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lasers, originally uploaded by adject.

Smoke illuminated by a green laser. Wandering around Golden Gate park at night a few weeks ago.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009 // 0 Comments

So for one of our projects for one of my interaction design classes, we have to design and program valentine's widget thingys. Sounds fine to me. I've been sketching over the past couple of days and cobbling together code and so far I have a semi-working, proto-basic sound recorder that displays different red waves based on sound input. Here's a screenshot.

I have to figure out how to take a screen shot and email it (will probably write the image to a buffer and send that) but so far, so fun!

Also, here's a screen shot of the LED clock I programmed for last week. Look at those lovely plotted out vector points that took me 2 hours to plot.

And finally, final fake Furby. The eyelids and beak-simulators move, in a way. Most people in my class did paper prototypes but I think that the physicality of Furby would not translate in paper.

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kokoro astonishingly small face
"Her astonishingly small face is capable of creating exotic facial expressions."

So I first heard the phrase "uncanny valley" on that episode of 30 Rock. Or no. I had heard it years before back when I was one or two notches higher on the dork scale, but I forgot about it. Having to prototype Furby has me thinking about robots for whatever reason and while Japan's fake girl robots aren't news I hadn't ever really looked at them before, nor read the hilarious yet kind of unsettling copy.


Sunday, January 25, 2009 // 0 Comments

of time and the river
I had my first week of class last week. It was mostly syllabus-going over, classmate-greeting, self-introducing business. It's strange to suddenly be constantly, insanely busy during the school term after being constantly non-busy during break. I already miss puttering around the apartment, organizing random things, playing video games and the unabashed slacking I've been doing for the past month.

One of my first assignments is to program a series of clocks using Processing (as it says "an open source programming language and environment for people who want to program images, animation, and interactions"). It is not a super-complicated language and is fairly easy to pick up just through the web and a book or two.

But enough about that. Clocks are rad. The first two clocks we need to program are supposed to mimic an analog clock and a digital LED clock. The rest can be whatever kinds of clocks we feel like making. I want to make a clock based on the movements of my cat throughout the day. I have no idea what that means graphically yet but I find it entertaining to think of a clock that meows everyday at 5am. I also want to make a clock out of sound. It could start by following the clock tower, church bell, bong pattern, but I also want the sound itself to be expressive of time passing. At certain intervals the sounds themselves get more frantic (i.e., right before the top of the hour, the sound is crazy and/or right before midnight). Something like that.

I've finished a working version of the LED clock and I can say plotting all the points for each section of the numbers is the most tedious thing I've done in a long time. So, just in case someone ever needs to script LEDs and doesn't feel like figuring out all the points on a graph, here are the coordinates for an 8 (which should cover all numbers 0-9). It's not the prettiest but I think you could make the middle bar a little thinner and it wouldn't be so clunky.








Also of note, links for inspiration: 24 Creative Modern Clock Designs and Tokyoflash Japan.

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Monday, January 19, 2009 // 0 Comments

prototype recreation
For one of my interaction classes I was assigned the task of recreating a Furby as a prototype. It is supposed to be a low fidelity prototype, meaning either a paper prototype or something using the Wizard of Oz method (i.e., a big glowing head that is supposed to be the product but is actually faked by a tiny dude behind a curtain pulling some levers).

The prototype needs to retain and express the qualities of the original so it is recognizable to someone who is familiar with the original product or it imparts a similar experience to someone who isn't familiar.

What I've done is taken an old pikachu doll, duct-taped it up so that it is Furby size (Pikachu was too fat), pasted on fake eyes and mouth parts and I'm using super janky, low-fi sticks and paper to mimic moving eyelids and beak parts. I still have yet to complete the external covering but I seem to have gotten the pre-basic mechanics to work. (I say pre-basic because I have little to no current experience working in three dimensions. I took 2 semesters of advanced calculus and a semester of programming (for scientists) to avoid taking physics in undergrad.) I also have to create a presentation and diagram of the interactions in the next 24 hours. Ack, the work!

Cat to janky duct tape Furby prototype ratio

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Sunday, January 18, 2009 // 0 Comments

inaugural post
Nothing to do with another more exciting inauguration.

It is hard to explain my history with the web without sounding pompous, jaded or boring. On top of the long forgotten internet history, the thought of trying to examine an Amy 13 years younger is both daunting and nausea-inducing. The time it took to get from there to here was full of somewhat unattached, partially unwired, mostly irrelevant living. It has been a long time since I've made any concerted effort to work on the web or even show my work on the web. It's been an even longer time since I thought it was useful or interesting to share my thoughts on the web.

It still probably isn't...

...useful or interesting, that is.

But in the interests of organizing my time and efforts, I'm going to give it a shot again. Here goes.
Thursday, January 15, 2009 // 0 Comments


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