I live in Minneapolis. I really like it here. I like to spend time with my wife and my two sons. We like playing board games, travelling, going to museums, taking photos, and reading together at the coffee shop on the weekends.
I spend much of my time at a product development company, doing work for clients. I’ve worked on medical devices, like control boxes for catheter ablation heart surgery, home monitors for pacemakers, diagnostic equipment for cystic fibrosis, and infusion pumps. I’ve worked on telematics devices, taxi fare boxes, parking meters, monitors for refrigerated shipping containers, and remotely triggered perfume cannons for HVAC systems. I’ve also worked on a fair number of “fix this weird problem on this thing that runs some Unix”, like throughput issues on ancient serial port switches, connection issues on wifi devices that only manifest in a handful of hospitals across Canada, and other things like “please rewrite the kernel driver and userspace application for mounting disks in Android so it works with this particular doohickey that we’ve already bought a bajillion of but never tested”. This work used to take me around the world, but I tend to stay local now that I've got two little ones.
I also spend my time with Wayne and Layne, a company I started with Matthew Beckler, a close friend of mine. We’re both engineers, and we have a lot of fun making new things. We make a lot of fun DIY electronics kits. Lately, we've been mostly working on museum exhibits and helping Open Source Hardware.
I like both computer and human languages. Although I have been studying and practicing German for many years, I feel like I am better at Esperanto. I have been practicing Esperanto every day since 2015.
I blog at Feels Like Burning, tweet as @adamwwolf on Twitter, look at pretty pictures on Instagram as adamwwolf, rate and reviews things I read over at Goodreads, post 3D-printable and laser-cuttable designs on Thingiverse, and even, for some reason, keep a LinkedIn profile relatively up-to-date.
Through Wayne and Layne, Matthew and I have designed and sell some DIY electronics kits, like our Blinky Grid and Blinky POV. Our Blinky kits are little microcontroller-powered LEDs that can display text and little animations. One part I'm really proud of is that they're reprogrammed by holding them up to our webpage, which flashes two squares back and forth and transmits your new program to your kit's light sensors.
In the summer of 2015, Actobotics invited me to participate in their "Expert's Home Automation Contest". I made a robotic attachment for our washing machine to help with washing cloth diapers. I called it LAUNDROBOT19, and won the challenge! They donated $1000 to Leonardo's Basement.
I'm pretty handy with a soldering iron and a Linux terminal, but I'm always trying to learn new things. This year I've been working hard at designing and releasing new 3D-printable things.
Many of the Wayne and Layne DIY electronics kits are actually Open Source Hardware. Open Source Hardware mostly means that you give away the design files, and ask that if people modify them, they give away the modifications the same way.
I’m a lead organizer of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Mini Maker Faire. I ran a booth and did presentations at the Bay Area Maker Faire and New York Maker Faire for years and years. When an opportunity arose to plan and help run this event in 2015, I jumped at the chance. We’ve hosted our event at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul. Our Education Day draws near a thousand students, and we draw thousands of attendees each year during the Faire itself.
I teach summer classes at Leonardo’s Basement. Leonardo’s Basement is a non-profit educational organization that believes in self-directed learning and learning through play. They’ve been around since 1998! I’ve done a variety of sessions there, but they’re usually microcontrollery. One of my favorite classes I’ve done is “Redstone in Real Life” where we played with redstone in Minecraft, and then created simple logic circuits on a breadboard. I’ve done “Arduino Big Builds”, LEGO stuff, and a class using the Particle Photon. I’ve been helping Leo’s out since 2009.
Wayne and Layne has been helping out KiCad since 2009. Since 2009, we’ve worked on packaging, done some small updates, gave many presentations at Maker Faires and hackerspaces, and helped a lot of people get started. We ran the Ubuntu PPA for years, and for the past few years we’ve hosted, maintained, and improved the macOS build.
Wayne and Layne promotes diversity in engineering. We actively look for ways to help underrepresented groups in engineering, like women and people of color. This extends to helping children realize that engineering might be an option for them, even if they don’t “look the part”. We try to give both money and time. We’ve done internship-type projects with local non-profits, where we help people get engineering experience while inventing something for the non-profit. We also regularly donate money to both individual creators and other organizations that help.
I mostly read Science Fiction, Fantasy, middle-grade, YA, or non-fiction, but sometimes I read other things too. I try to write a small review and rate most things I read.
I write, sometimes, but not as much as I’d like. I blog over at Feels Like Burning. I post at least twice a month.
I wrote a book for O’Reilly with some friends. It’s called Make: LEGO and Arduino Projects.
It was a lot of work, but we worked through a lot of projects that interfaced an Arduino to LEGO Mindstorms NXT and its peripherals. I learned a lot about reverse engineering and also how a book goes together. In the following years, I learned the importance of taking something's audience into consideration.
John, a friend of mine, collected stories and interviews from a variety of people in the Make scene, in a book called "Maker Pro". I wrote an essay and interviewed Emile, the founder of Tindie. I wrote about the first time Wayne and Layne did a large order of kits for a brick-and-mortar retail chain.
In the summer of 2016, John asked me if I had any projects for an upcoming book of his at No Starch Press, so I came up with something beautiful and wrote a chapter, but the book is still in the works.
In addition to books and book chapters, I've written for other publications, like Make: Magazine.