Spark WIFI, MakeyMakey, paper computing

2012-11-26 03:12:02 -0500

Originally posted on tumblr

Spark WIFI light fixture looks plausible, if only because the Belkin WEMO already exists at a comparable price point. (The Spark is indoor only, and what I actually want is either an outdoor-socket-capable one, or an indoor light switch replacement, ideally one that can be dropped in as one of a pair of three-way switches, which would actually be tricky...) sponsored, not yet funded

I finally used my Makey Makey - basically a very sensitive closed-circuit detector that comes with a pile of alligator clips, and pretends to be a USB keyboard - the reference standard demo is the banana piano - anyway, I just moved into a new office, and traded up from a well-worn Comfy Chair to a standing desk (with advanced pneumatics, very easy to move up and down.) Stories about standing desks run the gamut from "it changed my life and I need a new wardrobe" to "meh, everyone here just leaves them at the lowest setting and uses chairs". Clearly I need DATA... and a quick prototype showed I could hang some (zinc-plated) chains from the desktop, clipped to the Makey Makey, and have them trigger a key press whenever the desk was lowered enough for the chains to pool up on the base. That part was easy - the problem is that because it acts as a keyboard, it'll "hit space" when it gets a connection, but I want to treat it as a distinct channel... libusb was a messy failure, but in the end, the Python EVDEV bindings and in particular InputDevice.grab came through, barring one memory leak that I may be able to work around. (Github link to follow soon...)

Finally, the classic "choose your own adventure" book is sort of like following a program, or at least walking a tree - well, in that spirit, there's a KickStarter for doing Hamlet in that form - and if that weren't cool enough, the list of "Amazing People Who Are Doing Pictures For This Book" is about 2/3 comic artists that I read, and 1/3 ones that I probably should :-) If you haven't gone over there to look yet, do it for this quote: "But I'll warn you: Shakespeare's choices didn't lead to the best ending for the characters.". Paper and e-book versions. (Ok, that "paper computing" bit was kind of a stretch, I just needed an excuse to included it here, it's Just That Cool.) sponsored, funded, still aiming for stretch goals