November 28, 2012, 11:26 AM Igniting shopping

Sparkfun's wioos customers with online tutorials and project guides.

Lead Photo

Electronic parts retailer SparkFun caters to a niche crowd of do-it-yourselfers, amateur computing buffs and electronics builders. And beyond providing the circuitry for a garage-built robot’s heart, SparkFun provides extensive technical support, including free designs, schematics, engineering software and how-to guides for consumers. The retailer’s recently introduced “Department of Education” section also includes tutorials, project ideas, quick start and buying guides. Additionally, SparkFun hosts classes, for a fee, online and at its Boulder, Colo.-based headquarters, and customers can register for those classes on the site. SparkFun’s focus on its user community is clear from its home page, which features news and behind-the-scenes video from its staff and customers.

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