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blink(1) is a small USB light to give you glanceable notice of anything on your computer or the internet.
blink(1) is a small USB light to give you glanceable notice of anything on your computer or the internet.
blink(1) is a small USB light to give you glanceable notice of anything on your computer or the internet.
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2,655 backers pledged $132,317 to help bring this project to life.

Production update: Happy Mooncake Festival!

Hi everyone!   

Ever heard of the Mooncake Festival?  It's a pretty big holiday around China, with everyone taking at least a week off. It looks really fun, and mooncakes are delicious.  We knew we were going to run into this holiday and have it affect our schedule, but I'd hoped we'd have most of the production done before it occurred.  We didn't quite make it, so we lost about a week from it.  

Everything's back up to speed and here's what's beeng going on with the various aspects of production.


This electronics were finished assembly last Monday, testing proceeded all this week, and now 6000 blink(1) electronics are on their way to us.  We have our assembly firm do two kinds of QA test on each blink(1).  The first test is for the RGB LED.  For this, they plug blink(1) into a regulated and current-limited 5VDC source and watch the blink(1) go through its startup light sequence, which goes white->red->green->blue...etc. They make sure the color output is good and there isn't a bad element on the LED.  The second test is for USB functionality. For this, plug blink(1) into a computer and verify it registers as a USB HID device.  If a blink(1) passes these two tests, it's bagged up to be shipped to us.  If it doesn't pass, either the LED is replaced and tested again, or it's just marked "bad" for us to test.


The production lines for the injection molded bottom part and the CNC machined aluminum top part are done and have produced sample parts for us to evaluate.  Those samples have been Fedexed to us and we hope to get them early next week.  It should take about a week to get the total quantity.


Final samples of the packaging was sent to us earlier this week for signoff.  We will get these Monday and I trust they'll be good.  It'll take about a week to make them all.  


The Mac OS X application is almost completed.  For Windows, we're trying out using Mono as the .NET runtime so we can potentially get a Linux application without too much extra effort.  If Mono doesn't work out, we'll switch over to the normal Microsoft .NET runtimes and keep the Mono effort for a Linux version later.  The HTML5 GUI that's common to all OSes is getting really close and I hope to have some screenshots soon.

Thanks everyone!  Have a good weekend.



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    1. ThingM 2-time creator on October 15, 2012

      Hi Eric,
      The blink(1) C library and command-line tools currently compile on: Mac OS X, Windows, Ubuntu Linux, Raspbian Linux (Raspberry Pi), Arch Linux (Raspberry Pi,BeagleBone). It's pretty portable. If your BSD-variant has the libusb-1.0 library available, it should compile just fine. The blink(1) library uses the HID API ( ) library, which does support FreeBSD with libusb-1.0.

      Hi calvinbeen, our reject rate is usually in the 1% range and that's for mainly for due to the LEDs. Often during assembly they can fix that, so the failure rate we see is much lower.

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      Eric LeBlanc on October 15, 2012

      Will you be porting Blink(1) to BSD for those of us, I hope I'm not the only one, that use any of the BSD variants?

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      calvinbean on October 14, 2012

      Nice, informative update. I'm curious: what has the reject rate been? I've always wondered how commen "rejects" are in electronics manufacturing.

      Idea: resurrect the reject & offer them to KS backers at a greatly reduced cost. I'm sure a lot of us could make do with a blink(1) that was limited to one color, etc.

    4. Tommy Frössman on October 14, 2012

      Sounds great. can't wait 'til i get my hands on my two Blink(1)s. Especially looking forward on how i could implement notification support for the Blink(1)s in my QNAP NAS :)

    5. Missing avatar

      Jeff Pullinger on October 14, 2012

      Thanks for the update. Really looking forward to getting my hands on them for a play. Great work.

    6. ThingM 2-time creator on October 14, 2012

      Hi Bryan, I can usually resurrect "bad" ones and I use them for my own personal use.

      Hi Benjamin, we already have a command-line tools and web service for Linux if you don't want to use a GUI. And of course, everything about blink(1) will be open source so others can create alternate GUIs

    7. Missing avatar

      David Bonecutter on October 14, 2012

      A native code implementation for Windows would be preferred

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      Benjamin Lebsanft on October 14, 2012

      Please no mono for linux, thank you!

    9. Bryan Hanks on October 14, 2012

      Awesome! Thanks for the update.

      What do you do with the ones marked "bad" if they're really bad?
      Landfill? (Boo!)
      Sell for 3/$1?
      Turn into jewelry?