Sunday, December 25, 2011

Just in time for the Holidays!

We thought we'd unwrap something of our own this holiday!  Modkit Micro will be the first official release of our visual programming environment for microcontrollers and here's a sneak peek.

If you've been following the Modkit project, this screenshot tells a lot.  Did you think we decided to show the Seeeduino just because of it's festive red color?  Maybe a little, but the Seeduino represents Modkit's move to support more third party boards.  Oh, but that's a Seeeduino Mega?  Right..  Modkit will now have support for the Mega line of Arduino  compatibles.  You might also notice the new drag-and-drop hardware components.  We completely redesigned the hardware drag-and-drop to make it easier to add more components.  Oh and if you're really paying attention, you'll notice that we haven't just added things, we've taken something away: the serial port drop-down menu.  I wonder what that's about?

That's it for now.. More later..  Enjoy your holiday.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Engaging Young Women in Electronics and Programming: Lilypad workshop w/ Modkit Japanese version

A while ago, we wrote about an unofficial Japanese version of Modkit, created by an educator named Manabu Sugiura from Tsuda College in Japan.  He recently got in touch and shared some pictures from a Lilypad/Modkit workshop designed to engage high school girls in electronic design and programming. 

The Lilypad toolkit was created by Leah Buechley who heads the High-Low Tech research group at the MIT Media Lab.  Leah was my adviser at the Media Lab before I decided to take time off to focus on Modkit full time.  A number of the High-Low Tech group's research projects are centered around diversifying access to programming and electronic design through tools like Lilypad and Modkit and we're excited that this important work is being adapted by our colleagues accross the world.

We know that many educators are running their own Modkit workshops or using Modkit in the classroom and we'd love to hear about your work.  Leave us a comment about what you're doing with Modkit and maybe we'll feature you and your students in an upcoming post.  In the meantime, there are too many photos from the workshop to post them all here, so check out the slideshow on Youtube.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Modkit in Make: Korea vol.2 and Maker Faire NYC Recap

Volume 2 of Make: Korea featuring Modkit!

We met Make: Korea editor Hee Jung while demoing Modkit at the World Maker Faire in New York last month.  She told us that Modkit would be featured in the second volume of Make: Korea's print magazine.  It seems that the format of each volume is to feature some new content as well as some translated articles from earlier volumes of Make. 

Yesterday, Hee Jung let us know that Make: Korea v.2 had been released.  It turns out, volume 2 features a full translation of our article from Make: Volume 25 where we introduce our graphical programming environment and show readers how to make their own Crimp Card from everyday materials and a few electronic components.  They even mentioned the article on the front cover!  Very cool: Modkit: 그래픽 인터페이스에서 프로그램하기

Speaking of Maker Faire and Crimp Cards, we have been busy working on the next wave of features and we didn't get a chance to mention our trip to Maker Faire in NY last month.  While at the Maker Faire, we set up in the Maker Shed and demoed the Modkit graphical programming environment along with Modkit Crimp Cards.  Crimp Cards are little circuits that teach the basics of input and output and that can be built without soldering.  We did a pre-sale of Modkit Crimp Cards and got even more feedback on the kits. 

Kofi Baafi (age 10) demos Modkit to other kids 

One of the highlights from the Maker Faire was when 10 year old Kofi Baafi took over the demo sessions, showing kids and adults just how easy programming can be with Modkit.  We look forward to bringing Kofi along to more events in the near future!
Kofi let's the kids do the programming while others check out the Crimp Cards

We had a great time at the Faire and even received another Editor's Choice Award for our engagement with the crowd.  As always, we met so many new people and ran into many old friends.  While the Maker movement has not yet reached everyone, the NY Maker Faire definitely has a bit more diversity than the Bay Area one and we can only work to increase that.  We hope to see you all there next year!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Remembering Steve Jobs' DIY Beginnings: From Hobby to Hollywood and Beyond

Apple co-founders Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs using an early Apple computer in the mid 1970's

Death of an Icon - Many Americans who were alive in the 1960's say they know exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news of President John F. Kennedy's assassination.  In the African-American community, you'll often hear similar accounts around the deaths of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X.  Each of these leaders died prematurely, being shot and killed amidst the social and political turmoil of the 1960's.

While Steve Jobs was not a political figure and was well known to have been battling pancreatic cancer, his death yesterday was still quite shocking.  Just as many Americans can remember where they were and what they were doing when they got news of Kennedy's death, I believe many will remember where they were, what they were doing, and most importantly how they heard of Steve Jobs' death.  Perhaps someone sent you a text message on your iPhone, or you saw the trending topic on Twitter.  Maybe you saw a post on someone's Facebook wall, or you opened up to the news in your RSS reader.  Others opened the Safari browser on their Mac to see Apple's homepage replaced with nothing but Steve Jobs' name, picture and the subtle news of his death, "1955-2011."  No matter how you heard about Jobs' death, chances are, he played a part in how that information reached you.

In my case, Collin and I were working late at the Starbucks in Harvard Square.  I was busy working on porting Modkit's web based editor to our new web application framework (more on this soon) and Collin was working on reorganizing our home page structure to tightly integrate with our blog and other user generated content.  Collin had just shown me a mockup of the new homepage and asked "Did you see this?", switching to Apple's homepage.  We talked for a bit about his resignation from Apple a little over a month ago and how he must have known he didn't have much time.  After a short conversation we got right back to work towards democratizing programming and engineering.

Hobbyist Beginnings - Today, I've been reflecting a bit on why Steve Jobs' was important, both to our society as a whole and to our work on Modkit.  I've thought for a bit about a talk that I gave at TEDxKids in Brussels and particularly about one slide titled "Hobby to Hollywood."  I used that title (inspired by LL Cool J's similar trek from "Hollis to Hollywood") to talk about how Apple grew out of the excitement of a community of hobbyists and how their first machine, the Apple I, was marketed only as a barebones kit.  As we're attempting to make programming as mainstream as personal computers and mobile devices have become, Apple's story can provide important insight into how we can make this transition by providing graphical programming tools, just as the PC became accessible through the introduction of the graphical desktop.  The re-emerging DIY electronics and fabrication communities can also learn from the story of the of Apple and the personal computer in general.  Strong parallels can be drawn between Fab Labs and hackerspaces of today and the Homebrew Computer Club that helped spawn Apple and the personal computer industry in the mid 1970's. Arduino and MakerBot are reminiscent of the early Apple I kit and these modern enthusiasts have created a base that will surely help spawn new industries.

Apple's first computer was designed for DIY hobbyists

Hollywood and Beyond -  Jobs eventually left the young Apple and turned what could have been considered just another hobby, computer animation, into a multibillion dollar industry with the acquisition of what would soon become Pixar.  He did in fact take Pixar to Hollywood when it released its first feature film "Toy Story."  The rest of the Jobs and Apple story is, well, history and I encourage anyone involved in the DIY space to look at how it all played out.  There are many lessons Modkit has learned from Jobs and Apple and I'm sure we'll revisit this soon.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Modkit Japanese Edition and the importance of internationalization and localization

Last month, we received an email from Manabu Sugiura, a researcher at Tsuda College in Japan.  He was setting up a workshop for a little over a dozen middle school and high school girls using the Lilypad Arduino and Modkit.  He got in touch again last week to say that he had made a private version of Modkit and translated the whole interface, including code blocks, into Japanese.  Below are some screenshots and a video of Manuba's Japanese translation of Modkit.

Manabu's email, and all the effort he put in to the translation has us thinking about the importance of graphical programming tools in another aspect of democratizing programming and engineering: Internationalization and Localization.  Computer languages are largely English centric.  While there are many non-English programming languages and many localizations of popular English-based programming languages, these seem like second class citizens in the English dominated world of computer programming.  In many cases, localization simply means translating an IDE's menu buttons.

Blocks based graphical programming environments like Modkit have the opportunity to change this.  Scratch, used by over a million kids and novices for game and animation programming, already has many localizations which has been instrumental in its worldwide adoption.  As we continue to dispel myths that graphical programming environments can't be as powerful as traditional tools, we are reminded that in many cases such as internationalization, graphical programming tools can be more powerful.  We'll be working on a way to make localizations easier.  Thanks to Manabu for the inspiration!

Monday, July 11, 2011

"Tweet and Win" - Modkit Alpha Club Twitter Contest

Tweet to Win Modkit MotoProto Boards and Alpha Club Memberships

We recently launched the Modkit Alpha Club to offer early access to our supporters as we develop and test new features.  We're happy to announce that the features available to Alpha Club members now include drag-and-drop hardware components (really cool!), variables, text-code-view, and cloud based project saving and loading.  If you haven't already done so, we encourage you to join or learn more about all the public and member-only features by visiting our Alpha Club page.

In order to get the word out about our Alpha Club and all the new features, we're running a little contest.  We know you all like to spread the word about cool things like Modkit's drag and drop Arduino programming environment and figured we'd make it that much sweeter with some cool prizes including a lifetime Alpha Club membership and Modkit/Sparkfun MotoProto Shields for robotics and prototyping applications.

Basically all you have to do is
1) Follow Modkit (@modkitlabs) on twitter.
2) Retweet our Alpha Club message: "#Arduino programming couldn't be easier than Modkit's drag and drop programming environment.  Sign up for early access:"
3) Optionally sign up for the Alpha Club or compose your own tweets mentioning @modkitlabs and a link to our blog, homepage, or Alpha Club page for more chances to win.

At the end of July, we'll pick the following winners:

A) "Alpha Club Retweet" prize - We'll pick one of our followers who retweeted our Alpha Club message to win a Modkit MotoProto Shield from Sparkfun as well as a 1 year Alpha Club Membership.

B) "Most Modkit Mention Retweets" prize - The originator of the most retweeted mention (must include @modkitlabs and a link to our blog, homepage or Alpha Club page) will also win a Modkit MotoProto Shield from Sparkfun as well as a 1 year Alpha Club Membership.  So be creative in your mentions of @modkitlabs to get the most retweets.

C) "Alpha Club Members only" Prize - As a reward for those of you who sign up for our Alpha Club (as well as existing members) we'll pick a random Alpha Club Member to receive a MotoProto Shield as well as an upgrade to a lifetime membership (if the winner is already a lifetime member, they can choose a 1 year membership for a friend).

That's it.  Good luck and thanks for helping us spread the word!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Alpha Club Update and Amon Millner @ IDC 2011

First we have a quick update on our newly launched Alpha Club:  As a thank-you for your continued support, we've set all existing alpha testers (including our Kickstarter supporters) up with a free six month Alpha Club membership.  If you are an existing alpha tester, simply log in at  and start using the Alpha Club features today.  

The Alpha Club is a membership based club that allows Modkit fans and users to support our efforts while receiving early access to new features as they are completed.  We have already launched some exciting Alpha Club features, so consider signing up today and getting involved.  We're grateful to all our supporters and Alpha Club members who are helping us bring robotics and Arduino programming to everyone, including children, artists, and everyday engineers.  Make sure to spread the word to your friends and colleagues through your social networks as every new member helps us get closer to our vision. 

Amon Millner's IDC Presentation - In true "Computer as Chalk" fashion

Now for some news: Amon will be demoing Modkit at the 10th annual International Conference on Interaction Design and Children in Ann Arbor Michigan this week.  IDC's goals are "to understand children’s needs and how to design for them, by presenting and discussing the most innovative research in the field of interaction design for children, by exhibiting the most recent developments in design and design methodologies, and by gathering the leading minds in the field of interaction design for children."

Amon officially joined Modkit after earning his Ph.D. from the MIT Media Lab's Lifelong Kindergarten Group for his work including research on physical computing as an extension of the popular Scratch programming environment.  Amon's doctoral dissertation was titled "Computer as Chalk" and featured many hand-drawn (actually finger-drawn with an IBM Trackpoint - now that's dedication!) sketches of youth engaged in designing physical computer interfaces such as the above IDC presentation snippet.  If you're out at IDC or in the Ann Arbor area, make sure to check out Amon's Modkit demo on Wednesday.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

TEDxKIDS@Brussels + Design Blocks

I'm back from TEDxKIDS@Brussels.  I did my first TEDx talk and ran two Modkit workshops for about thirty 10 year olds.  For the talk, I focused on the idea of Generation D: Digital. Democracy. DIY.  The talk started with the digital (personal computer) revolution and its roots in the hobbyist/hacker culture.  I then jumped to the democratization of the internet and how the internet helped democratize many domains such as commerce, publishing, fabrication, etc.  This all set the stage for the question:  If hackers (programmers) can help democratize all of these domains, what if hacking (programming) itself was democratized?  This is of course the motivation behind Modkit!

 From Hobby to Hollywood - Ed Baafi talks about the Apple I's move from homebrew to mainstream 

For the TEDxKIDS workshops, I only had about 45 minutes with each set of 14 kids, just enough time for an introduction to the Modkit environment and a proper "Hello World" exercise.  As many of you know, a typical Hello World exercise consists of printing "hello" to the screen or in the case of embedded systems (physical programming) it usually means blinking an LED on and off.  Of course, we started with the typical blinking "hello" using the built-in Arduino LED, but moved on to a more interesting (and appropriate) "Hello."  We used the new Modkit MotoProto Sheilds along with a servo motor and potentiometer knob.  I had the kids trace and cut out their hands on construction paper.  They then, taped the paper hands to the servo and programmed the potentiometer and servo so that they could make their paper hands wave "Hello."  They had a lot of fun!

Unfortunately I just found out about this, but our friend Evelyn Eastmond is raising money for her Design Blocks project on Kickstarter.  There's only a few hours left and she's not yet close to her goal, but we just pledged hoping for a last minute sprint.  Like Modkit, DesignBlocks takes the graphical programming ideas of projects like Scratch and aims to apply them to different domains. In this case the idea is to enable artistic expression, similar to the processing project.  If you see this in the next few hours, make sure to go pledge.  If not, go send Evelyn a comment and encourage her to repost the project.  That way we can all help her spread the word next time.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Modkit Founder Ed Baafi at TEDxKIDS

Check out Ed's talk and the rest of TEDxKIDS online tomorrow, June 1st. It's available to stream live but you'll have to get up early to catch Ed's presentation (it's at 6:12am Eastern Time).

Also check out the other great guests in the Full Program.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Alpha Club Launch and Maker Faire Recap

Award Winning: Ed, Collin, and Amon show off Modkit's Editor Choice and Educator Choice awards. 

We're back from the Bay Area Maker Faire where we had a great weekend, caught up with old friends and Modkit fans and met a bunch of great new people. Modkit was recognized with a Make Editor's Choice award as well as two Educator's choice awards.  Thanks to all the attendees who continuously make this one of our favorite events.

Kid Friendly: Adults watch on as young people learn how to build Modkit programs.

We set up a couple Modkit stations where kids and adults alike learned how easy it is to get started with micrococontrollers using Modkit's graphical programming environment.  We also showed off the new Modkit MotoProto shields now available at Sparkfun.

Alpha Club Launch: Faire attendees were some of the first Alpha Club Members 

At the Faire, we gave a preview of the Modkit Alpha Club.  While we are committed to providing powerful tools for free, users can help support us in extending the toolkit by joining the Alpha Club.  Club members get early access to the newest features and help shape the future of Modkit.  We'll be extending all current Alpha testers an invitation to the club shortly.  If you supported us on Kickstarter or have helped us test all along, we want to continue giving you something back. 

New Alpha Features:  Code View, Variables, and Drag and Drop Hardware previewed at the Faire

Speaking of new features, we launched the Alpha Club's Code View, Variables, and Drag and Drop Hardware while at the Faire.  We're really excited about all of these features, especially Drag and Drop Hardware, which allows users to configure actual components (not just pins) by dragging out the components they want to use and selecting the microcontroller pins that they are connected to. Blocks for the attached components then show up in Block view, allowing you to easily control your attached hardware.  These features will be available in the Public Beta soon, but if you like where we're heading and want to see us get there faster, or simply want early access to these innovative features, make sure to join the Alpha Club today.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bay Area Maker Faire - See you there this weekend

We're excited to meet all the Makers at this year's Bay Area Maker Faire.  We've been hard at work and have some exciting news that we'll share during the faire.  We hope to see you all there, but we'll post our news here on the blog as well, in case you can't make it.

If you're in the Bay Area, make sure to get your tickets soon.  Oh and be sure to stop by our booth.  This is one of our favorite events and we're sure you'll love it too.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

New Features: LilyPad Arduino Support

This week we've added support for programming more kinds of hardware. That includes the sewable (and fashionable) LilyPad Arduino and LilyPad Arduino Simple.

We're also making it easier to get started with the editor preview.  The editor now loads with a list of available boards, so just click a board to load up the editor with the hardware configuration and blocks for the board you want to program.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Feature Friday: Modkit Examples

We're working on a bunch of big features but weren't ready to announce them today. However we have also been working on our Example System and put its new home online here.

Like our editor, our examples include Hardware, Block and Code views to show you how to connect and program the example projects.  There is also a media section for additional photos or video to get you started and you can load the projects in the editor, right from the example page.  We'll be adding a few new examples this week, but figured we'd keep you updated on this work in progress.

Stay tuned for a big announcement in the next week or two.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Feature Friday: Diecimila Support - New Widget Release - and More!

We've added our third Arduino Compatible board today - the Arduino Diecimila - for our third consecutive Feature Friday.

Along with the Diecimila support, we've updated the Modkit Desktop Widget.  This fixes some known bugs including uploading to a board when it was previously programmed in Arduino to send serial data as well as some general connection issues.  The Mac OSX version is available now and the Windows version should be available tomorrow.  (Edit: The Windows version is now available as well)  As Modkit is under heavy development, we've also updated the editor to alert you when a new Desktop Widget is recommended or required.  For example, you won't be able to program the Diecimila without the latest download and you'll see the following message to let you know.

And last, but not least, we released a version of the editor for use by students in the Fab Academy.  With access to a Fab Lab and about an hour or two plus a few parts, you can now make your own surface mount Arduino compatible board and program it with Modkit.  We can't wait to see what the Fab Academy students build.

Make sure to follow this blog or check back soon.  We'll try hard to have more features ready by next Friday!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Important Modkit Address Info

If you have been recently unable to reach our homepage or editor, please be sure that you have typed in the address bar instead of

Our DNS provider is having issues redirecting to as it usually does.


Edit: Things are back to normal.  Thanks for your patience.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Feature Friday: 2 New Editor Previews

Our second consecutive Feature Friday release is here!  We have two new editor previews, featuring first—the Modkit MotoProto Shield, and making a return from the alpha editor—the configurable Arduino Development Board (Uno and Duemilanove and compatible).

The Modkit MotoProto Shield for Arduino makes it easy to connect up to 4 sensors and control two DC motors as well as a 16X2 character LCD (LCD Blocks coming soon). You can find out more, and if you don't have one already, you can order one now from Sparkfun.

I know a lot of you have been clamoring for this part, and here it is in all it's configurable greatness.
Features include:
  • Graphically configurable pin modes (Set as output, input, and input with internal pull up resistor)
  • Re-nameable pins (Renamed pins show up in associated blocks, so no more trying to remember if your button is connected to pin6 or pin7)
  • Use "Analog In" pins as digital pins for those projects where you just need one more pin ;)
It's actually now Sunday, but we started the release on Thursday, so we'll call it a Feature Friday anyway.  Stay tuned.  We should have more features coming this Friday.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Feature Friday: Feedback Form and More

We've been working on a bunch of new features for the Modkit Editor, and we're releasing them today as our first Feature Friday. We have a lot more planned and hope to make this weekly thing.

There are a lot of little changes with this update, but some of the important ones include:

Connection Status

The connection status is now shown in the bottom right corner of the editor, and show if the desktop app is successfully connected to the editor. If it's not connected, make sure your Modkit Desktop app is running. In Windows, the desktop app icon will appear in the system tray/taskbar on the bottom right side of the screen (some icons may be hidden, click the little arrow to show them all). On a Mac, the desktop app icon will show up in the top right side of the menu bar (near the clock). We're still working out some bugs so if the desktop app is already running, but the editor connection status doesn't say "connected", try restarting the desktop app and/or reload the editor.

Feedback Form

Speaking of bugs, we're hard at work making things more stable, but if you are having problems with the editor or desktop app, we've added a feedback form so you can send us your bugs right in the editor (if you happen to have a bug with the feedback form, you can always send feedback to bugs (at) modk (dot) it).

Monday, January 31, 2011

A video from our TEI'11 Studio and a Windows widget are now online

We're back from the TEI conference. We posted a short video (below) to share a little of our day with you. You'll see the 9 energetic participants in action - building crimp cards, going beyond example programs, and discussing how Modkit activities might open up new design possibilities within the communities they represent.

We also made a Windows version of the desktop widget available today! Now, many more of you will be able to preview the beta release. Visit our download page to grab it.

TEI 2011 Tinkering with Tangibles Studio.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Public Beta Preview Launched

We just launched our Public Beta Preview release.  If you're on a Mac you can download the companion desktop widget to start programming your Arduino Uno or Duemilanove right away.  We're working hard to release the Windows version but in the meantime, you can go ahead and try the online editor and let us know what you think.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Today's the day: Modkit Make Article and Beta Preview Release

Our article in Make Magazine officially hits newsstands today and although we initially hoped to have a solid Beta release before Make subscribers received their copies over the last two weeks, we're happy to announce that we'll be making a preview release of the Editor available later today.  As the Modkit editor is web based, we have a companion desktop application (more like a desktop widget) that you'll need to use in order to program your board.  The Mac version of the Modkit desktop widget is already available to download and we hope to also make the Windows version available with the preview release later on, but there are still a few loose ends to tie up. A Linux release will come shortly after.

The preview release is focused on the Modkit CrimpCard tutorial from the Make article, so if you want to try it out, you might want to pick up a copy.  We're going to get back to work, but check out the images from the upcoming release.  We're really excited and hope you are too.  

Monday, January 17, 2011

Countdown to the beta release and a hands-on Studio at TEI '11

As the countdown to the beta release continues, a few communities in particular are especially excited. MAKE Magazine subscribers who have read the recent Modkit article are eager to give Crimp Cards a try. Teens in the Boston Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn program are thirsty to do more with Modkit and explore how its new features can enable them to take their projects in new directions. This upcoming weekend, several people attending the Fifth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI 11) will meet the new Modkit tools in a hands-on workshop setting.

To date, feedback from workshops that bring together creators of all ages and backgrounds has helped Modkit evolve. On Sunday January 23rd, 2011, Ed and I will be in Funchal, Portugal running a hands-on studio workshop with 20 participants at TEI 11. The Studio is called "A Toolkit for Tinkering with Tangibles and Connecting Communities."

Preparing for the TEI Studio and beta release at the same time has involved a lot of work - sometimes late-night in the kitchen, as the photo below shows. Going to the TEI conference will be a welcome change of pace. The other photo below shows the TEI homepage featuring pictures that suggest this Studio will have a beautiful backdrop - a welcome break from local kitchens, computer labs, and cafes.

The Studio participants will range from first-time tinkerers to long-time creators of tangible technologies. We'll be working with the group to remix Crimp Cards and explore ways to extend the Modkit tools so that they meet the needs of diverse creative communities. The rough schedule is as follows:

9AM - 10AM
-get to know the participants.
-use the supplied electronic and craft components to prototype an interactive object.
10AM - 12PM
-discuss what everyone created or attempted to create.
-revise the starter projects with new materials the organizers introduce.
12PM - 1PM
1PM - 2PM
-rework the morning projects to incorporate new ideas or start a second project.
-go through the process of extending the Modkit toolkit to meet the needs of communities that the participants represent.
2PM - 3PM
-reflect and discuss the topics of creative communities and computational toolkits.

We look forward to going live with the new Modkit and later posting photos from the TEI Studio.
Stay tuned.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Modkit's Going Public!

After almost a year in private Alpha, Modkit is finally coming out with its first public Beta release just days away.  The year 2010 was a busy one for Modkit and we're happy to be able to share the fruits of our labor with the world.  The upcoming release is the result of feedback from our Alpha testers and the expansion of our vision following our successful Kickstarter campaign.  We owe our Alpha testers and Kickstarter backers our deepest gratitude, as they patiently waited for features and rewards while we essentially put the Alpha version down to re-design the system from the ground up.

We have many things to report in the next few days.  First, let us introduce you to the new site design.  The site will be coming online in bits over the next week, but you can get a glimpse of the new design on our homepage.  There you'll see a giant "M", which will prove very significant once people get their hands on the upcoming release. We're going to get back to work on the public Beta release, but stay tuned...   There is more to come real soon!