Whatup, World!

There are some sexy things beginning to happen in this humble corner of the internet.

So it seemed like everyone sort of had their own direction they were going to go after last weeks meeting and I thought “Damn, well, I guess I’d better find a way to make myself useful.”  Here’s the Github link to the manifestation of that sentiment.


Specifically, the ‘LED Matrix Processing’ folder is what we’re interested in.  The rest is some lovely code written by Joe “Rowles” Rowley trying to get the leap motion to work, which I guess is now somewhat of a dead end.  C’est la vie.

In one sentence it’s a way to prototype design and aesthetic for the LED matrix without actually needing to have one set up.  While it’s probably not the kind of thing I would submit for code review, it is pretty simple and small and I would judge at least bearable (~50 lines of code) to follow for anyone that would want to start creating some cool visual effects that could go in the final product.  I chose Processing as the language to do it in because of its ease of learning, accessibility, and how closely related it is to the Arduino ‘Sketch’ language.  The idea is that we should be able, at least to some degree, to take the functions written in processing and duct tape them into our Arduino code when it gets to that point.  While I don’t know how that will work in practice, at the very least we’ll be able to thresh out the ideas visually without having a working physical prototype.

Another thing I did was advise Jasmine on extracting oceanographic data streams using Python’s BeautifulSoup library.  A task, by the way, that she totally owned, especially considering she had never used Python before. #attagirl

Then Joe and I had a bit of a side-quest featuring us scavenging a 5v power supply from e-waste on campus.  The idea was that we were trying to set up Joe’s new Adafruit LED strand so we could start getting an idea of how we want to control the LED’s in this teeny tiny ocean we’re building.  We had some issues with the strips containing the wrong chipset and I ended up going to bed, but Joe ended up getting it mostly working in some of the days following.  That dude knows his stuff.

And so, here we are in the present.  I look forward to next week’s meeting, because that seems to be the time when we’re really supposed to have a clear plan of what we’re doing.  One of my favorite things about this project so far is that we’ve had no shortage of good ideas, but this has the whole blessing/curse thing going for it.  It’s definitely a tough place to be in, because choosing do go one direction with the project often means putting the axe through the neck of another direction, and I feel like no one really wants to be the executioner, so to speak.  However, until we have a unified idea of what we’re doing, our ability to make progress is severely hamstrung, so this week I plan to try to think of some plans to make as many of these awesome ideas play nice with each other as I can.


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