NFC, or near-field communication, is a short-range wireless technology that allows your phone to act as a transit pass or credit card, quickly transfer data, or instantly pair with Bluetooth devices like headphones and speakers.
Git is a wonderful tool that can multiply your project’s impact, or make your project easier to manage by an order of magnitude. Some of us hackers don’t yet know how to use command-line Git, but a relatable example of why a certain tool would be useful might be a good start. Today, I’d like to give you a Git crash course – showing you why and how to put a KiCad PCB into a Git repository, later to be shared with the world.
KiCad works wonderfully with Git. The schematic and PCB files of KiCad are human-readable, especially when compared to other PCB file formats. KiCad creates different files for different purposes, each of them with a well-defined role, and you can make sense of every file in your project folder. What’s more, you can even modify KiCad files in a text editor! This is exactly the kind of use case that Git fits like a glove.
NOT JUST FOR SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS
What’s Git about, then? Fundamentally, Git is a tool that helps you keep track of code changes in a project, and share these changes with each other. Intended for Linux kernel development as its first target, this is what it’s been designed for, but it’s flexibility extends far beyond software projects. We hardware hackers can make use of it in a variety of ways – we can store PCB and other design software files, blog articles, project documentation, personal notes, configuration files and whatever else that even vaguely fits the Git modus operandi.
The first benefit you will get from using Git is a backup of your project. In fact, if you upload your git changes somewhere, you get two extra copies of your project – one stored in your local .git folder, and one uploaded to a place like GitHub or GitLab. In fact, a project stored in Git with an online mirror conforms to the 3-2-1 backup principle automatically. What’s more – you get historical backups within arm’s reach. Have you redesigned your PCB long ago, and now urgently need to refer to an earlier version? As long as you’ve been keeping your changes in Git, they’re a single command away.