This section contains resources that are useful for physical computing in general, like reading material, suppliers, links to other useful sites, recommended tools and parts to get started, and more.

Parts & Tools Guide – What’s in your kit, and what other parts and tools will you use frequently.

In-Person Help

Local Retailers

If you’re looking to buy components in NYC, here are your options:

  • Tinkersphere. They do order-online-and-pickup, though their storefront is still not open for customers to browse. 
  • MicroCenter has a number of Arduino-compatible components, and is  about half an hour away by train/bus. Search “Arduino+” sensor, motor, etc. to see if they have what you need before you go.

Books and Articles (Print, not Web)

Other ITP sites

External Sites


Electronics References

Mechanics References

Software Tools

NYU Google App suite – you’ll need to know these for most of NYU interaction. You have access to the whole suite through your NYU account. Search for NYU Drive. We’ll use mail, calendar, docs, sheets, drive, and slides.

Zoom – Crucial during 2020, perhaps still useful in 2021 and beyond? Check out Zoom tutorials and resources by NYU.

Code Tools

  • Arduino: As of Spring 2023, we use version 2.0.3 or later. Download is free.
  • GitHub: gitHub is a code repository that we use in many classes at ITP. The code samples for this class are all in this gitHub repository, Accounts are free, and the GitHub Desktop app is free as well.
  • is a code sharing site that’s specific to web apps.It works well with p5.js and node.js sketches and applications p5.js sketches on Glitch can talk to Arduino using the p5.serialport library and p5.serialcontrol app. Accounts are free.
  • Visual Studio Code as is a good programming editor outside of the Arduino IDE. It’s good for for HTML, JavaScript (including p5.js projects), node.js, and sometimes Arduino as well. You may not need it, but if you’re looking for a general purpose programming editor check it out. Downloads are free.

Drawing Tools

This course involves a lot of circuit and system drawings. You can use any drawing tool that you like.

  • The circuit diagrams on this site are made in Fritzing, a circuit and schematic drawing program designed for electronics beginners. Downloads are about $9.oo USD. Alternately you can download the source and compile it yourself for free. You can export SVGs from it and work in any other drawing program as well.
  • Inkscape is a free and open source vector drawing tool. Downloads are free.
  • SketchAffinity Designer or  Adobe Illustrator are also popular vector drawing tools, though they are not free.
  • Circuit Diagram Editor – an online circuit schematic editor that can export most standard image formats. No registration needed, use is free.

Other Teaching & Learning Tools