That leaves: The good old "hello world!" project. Yuck. I want at least *a bit* more substance.
Along comes Christmas 2016... and an idea for a christmas ornament: my character tangled up in the christmas tree lights, like any cat would be! And of course the project is tiny enough yet at least useful in a decorative way to be worthy of an "open source" project with hard- and software aspects even!
I might note that I had the idea long before that current "cat flails under christmas tree" GIF hit telegram...
I kept thinking: "How to get the LEDs blinking?" and - of course - some simple oscillator circuits came to mind. But then I remembered an older DonRosa cartoon where Donald tried to decorate a christmas tree and everything falls apart rather dramatically... with Daisy asking "Why are the lights blinking 'SOS'?" - so I HAD to include that bit! And because of that, the randomness had to be controlled in one way or the other. Hence I went with the Arduino that I had around from waaaay back.
I had some initial problems getting that thing to run (see here for details) but eventually it worked and I got the software up and running yesterday night, just as Karpour finished the drawing. Today, I went out to my workshop and did the hardware to go with it.... brrrrr... I need some form of heating in there if I want to ever work during the winter.
After finishing my own version and taking lots of pictures, I wrote up a "how to" guide and put all the stuff together in a gitbub project: gitbub project page.
It does have some family friendly aspects that might make it interesting to the general (nerd)= public even: It takes some tinkering and soldering for the adult while a kid could do the coloring and jigsaw cutout of the panels. So if you know someone who needs a tiny project to keep the kids busy before Christmas... put the word out!
Hope you like it! I wanted it to be done way earlier but it's still somewhat in time for Christmas 2016... I hope...