillip Johnston of Embedded Artistry, Tyler Hoffman of Memfault, and Elecia White discuss the software tasks that tend to fall through the cracks after the device has all its features but before it is in customers' hands. Noah Pendleton of Memfault was the moderator.  You can see the video on the Embedded YouTube channel or directly from memfault (also see their other panels and webinars). Memfault’s Slack Channel and Interrupt Blog are both excellent resources for embedded information of all kinds. Transcript
Thu, June 8, 2023
450: Swimming Through Nutritious Slurry
Kari Love joined us to talk about soft robotics, robots in religion, and squishiness. Kari co-authored Soft Robotics: A DIY Introduction to Squishy, Stretchy, and Flexible Robots. Her website is She was previously on Embedded 189: The Squishiness Factor One of the pneumatic drives that we mentioned was a Hackaday Prize Winner: FlowIO. Another was the Soft Robotics Toolkit. However, Kari recommended Amitabh Shrivastava’s Programmable Air (Crowd Supply page for Programmable Air). Some search terms for getting started with soft robotics: “DIY Jamming gripper”,  “Positive pressure gripper”, and “bendy straw robot joints”. (That last one leads you to the delightful video Make a Robotic Hand with Straws.) Polysense conductive dye for making sensors out of found objects. (On Hackaday.) Simulation of Soft Bodies in Real World Applications (for squish and stretch) include SOFA, Abaqus, and DiffPD. Transcript An incomplete list of power systems people have used for generating soft robotic motion: Pneumatic - air and vacuum Hydraulic - using liquid Electrical - using currents Thermal - using temperatures Cable control - using motor control Magnetic - using magnets Chemical - using reactions Photonic - using light Biological - using living cells Hybrid systems - multiple sources in tandem   An incomplete list of things people have used to make soft robots: Fabric Silicone or other rubbers Flexible plastic Plastic films Metallic films Paper Carbon fiber Silly Putty Shape-changing alloys Electroactive polymers Liquid metals Gelatin or Gluten Cell tissue  
Thu, May 25, 2023
449: Soldering the Ukulele
Chris and Elecia talk about internetting your thing, motivating yourself with cheese, a pile of scrabble letters, an electric ouija board, and a supervillain origin story. Elecia will be on a Memfault Panel on June 1, 2023: From Concept to Launch: What It Takes to Build and Ship a New Device  Elecia was on Alpenglow’s Industries Solder Sesh #60 with Carrie Sundra. See the highlights (or the whole thing) on YouTube. Chris has been working on building a baritone ukulele from a StewMac kit. The conversation about uninteresting projects reminded Elecia of one of her favorite blog posts: Resilience Is a Skill  Classpert will be offering a self-paced version of Elecia’s Making Embedded Systems course. Sign up on Classpert to be notified about the details. The O’Reilly Learning System will have the first looks of the second edition of Making Embedded Systems. The full book should be out in the fall. Transcript
Thu, May 11, 2023
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