Using Paper Protos to Check EAGLE Footprints

Checking Paper FootprintChecking footprints in a PCB layout review with only the on-screen file can be a pain in the neck.  There are many different measurements that need to be made for each individual part, and the mouse-based measurement tool can be somewhat obnoxious to get exactly on the edge of a pad.

There is a much faster way assuming one has all of the parts on hand: print out a to-scale paper prototype and place all of the components on the board.  It is fast to setup, and visually inspecting each component takes about 30 seconds.  There are, however a few tricks to be sure the printout is to scale.  I wrote an article on Element14 with step-by-step instructions.

Read the Full Article Here!

Hackerspaces and innovators

I really should post here more often. :)

I’ve been having quite a bit of fun founding and getting a hackerspace off the ground.  We now have a better understanding why TinkerMill’s grown so fast in the last 6 months*.

Local Newspaper Story in the Longmont Time Call.

Apparently, a Hackerspace/Makerspace is something our town’s needed for awhile.  :)

Average number of Patents per 10,000 people in the USA:   4

Average number of Patents per 10,000 people in Longmont:  45

You read that right, 45 vs. 4.  More than an order of magnitude more than the rest of the country.

*50+ members, 3000SF space with lots of great tools and activities, more at:

Year-End Update on my mindbrain. ;)

AKA:  ”Matt Yoders’ homemade, DIY most BEST webcomic EVAR!”

Why Matt Needs to Slow Down and,


And why all my friends and family have been telling me this, as loudly as you could, and while I still failed to actively listen to you:

Matt: Slow Down – Mind Mapped


This is NOT, in fact, Even though you own:,

So long and thanks for all the fish….

Remind yourself often why you left it that way….  ;)

And, it’s because you are not, despite everything you want to believe, any of these people who you love, repect, cherish, consider family members and wish never to die:


Jane’s getting serious



Your mom, Dad, or any of the rest of your blood and extended families, living and late (for a very important date.)

And, since I’m now starting to cry a little, I must stop oversharing, and, in the words of my favorite standup commedian, Marc Maron:  ”I’ve been recently diagnosed with something called “Generalized Anxiety Disorder,” which apparently, really, means, “We don’t know what the fuck is wrong with you…”

and:  ”Thank you, and good night.”  (NOT, again, so long and thanks for all the fish….)  I wanna be around all of us, but most especially me and you, as long as possible.

PS: For those of you who wish to know how I learned to help do this for myself, please contact me gently and privately, and in your own time.  I will reply in kind.



drive-a-bout update- Wyoming drive through and Billings, MT landing

I landed in Billings, MT. last night.  Dark and cold.

The drive through Wyoming was desolate.  That is one EMPTY state.  But the landscape was amazing.  From almost alien to wide open and desolate to rocky mountain beauty.  This is the first time I’ve gone past Cheyenne (to the North) and it’s all true:  It’s the backdrop of an old Hollywood western, for hour after hour at 75mph.  The beauty (and sense of being alone) is extreme and, in many places, the wind never stops (I’ve read Wyoming has one of the highest per capita suicide rates in the nation, largely due to the non stop wind).  I can see why some of the most rugged and self sufficient folks might want to choose Wyoming as home.  If you live here, and you want to be, you’re very much alone.

Today:  Not sure if I’ll head North, again, or swing West.  Not feeling the draw to the East today.  I may seek out local hackerspaces as I go.  We’ll see.

Drive-a-bouts (the Amercian version of a Walk-a-bout)

I’m off on another drive-a-bout.

I started doing these about 20ish years ago.

Just get into a (reasonably well stocked up) car and go.  No direction, no destination, no plan, no timeline.

The original idea came from the Australian concept of a walk-a-bout.  Only, being a lazy American, I didn’t do it on foot, I did it by car.

So off on another I go.  It’s a been a few years, but I’m due.

Oddly, this isn’t ‘something a retired person’ does (as one of my younger coharts suggested).  It’s really something everyone should do, the younger the better.

Outfit your car with just enough sleeping gear to spend the night in it if you need to.  If it’s summer, bring camping gear.  Also have enough cash to rent a hotel in any city you happen to land in (I’ve ended up in NYC, New Orleans, LA, Chicago, a vast array of smaller cities and towns and villages and a few totally out of the way trailer parks and hidden enclaves).

You’d be amazed what you find.  If you take your time, and talk to people as you go, strike up conversations, ask them what’s interesting around these parts, let them show you if they’re so inclined, you’d find there’s a magical quality to both the people in this country, and the land we all live in and often take for granted.

I’ve been all over the world.  I’ve seen some truly beautiful places, but, there’s still something particularly striking and alluring to me about America, my own country.  It’s people, it’s land and resources, it’s just…beauty, is still astounding.

Everyone should take a few days, or weeks, and just wander around it, at least once in their lives.

Never could get the hang of Thursdays…. So, I’m telling this particular Thursday: “Go hang.”

So, yeah, despite the fact that title is both #truth and #humour (making it #truthhumour, heh…) I am, in fact going to give myself a break today.

I know that I have outstanding commitments to my valued friends and family, but, I’m gonna go ahead and procrastinate them until tomorrow. I think I might get a mani-pedi, because, apparently, I AM a Metrosexual, (but I promise, Mom, still not gay….) (#truthhumour)  Also, I really need a mani-pedi.  Just can’t decide what colour for the nail polish.  (prolly clear, let’s be #truthful….) As a side note, I may even try to do it at the Wal-Mart where I need to return some things that were

Since the weather’s pretty nice, and my car is covered in magnesium chloride debris, I’m probably gonna wash it, too. I promise to be careful, I know what “cold water spray” can do at these kinds of temperatures.

I will say, though, for sure, that if you’re in my “valued friends and family” group, or what I’m calling “ACR0NYM’s Mental Health Brigade” (#truthhumour), I beg of you, remind me, in clear and simple terms, of commitments to you that I may have forgotten.  I apologize for having done so, and really do want to recover and catch up on those kinds of items.

And, with that, Happy Boxing Day!

Hugs and kisses, merry holiday wishes, and as always, my sincerest thanks and love for all of this amazing support,