How to Jump Start a Dead Dagu i-Racer from SparkFun


I got this cool little Dagu I-Racer from SparkFun a few months back (  I had a ton of fun playing with it, including using a Windows Phone app created by Jeff Albrecht to drive it (

Anyhow, I put it away and it sat in the box for a couple of months.  When I took it back out, it wouldn’t recharge.  I contacted SparkFun Tech Support ( and they told me to try and "jump start" it by applying 5v to the battery terminals (by passing the charging circuit).  Once you have the lights blinking you can then plug in the regular charger and get it charging again. I’ve done this successfully a few times now (more than I’d like), but it works!

Orange County Mini Maker Faire Trip Report


This last Saturday (08/17/2013) was the Orange County Mini Maker Faire.  I have been a fan of MAKE Magazine since it’s inception.  Maker Faire’s are a logical offshoot from a magazine that is all about creating cool stuff and showing it off. 

I’ve been looking for ways to get Microsoft involved in the Maker Faire events down here in Southern California, so I was going to this event “for work”, but I decided to bring my kids along with me. That turned out to be a wise choice.  They LOVED It!

OCMiniMakerFaireCollageThis cool collage was made with MemoryLage on Windows 8

They made Marshmallow Guns with Vocademy, built clay circuits with Hacker Scouts, chatted with R2D2, crafted clay bowls with Mosaica Online, Launched Paper Rockets, built Lego Sumo Robots with Mathbotix, saw TONS of cool 3D printers and what they can make, listend to music made Rhythm Core Alpha using a Nintendo DSI, saw an awesome quadcopter demo by AreoQuad, and lost of other really cool stuff!  Needless to say we were all exhausted at the end of the day!

Thanks to the Orange County Mini Maker Faire organizers and volunteers for a great event.

And if this sounds like a great event for you to attend, sponsor, or volunteer for, check out the upcoming San Diego Mini Maker Faire! Hope to see you there!

Determining the Node.js version in Azure Mobile Services


Windows Azure Mobile Services is effectively a node.js application, and as such is extensible using node.js. Currently this extensibility comes in the form of table scripts, scheduler scripts and custom apis.

As you begin to write these scripts for your azure mobile services, it is helpful to have access not only to the documentation for the Windows Azure Mobile Services Script Reference, but to Node.js itself. Node.js however evolves rapidly as do most other modern frameworks. That means that the documentation you find on the Node.js site may be for a different version of node than is actually running in your Mobile Service.

So that brings up two questions:

  1. How do you Identify the version of Node that is running in your Azure Mobile Service?
  2. How you get docs for that version of the Node API?

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