Dollar Store Food Containers Make Great Project Enclosures…

At the end of summer when my kids were in need of school supplies, we ended up passing through the local dollar store to find a few things. Right next to the pencil boxes and binders were plastic food containers for the kids to bring lunches and snacks to school in.  As soon as I saw them, I realized they would make fantastic project enclosures!  Here is the dollar sandwich container housing a Spark Core and a Relay Shield for my Compressed Air Rocket Launcher (I didn’t have a 9V battery clip on me when I put this together so the pink bubble wrap is there to keep the battery from knocking around):


The even smaller “snack” size boxes came in packs of three for $1.  Each one is a perfect (well, maybe a little tight) enclosure for an Arduino Uno with a a Shield and a 9V battery:


The one thing you do need to look out for is that sometimes the plastic can crack when you are drilling holes, so take your time, go slow.  And if you end up breaking one, it was only a buck!

Also, I went back just the other week, and the “back-to-school” stock has been pulled and replaced with Halloween items.  I couldn’t find these containers in my local dollar stores any more. There were others, but I didn’t like them as well.  However with some searching, I was able to find some online on

Just ordered my Edison!

I’ve been having a ton of fun with my Intel Galileo Blog Posts, but I have been anxiously awaiting the Intel Edison, a much smaller, but still “arduino compatible” development board.  On September 9, at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) Intel announced the Edison, and showed off a lot of cool things you can do with it.

I just jumped on SparkFun and ordered both the Edison with the Arduino Breakout Kit as well as the Edison with the Mini Breakout Kit and some of the SparkFun “Blocks”.  Now I just have to wait 6-8 weeks to get them (fingers drumming on table).

Intel® Edison and Arduino Breakout Kit

Shutting Down Your Intel Galileo running Windows

UPDATED ON 09/10/2014 – Added remote shutdown info

On the “Setting up your Galileo” page, at the very bottom, there is a strong recommendation to shutdown your Intel Galileo running Windows.  The promise is that if you properly shutdown the Galileo, as opposed to just pulling the power cord, or hitting the “Reboot” button, you will experience shorter boot times.  I can confirm this personally after having rebooted my Galileo’s repeatedly, using all of the methods, over the past few days.  If you can connect to your Galileo via Telnet, and shut it down formally, it will boot much quicker next time. 

Here is a repeat for the instructions from the “Setting up your Galileo” page:

Shutting down the Galileo

Before you unplug the power from the Galileo, it is advisable to gracefully shut it down. To do this:

  1. Telnet to the Galileo
  2. Enter the following command to shutdown:
    shutdown /s /t 0

After the microSD activity LED stops blinking, you may unplug the Galileo.


If you do not shut the Galileo down, the next boot will take much longer. During this time, Windows will run a check disk on the SD card to verify the integrity of the file system. Please allow this to finish.

Shutting down the Galileo REMOTELY

This morning, I started to think about shutting it down remotely.  Not a big deal.  Windows admin do remote shutdowns all the time, and it is no different with the galileo.  You just need to authenticate against the galileo before you run the shutdown command against it.  I created a batch file called “bouncegalileo.cmd” that let’s me do that easily.  Here are the contents of the batch fi8le:

REM USAGE: bouncegalileo.cmd <galileoname>
REM Where <galileoname> is the host name of your galileo
REM First, remove any existing connections to the galileo
net use \\%1 /del
REM Now, authenticate against the galileo as the Administrator
net use \\%1 /user:Administrator
REM Then use the shutdown command to restart the galileo immediately
REM The /r causes the galileo to RESTART.  Use /s to SHUTDOWN
shutdown /m \\%1 /r /t 0

Wrap that up in a batch file (I called mine “bouncegalileo.cmd”) and then the call to it would look something like this:


You can monitor your Galileo’s status in the “GalileoWatcher” .  It should take minute or so to come back on line.


Getting Started with Windows on the Intel Galileo (Gen 1)

This is the second video in my Intel Galileo Series.  In this video, I show you how to get the free version of Windows from the Windows Developer Program for IoT running on your Intel Galileo Gen 1 board.

Here are some handy links for this video:

You can get the source files for the entire series from:

Or download a .zip file with the latest version of the files from:

And finally, watch all the other videos here:

Getting Started with the Intel Galileo (Gen 1)

If you watched the //BUILD Day 1 keynote back in April, you may have seen the Intel Galileo board in action driving a gigantic keyboard (02h:03m:15s).  While I was watching it, I opened another browser and ordered a Galileo for myself.  It took me a long time to get my Galileo (almost four months, due to backorders), but they are readily available now, from a number of suppliers for somewhere between $50-$80 USD. 

Microsoft has even released a version of Windows that you can install on the Intel Galileo Gen 1 boards through the “Windows Developer Program for IoT".  In subsequent videos and blog posts I’ll show you how to do just that, but I thought I’d get started with a 101 introduction to the Intel Galileo and working with it as it ships from Intel.

So without any further ado, here is the video:

Here are some handy links:

Grab a copy of my slides:

Intel Maker community:

Intel Galileo Software Downloads: