Tech enthusiasts have gotten a lot more independent in recent years. It’s become easier to download software and make adjustments in order to configure our devices the way we want them. Many have learned how to build their own websites, construct mobile apps from scratch, or otherwise experiment with coding and programming languages. Even when it comes to hardware and electronics, people have gradually become comfortable with buying, customizing, and setting up products to better their environments. This is what’s ultimately leading to the rapid rise of smarthomes, as well as some other changes that amount to tech improving and automating our environments.
All of these are changes we don’t really think about. We advance with technology, and as technology gets a little bit easier in some respects, we get more comfortable with tailoring it to our needs. What takes a little bit more know-how and conscious intent, however, is designing your own electronic products. This too, however, is becoming a more common hobby among tech enthusiasts. So, while we aren’t writing up a step-by-step tutorial for any specific product here, we thought we’d cover some of the basic skills you need in order to build and program your own devices.
Arguably the most straightforward way to design your own home electronics is to learn how to use Arduino. If you’re not familiar with the term, this is essentially a kit consisting of both hardware components and accompanying software. It amounts to a sort of circuit board or miniature computer that you can configure and program as you please so as to design one function or another. One common example of an Arduino project is an LED display that will pulse to the rhythm of music.
Another is a digital clock that will tell you the temperature outside. Eventually though, people skilled in Arduino take on more complicated projects as well. The bottom line is that this is likely the simplest path toward custom home electronics for those who don’t have programming and/or electrical engineering experience.
Learn PCB Design For Manufacturing
If you want to take a slightly more advanced and robust approach to the general Arduino concept, it’s also wise to learn the fundamentals of PCB design. PCBs, or printed circuit boards, are the driving forces within our electronics that turn our own interactions into electronic responses. And today, once you learn the basics, you can dive into PCB design for manufacturing, which is a process that takes you from concept to product.
You’ll learn gradually how to select materials, configure layouts and schematics through software, and ultimately have a PCB produced to serve whatever purpose it is you have in mind. Such a device can power any number of home electronic mechanisms you may have in mind.
Learn 3D Printing
Moving away from the actual programming of electronics, it’s also handy to learn the basics of 3D printing. This essentially means learning the different specific methods, the materials involved, and the different ways to bring a product into existence. You’ll also need to find design software you’re able to use, and/or a reliable library of downloadable designs (there are many) you might want to borrow from. Once you get the hang of all this — and get your hands on a 3D printer — you’ll vastly expand your capability to design entire devices rather than just their internal electronics. Through 3D printing, you can build the products within which your Arduino or custom-manufactured PCB will operate.
Learn How To Shop For Parts
This is a little bit less of a “skill” in some respects, but it’s also a good idea to gain some experience shopping for tech products and obscure parts online. You may be surprised just how often this sort of activity comes up when you’re designing your own electronics. You may reach a point at which you need to track down a specific switch, a certain type of LED light, or any number of other things that aren’t available on mainstream retail sites or at the local electronics store.
In these cases, you can have your best luck at resale platforms, through more obscure electronics sellers, and so on. However, you also need to be sure that you’re dealing with trustworthy platforms! For these reasons, practice and research really are needed. Talk to others who dabble in similar hobbies, read about different platforms, and maybe try a few minor purchases, and in time you’ll have a stable of reliable, go-to options you can keep on standby.
With all of this knowledge and skill in hand, it really just comes down to creativity, research, and perseverance. You can access the tools and resources today to develop all sorts of home electronics, including some pretty sophisticated products. You only need to develop the skill and do the work to make it happen.
How To Make Your Twitter Account And Tweets Private
How to make your entire Twitter account private to the public and choose which of your followers can view your tweets.
Although influencers, celebrities, and businesses use their Twitter profiles to promote products, services, or even themselves, the popular social media platform is still built around a base of everyday users sharing the news and opinions they care about most.
If you’ve built a Twitter account with a follower list of close friends and family, you may be happy simply interacting with people you know, and uncomfortable with the idea of strangers being able to see your Tweets. In that case, you’re in luck, because it’s relatively simple to make your Twitter account completely private so that only your list of followers will be able to see what you’ve posted and who you’ve interacted with.
In addition to making your account private to non-followers, you’ll gain an extra layer of security, as you’ll also be able to manually approve which followers can see your posts. Here’s how to change the settings to make your Twitter account private:
- Go to the Twitter website.
- In the left tab, click More, then Settings and Privacy in the pop-up menu.
- Click the Privacy and Safety tab, followed by Audience and Tagging.
- Check the box next to Protect your Tweets.
- Click Protect to confirm your selection.
In the Privacy and Safety tab, you can find additional settings such as Discoverability, as well as manage who can send you direct messages, and more.
- Open the Twitter app.
- Tap the Settings menu in the top-right corner (gearwheel icon).
- Tap the back arrow to see the full settings menu.
- Tap Privacy and Safety and next, Audience and Tagging.
- Tap the slider to the right of Protect your Tweets, which will turn green.
- Finally, tap Done.
It’s worth pointing out that you may have to toggle a different tab in order to view the settings icon in the top right of the screen.
Also Read: How To Lock Your Facebook Profile
How To Approve New Twitter Followers
- On the left menu tab, click More, then click Follower Requests in the pop-up menu.
- Click Accept or Decline for each request.
- Tap your profile photo in the top-right corner, then tap Follower Requests.
- Tap the green tick or red cross for each request.
So there you have it, your Twitter profile is now private and only the followers that you choose can see your posting activity.