Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays Everyone - Modkit Micro: Our Gift to You!

In the spirit of sharing and just in time for the winter holiday, we wanted to give everyone a chance to try Modkit Micro so we opened up the Modkit Micro preview (previously Kickstarter and Alpha Club members only) to anyone with a google account. We also wrote up this quick post to walk you through getting started with Modkit Micro. Since we've been posting all of our updates on our Kickstarter page, we know we need to get more content on the blog, but in the meantime let's get you started with Modkit Micro!

1. Download and run  Modkit Link

Get the latest version of Modkit Link for Windows, MacOSX, or Linux (Ubuntu).  Once you download Modkit Link, you'll need to run the installer on Windows, drag the App to your Applications folder on Mac, or unzip and read the README instructions on Linux.  After that, you should be able to run Modkit Link and see the M-icon show up on the Windows task bar, OSX Menubar, or GNOME Notification Area on Linux.

(Note: this version of Modkit Link (RC4) has been heavily tested with Arduino Uno and a new release will be available with improved support for other board so check back soon.)

2. Install your board drivers and plug in your board

You'll need to install any required drivers for your board before using your hardware with Modkit Micro.  Assuming you are using an Arduino UNO, you'll only need a driver if you're on Windows.  You can grab the .inf file and follow these instructions.

3. Launch Modkit Micro and choose your board

Launch Modkit Micro by browsing to and logging in through google when prompted.  Once Modkit Micro loads, click "Get Started" and if you're using an UNO, your board should  be automatically detected.  Select your board and click "Continue."
(Note: If you're using a board other than the UNO, we'll post instructions along with the next update of Modkit Link.)

4. Configure your hardware

Once you've chosen your board, you'll be in "Hardware" view where you can add addtional hardware components.  First, let's configure the built-in LED by dragging out an LED block and selecting PIN13 from the dropdown list.  

5. Build a small program

Once we're configured the hardware in "Hardware" view we can move to "Blocks" view by clicking the icon at the top of the app.  We can then drag out a "forever" block and drop two "setLED" and "delay"blocks into it like the screenshot shows.  When dragging the blocks, you'll notice that the blocks will highlight to show you how they can be connected.  If you drag a block out by mistake, you can drop it back in the "drawer" where you first dragger them from.

6. Press "Play" to test your program

Once, we're done laying out our new program, we can press the "play" button to send it to our board.  If all goes well, you should see "Programming Ok" and the program will then be running on your hardware.  

7. Check out "Code View" and play around a bit

Once you've ensured you can program your board with Modkit Micro, it's a good time to play around with the editor a bit.  Make sure to check out "Source" view to see (or edit) the code generated by the blocks you built.  
That's it for now.  We'll be back soon with more updates.   Until then leave us a comment and let us know what you think!