Updates from April, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Thom Hines 11:14 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    CMS with a Brand New Name: Tinker? 

    I’ve been wracking my brain about coming up with a name that epitomizes what this CMS is and what it does, and it seems like every synonym to the word simple or easy or clear has been taken. In my mind, much like Yury said the other day in class, people shouldn’t think about managing anything, but rather, that when they see their site, editing isn’t an extra step. If they are logged in, the changes they want to make are available right then, not on some other admin screen. And the fact that this will be built primarily for static or semi-static sites indicates to me that most changes will be only quick edits and simple updates. Lastly, the interface is fun and unique, and working in the system seems almost whimsical in its simplicity. Thus, I (for now) have decided on Tinker. I’d love to hear your feedback.

    On the technical end, I’ve built in a lot of the auto-install process for Tinker, and so it is ready for some early alpha-phase testing. If you want to check it out on a site of your own, you can download the files and upload them to your server. The process for getting it running is pretty simple:

    1) upload the Tinker folder to your public_html (or otherwise web-facing) on your web server

    2) Add the line:
    <?php include(“tinker/core/init.php”) ?>

    to the bottom of your HTML’s <head> section

    3) Navigate to the tinker folder in your web browser and go through the setup process.

    IT’S EASY. Also, try out the image uploader, which you can find in the image button in the toolbar. You will have to set your images folder on the admin page to make this work.

    And finally, here’s my schedule:

    Today April 14
    Ensure file structure is robust (can move around without breaking)
    Make first alpha version available

    Monday 4/18
    Develop more finely-tuned Look and Feel prototypes
    Alter login and server management for more secure account management
    Thursday 4/21
    Establish way of saving drafts of in-progress editing
    Start observed user testing
    Monday 4/25
    Create versioning system
    Apply final styles of Look and Feel
    Post project to KickStarter

    Thursday 4/28
    Rough draft of paper complete
    Release beta version
    Install CMS on my mom’s site
    Start to develop demo/distribution site

    Monday 5/2
    More user feedback on latest version
    Make further progress on demo site

    Thursday 5/5
    Final paper complete
    Launch demo site
    Release final beta

    Monday 5/9
    Final presentation

  • catherine 10:28 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    kni++ timeline 

    Monday 4/18
    Make yarn sensors that make sound when stretched.

    Thursday 4/21
    Attach knitting needles to arduino & have them make sound when they touch each other.

    Monday 4/25
    Have the look & feel and implementation finalized.
    Have sounds that I like

    Thursday 4/28
    Work on rough draft of paper. User test.

    Monday 5/2
    Edit based on results of user testing.

    Thursday 5/5
    Final user test.
    Rough draft of paper

    Monday 5/9
    Have demo of experience/presentation set-up & ready for you!

    Monday 5/13
    Finish paper

  • lpercifield 10:27 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

    Oh crap… Updates 

    So Monday night after class, I trekked out into the rain… When I arrived at NCB-013 there was no sign that it was overflowing. The smell of sewage was in the air though as the rain stirred things up. After getting some photos of the river and holding pond, I heard a loud creaking sound. It was clear that the flood gates were opening. Moments later there was a torrent of water being released into Wallabout bay. The sound of the water rushing from the flood gates was quite incredible…

    Here is the floating boom before the outfall, notice the “floatables”

    Here is the holding pond…

    Here is what the outfall looks like after it gained some steam

  • Yury Gitman 10:19 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Presentation format 

    Your Name
    Title of project
    One Representative Image
    One sentence thesis
    One paragraph thesis
    3-6 images of changing prototypes (with and without users).
    1-2 paragraphs explaining evolution and why
    2 sentences, “Where you are now.”
    3-4 sentences “Where would like to be.”

  • lpercifield 10:01 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply


    Monday 4/18
    Have the sensor module prototype ready for possible installation
    Thursday 4/21
    Have a physical look and feel prototype ready for the personal in home unit
    Monday 4/25
    Have the pysical system running for user testing. 
    If sensor is not installed work out test data for the system.
    Possible presentation at the Beacon institute this evening??
    Thursday 4/28
    Work on the Web site to display the data and connect users to api
    Rough working draft of paper (Compile prior art and resources
    Monday 5/2
    Compile data about sewer shed area and create maps
    Thursday 5/5
    Final user testing of the prototypes and web services
    Rough draft of paper
    Monday 5/9
    Have a demo of the final system running with pysical and web interaction
    Monday 5/13
    Finish PAPER!!
    • scottpeterman 10:17 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      4/26 jail
      5/3 a flash flood and you die…

      my money’s actually on an exploding spray paint can first semester of next year doing you in.

      Seriously, sounds/looks like it’s going good! Get those photos up here, they’re great and a really visual illustration of why this data is relevant and needs to be collected.

    • andywallace 10:19 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      What kind of suer testing are you planning on since this is an autonomous device? Will you just see how people react to the website or are you still going ahead with the little candles that people keep in their apartments that tells them when to flush?

  • andywallace 9:58 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Set backs and a chart 

    The last two days have not been amazing for me, but I have gotten some work done. Unfortunately, I am already behind on the schedule I posted two days ago.

    I largely solved the serial problem I was having, which is good. In my test, I was just flooding the serial port by not waiting at all between messages. Upping the baud rate helped by letting the receiver come closer to being able to handle everything coming in, but it still wound up falling behind. This is probably why openFrameworks kept crashing.

    Saying "hi" way too many times per second.

    The solution was to have OF or whatever application needs the data actually make requests, so that information is only being sent when it needs to be.

    Getting the transmission of data working wound up taking far, far longer that I had expected, but seems to be working. I narrowed down the important atributes for each ball into the following variables.

    ID – int (0-6)- id number of the ball
    velocity – int (0-1024)- speed of the ball
    distance – int (0-1024) – distance to the next closest ball
    collision – int (0-1) – effectively a boolean saying if the ball has been hit or not
    (This last value is an int for the sake of transmitting it as a single byte, the same way everything else is)

    These values are determined by the arduino paired with each ball based on the sensor readings in the ball and some simple on board calculations.

    For actually sending things, I got some help from Christ (who recommended some very useful sections of Programming Interactivity) and Zach Lieberman. Each of these values are broken down into a byte or a series of bytes. ID & collision can fit into one byte each while velocity & distance each require two bytes (although an int is generally stored with 4). These bytes are sent individually when info is requested and put back together by OF. An arduino attached to my computer acts as the base station, mediating between the balls and OF.

    Working with the data at this level was very informative in terms of figuring out how the flow of information in my project would work. I can’t imagine deviating very far from this chart:

    This part was rewarding. but things went wrong from here on out.

    I tried to re-create my self contained wireless unit for the gyroscope to put it in the ball and test for collisions, but I believe I burned out my gyroscope. I’m not sure exactly how it happened, but I am getting no readings from it, and it seems to be providing no resistance when it is attached to power and ground, which causes problems for the arduino. I have a few more being mailed to me, but they are not here yet, and this means I may need to buy more, which I’m not thrilled about.

    This may have been the moment of death for my gyroscope

    That leads me to my other worry: shipping. I have two sparkfun orders on their way to my house at the moment, the oldest one should have been here today but wasn’t, and the one with my lithium batteries was not even placed until just a few days ago. Also, my order of adrweenies from Solarbotics (which I orderred  4/8 is not even due to reach my place until 4/19). When I orderred it, I only bought 4 because I wanted to make sure they worked before buying enough for my whole project, but if shipping takes that long, it isn’t realistic to plan on buying more from them. I may have to run around trying to find ardweenies that people have or use Lillypads for some of them.

    So it goes. Hopefully my new gyroscope will arrive today, and even if it doesn’t I can move ahead with the IR detection on the balls.

  • hilalkoyuncu 9:56 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply  


    Here is a demo of what my toy can do:

    • andywallace 10:16 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I really like the interaction with the doll. And the sound for flatlining is great.

      As I mentioned in class, you may want to consider suing RFID tags for the various tools so that the user doesn’t have to fit them into tiny slots. sparkfun sells a kit: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/8419

    • catherine 10:16 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Hilal,
      This is great progress. I really love the look and implementation of your prototype. You have awesome documentation and I can almost envision how the final prototype will look. Keep up the good work!

    • scottpeterman 10:20 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Yeah agree with andy about the rfid. very cool overall though! so excited for the final idea, I love how alot of the medicine you apply to the guy is kind of “kid” medicine, like the made up medicine that a kid would use when playing doctor. great stuff.

    • Victor Kim 10:21 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      as far as seizing, I don’t think you can necessarily die or flat line from a seizure (at least I have never had that problem, thankfully).

  • breegeek 9:38 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Theoretical Schedule 

    • andywallace 10:17 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I think having a website will be really good for user testing since you can get people to play it over the course of several days instead of just one sitting, since that si the way the device is going to work in the final version..

    • Oylum 10:17 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I think you should do LCD testing before the day you scheduled. LCD’s can be painful you know and you might need more time to fix bugs.

  • Oylum 9:36 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    My Schedule 

    Monday 4/18
    Implementation working
    (Working wireless, sending 1 way signal to the internet)
    Start the paper, get prior art research laid down

    Thursday 4/21
    Look and feel prototype, close to final version

    Monday 4/25
    User testing look and feel
    Write about user testing and first prototypes

    Thursday 4/28
    User testing, iterating the look and feel
    Write the test results of the user tests

    Monday 5/2
    Making sure at least 1way communication is achieved

    Thursday 5/5
    Final test and tweaks

    Monday 5/9
    Hopefully done!

    Monday 5/13
    Paper done!

    • Lee 10:14 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Seems like an aggressive but smart schedule. Leaving a lot of time for testing which is awesome, but maybe block out some time around the 28th for iterating or creating an improved version.

    • hilalkoyuncu 10:14 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      It seems like you have it all worked out but it would be nice to use different stimulations to communicate love/ attention. You might want to think about may be coming up with at least one more way to implement the same effect and user test it.
      Depending on the feedback you will be able to get on/continue on the right track.
      Good luck!

    • byelihandworks 3:00 pm on May 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      There are lots and lots of blocks in this wonderful new book. As others have reviewed, this is for those who like the heavier side of knits. I know that some of the blocks I will never make, however I can’t wait to start on others. I know that I will own every book that Nicky Epstein publishes. This is great for inspiration and reference. If you want to make something beautiful and different, elegant yet sometimes funky, this is the book. Not for the shy or beginner, although most blocks are not difficult. I would say to use the “look inside” feature and if you see what you like, there is more to come.

  • hilalkoyuncu 9:32 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Mini-Thesis Schedule of Hilal 

    14/04= create a game board for the toy, make three different games to user test by next class.

    Polish up the enclosure.

    18/04=  Play test games that were created. Research/ write drafts

    Make adjustments till next class based on feedback.  Polish up the enclosure.

    21/04= Play test games that were created. Research/ write drafts

    Make adjustments till next class based on feedback. Polish up the enclosure.

    25/04= Polish up all glitches in the code, hardware.

    Research/ write drafts

    Make adjustments till next class based on feedback.

    Finish up the enclosure, work on packaging.

    28/04= Research$Write, work on packaging.



    • Oylum 10:15 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      It seems like you are putting too much work on 04/25. I think you can extend the finish up everything 04/28 or even 05/02 to give yourself more room for final touches.

  • scottpeterman 9:04 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Marching Band Schedule 

    Thankfully the parts are trickling in! Here’s my schedule for getting the six selected instruments – Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, Cymbal, Bass Drum, Snare Drum – completed and ready to perform on Monday the 9th.

    Monday 4/18
    Trumpet prototype 2 with tilt sensor ready for user testing
    Ping trombone ready for user testing
    Website up and running

    Thursday 4/21
    Met with musician group – Ed, Dan, Rob, Leo, Brett
    Final glove production signed off with Lauren
    Proximity Bass drum for user testing
    Finished Percussion Prior Art/Patent Research

    Monday 4/25
    Kickstarter up
    Cymbals soft sensor prototype user testing
    Gyro snare prototype for user testing

    Thursday 4/28
    All instruments playable in prototype form
    Expanded version of white paper, all research complete

    Monday 5/2
    Met with Parsons Music Profs
    Rhizome application completed
    All MIDI samples locked in

    Thursday 5/5
    Full band practice
    Refining/tweaking the final gloves for comfort
    Art in Odd Places app due

    Monday 5/9
    GO TIME!

    • Thom Hines 10:14 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Looks like you’ve got a lot of progress made already, and a good plan to get to the end, especially considering how ambitious it will be do do the whole band. I also like that you are including non-Computation deadlines in there; smart to keep your eye on the bigger picture.

    • Lee 10:15 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      word do it and I want one

  • Behnaz Babazadeh 5:04 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    SMAs Research + Applications 

    SMA’s (Shape Memory Alloys) have been around since the 60’s. They are a hybrid of titanium alloy and nickel (NiTi). This composition of the metals gives the alloy an elastic quality that cannot be found with any other metal (composition). The alloys have a remembered state that they revert to after they have been heated (thermo or electric charge), no matter the current shape that the alloy may be in. There are two types of shape memory alloy effects, one-way and two-way. The one-way effect is when the SMA has a single remembered state, usually at the cooled state. The two-way effect is achieved by a cooled state and a heated state. Two-way SMA’s are less successful because they can remember new heated states in the process of use.

    Currently, this technology is used for industrial purposes, such as medical devices, industrial actuators and aerospace engineering. I am interested in the capabilities of memory alloys and the potential for its use in a commercial product application. Below are some examples of these memory alloys being used in either industrial or commercial use. (More …)

    • scottpeterman 10:12 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting research, and thanks for the demo in class the other day. I wonder if this could be woven into something with one of those machines we saw at stoll? This stuff just feels so weird and magic-y…

    • Alvaro Soto 10:18 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      This is really cool, I noticed that the allows are being used by designer to evoke emotional behaviors in the products, I think the key is not that they can expand but that they dont need additional tools or elements to function. which is important because you can design things that are very thin or minimal and get the same movement as if you had pair of servo motor.
      The lamp is stunning and clever I would think very carefully the form of your cards so when it grows it makes sense what is growing and how it looks.

  • Alvaro Soto 3:41 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Modulo cutting and testing 

    I am in a pretty good track with the schedule, since tuesday I got all my drawings together and went to the woodshop to cut the blocks

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    Also Im trying to find the best connection for the blocks (electrical connection), so Ive been testing with nails, bolts and header pins.

    Next steps are to get the right connections, cut the remaining pieces in the laser cutter and assemble. For monday I expect to have most of this done.

    for more info and photos visit my blog

    • Chris Piuggi 10:16 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Great progress, in regards to a connection have you thought about something simple like conductive tape? Although it won’t allow for you to have the blocks stick together, it would pass the conductivity and you can solder too it. I may be a good source for you to add to the sides of your blocks and get solid connections.

    • hilalkoyuncu 1:19 am on April 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply

  • breegeek 5:45 am on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Circuit Madness 

    Hey guys, this isn’t for class, but I am having some SERIOUS trouble getting this working, and even with Katherine’s help and patience, I couldn’t get it working…

    It’s a call detect circuit that should (I think) detect rf pulses… Here’s the circuit diagram and parts list….

    (More …)

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