Archive for September, 2008

Visualizing: Sense of (small) scale

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Making initial experiments with scale. Used the USB microscope to take images at the two magnifications available (20x and 400x). I was really intrigued with the surface of the computer…both because it was readily available and because the metal is actually quite pitted rather than smooth. There is also a lot of “stuff” in and around the keyboard…I suppose that it’s not just a myth that computer keyboards are some of the dirtiest places around.

So, this sketch just aligns images of the speaker (more…)

Speed reader…

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

I’m interested in generative animation…a la flight404…and had a recent assignment to create a two minute piece which included a significant body of text. I also recently came across some speed reading techniques involving rapidly flashing single words in a serial fashion.

I set out to utilize this technique but with a more graceful animation (more…)

OS X Leopard’s Alex text-to-speech…breathing?

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Maybe this is old news…but it was a surprise to me when I thought I heard the (relatively) new Alex voice inhaling when speaking some text. Try it out yourself, using TextEdit (spelled to aid pronunciation):

This is a test. Didd I juhst take a breath? (Yes, I will). I hope so, I really need too breathe at some point.

Weird – and awesome at the same time. The breath sound really does something to put me at ease when listening to the speech. I found myself unconsciously holding my breath until I heard him breathe.


Monday, September 22nd, 2008

I’m a big fan of a portmanteau words…

I recently realized that my blog entries are excessively long on the front page. Some clever individual though to implement a break in the articles when on the main page…but I haven’t until lately needed to use something like that. However, I tend to be a bit verbose with entries on here (as sufficiently evidenced by this post.)

Anyway, the past articles have been updated to include breaks….and I still consider myself a blogging noob.

Visualizing: Microscope thoughts

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

I got to play with a USB microscope today. The device is pretty simple, and the focus control was difficult to dial in, but the results were fun. There’s something about scale…even the mundane is intriguing when we see it in a novel way and this certainly qualifies.

Here are some pics: (more…)

Sound landscape

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Not satisfied with leaving well enough alone…here’s the current iteration with the sound visualization sketch. Now, the logarithmically averaged spectrum from each sample is rendered along a spiral path. The color is still derived from the loudest band of the averaged spectrum, but there is a clearer depiction of the trends in the sounds.


Reverse engineering…

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

So, Tom asked us to try to figure out how the circuit in the 24 switch pixel works. It’s an array of 24 physical switches arranged in three banks of eight switches which enable the user to control an RGB LED in a manner similar to 24-bit digital color.

He told us that the circuit was entirely analog without any microcontroller. We had worked with parallel switches so that implied a hint to me as to how the circuit was able to vary the current.

This exercise took me a long way, only to end up very close to the beginning.

So, I knew that the switches were designed to act like bits of binary data: (more…)

2×2: Emotion

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

The 2×2 class engages us in creating media designed for mobile (handheld) devices. Specificly, we’re going for 2 minute durations presented on 2″ screens.

This assignment was to capture a specific emotion. View the video below: (more…)

2×2: Comfort food – Mac ‘n Cheese

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Comfort food in 120 characters or less:
Blend soy milk, tofu, tamari, oil, nutritional yeast, water, garlic powder. Pour onto cooked pasta. Bake until golden.

Observation of popular technology…nib.

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

The first bit of our notes from our observation of folks using tech in Brooklyn. I’ll fill in the rest of the notes and a cleaned up version of our discussion.