Taoism and PWM

In the Tao Te Ching it is written:


The Tao gives birth to One.
One gives birth to Two.
Two gives birth to Pulse Width Modulation (PWM).
PWM gives birth to all things.


In Chinese: 道生一,一生二,二生PWM,PWM生萬物

PComp Quiz (Digital In, Digital Out)

Draw a circuit for connecting a pushbutton as a digital input to a microcontroller. Connect it so that the digital input pin gies HIGH when the button is pushed. What does the resistor (called a pulldown resistor) do?

A pulldown resistor makes a higher voltage lower but offering degrees of resistance so that the current that flows through it is smaller, like a funnel.

Write a program that reads a digital input to an Arduino and turns off an LED whenever the digital input goes LOW. Draw the schematic that goes with this program as well.

if(analogRead(SwitchPin,HIGH)) { digitalWrite(LedPIN,HIGH); }

Write a program that reads a digital input and prints out a message when the input changes from HIGH to LOW.


Thoughts on NYCMediaLab17

The environment was completely inappropriate to view art. My light installation was by the door, nearly knocked over by people, where a viewer could not get a clear view without others walking by. (See below)

I felt it was below the dignity of my art and in a silent hissy fit, i unplugged it. But then I decided not be such a easily hurt buttercup and sucked it up and just rolled with a suboptimal situation.

That said, my Lessons learned:

-tradeshows are not art galleries!

-be very clear about the showing space! Get pics or do a site visit!

-dont bring a meditative art piece to a busy art show

-that said, i still got the point across and people were exposed, so no harm done.

Overall it was great to see tech from a corporate/startup angle. Very diff from art/maker culture. Similar but different.

Like priests vs mytics.

I felt the corporate yes-yes-great! cukture at work. I can see how an echo chamber develops.

There was a lot of buzzwords, superficial elucidation and glossing over negatives.

Overall great event, very eye opening.

Pcomp Week 3

Digital output, analog input.

For this assignment I took an existing thing I made for week 1 of fabrication, which was a light fixture device I wanted to use to study colours next to each other. Basically two pots controlled the brightness of the neopixels on each side of the steel beam. One side is blue, one side is orange. (When I have more time I will code them to change hue in addition to just brightness.)

however, after that first week, I basically did something wrong to the Nano that was powering it when I tried to put more power into the neopixels. I had previously been running it on very low power (like 10 of 255) so as to not tax the power supply or nano. But something happened and the nano stopped working. Perhaps it was because I wired the 12V power supply directly into the nano and supplied the neopixels with power directly and only from the arduino.

So I rewired it to a new arduino, and since i think the last error had something to do with using the 12V power supply overloading the nano (my hypothesis) I thought I would run it through a LM7805 power regulator. That is, the power supply would power the neopixels exclusively through the power regulator instead of getting it from the 5V arduino output.

The end result is that the whole thing works when I power the arduino through the USB, but does not work properly when I do it through the 12V 1A wall wart power supply. I’m not sure why….

Fab week 3

At first, I was planning on doing a somewhat complex art piece for a friend…. BUT THEN I got off the plane (was in Canada for a friend’s wedding this weekend) and went straight to ITP and realized I didn’t have time for any of that — esp since I had never used Ai or laser cut anything — ever. So I settled for just cutting something I found on Thingaverse!

I cut it on cardboard and it was good to go through the work flow of actually cutting something. I started at speed 70% power 50% and it did not cut through the second layer of cardboard. Also the protrusion from the top of the cardboard caught on the laser arm and shifted the whole thing, so I couldn’t go over it again.

A new (cleaner) piece of cardboard and 3 passes later (my last setting was 33% speed and 90% power) the thing was finally cut!

The cut piece itself was find. I mean, it was expected. But what was unexpected was all these cool leftover pieces. They kind of looked like arabic script. So I decide to do some kind of collage piece with them! Felt good to do some art-art again.

Kind of arabic-script looking eh? I like it. This open possibilities for collage. 

Fab hwk (week 2)

Wooden tea light holders!

I was originally going to combine pcomp and fab into one but that concept ended up being too complex for the limited time I had. So I just decided to make something useful… tea light holders!

Lessons learned:

-do not prototype on your final material

-do not prototype on your final material

-“oh wait, but what if I do this–” DO NOT PROTOTYPE ON YOUR FINAL MATERIAL

-cutting good look precise holes is hard

i wanted to do something using the golden ratio and measured to have the tea light be the larger portion…

the holes were less precise than i thought with the drill press. The machine was loose and it would shift as soon as it made contact…this was my attempt at using a mirror to make cool light shapes on the wall but jt just got drowned out by the bigger light. Wish i had prototyped this on a sacrificial block…

Honest self expression and Design

The simple conceptual model is characterized by blindness, playing “by role”. Which means a lack of understanding of the true effects of your action, so that your understanding of consequences is solely mediated by what you have been told.

“Do good in school and you will get a good job.”

“Be nice to people and they will like you.”

“Property is always a good investment.”

Many good students fails to find a job.

Many nice people are liked by no one.

Many properties have no return on investment.

What is true in design is true for all things. Design in this reading relates to usable objects, but it also applies to the designing of mental models, ways of thinking.

Simple thinking are like basic bitches. Generic. Unsuited to the real situation. What Jung would call “the persona”, the compromise between the individual and the culture.

Deeper understanding is the self-driven investigation into causes and effects. Disregarding conventional wisdom as such, paying attention the truth of one’s own perceptions.

As the great illustrator Andrew Loomis said: “We can be taken in much more easily through our ears than through our eyes. Have the courage to believe in what you see, as you see it, and to draw it that way, even if Jim Jones sees things another way.”