turning dreams into reality

physical computing

Final Project == 4.0

Well, the day has finally come.  Alex, Katie and I have spent the past couple of weeks working together on what seemed like an inconceivable idea considering our collective aptitude in physical computing and processing, but we finally crossed the finish line.  Alex and I are set to present tomorrow and we will be in the winter show over the weekend.  While there are still a few bugs to adjust in the interim, we are confident that we will have those fixed by the time it will be shown to the world (or at least whoever comes to the show on Sunday and Monday).

Final Project == Progress 3.0

We are certainly moving right along with our interactive baseball simulation.  This past weekend, we accomplished many things off our to-do list and find ourselves in very good shape with the final project due in approximately three weeks.  From a coding and physical computing standpoint, we now have the pitch shown in text with the mph (miles per hour) directly next to it.  For example, when a pitcher throws a fastball, it will say “fastball” in the middle of the screen with the speed of that pitch shown accordingly.  

Final Project == Progress 2.0

Ok.  There has been quite a bit of progress made for our p5 sketch and a decent amount made from the physical computing side.  For our sketch, we have now color coded the balls signaling the different pitches that are being thrown.  These colors are still in flux as we have not made a key yet that will apply to all of the pitchers.  However, the goal is to have each pitch assigned to a different color and show such in the pitchers arsenal (which will be displayed in the top left corner).

Final Project Proposal

This has been a long and arduous process coming up with a final project.  I spoke to several second years and their advice was resoundingly similar: if you can combine PComp and ICM into one project, then DO IT!!!  With the ideas that I had presented in PComp two weeks prior, I realized that it would be very difficult to accomplish the task of incorporating a p5 sketch.  So, I went back to the drawing board.

I have developed a close friendship with two of my classmates this semester, in large part because of our obsession with sports.  I honestly thought that I would be lucky to find one person in ITP with the same love as mine (as it is very well known that sports are not on the high list of interests of a majority of the student body), but I somehow managed to find TWO.  And one of them, Katie Takacs, is even from Arizona like myself.  The other person, Alex Fast, is a baseball guru.  Like an actual stats junkie.  It’s amazing.  So, it just made too much sense that we should all group together and create something sports related.

The Final Project – What To Do?

I have been sitting at my computer for the past few days simply staring at the screen.  I honestly have no idea what I want to do for the final project.  One thing is for certain though and that is the fact that I absolutely want to work with at least one or two of my classmates.  Laura and I were very successful on our midterm because we both had different skills to bring to the table, and I would expect nothing less when matched with anyone from our class.  I guess another aspect that I would like to avoid is using p5 in any final concept.  I know that physical computing has been difficult for me, but p5 has been an absolute disaster.  If I can create something that does not rely on p5, then I will be one happy dude!


I have never been into politics.  I think I have actually only voted once in my lifetime.  Obviously, this Presidential election is quite different from anything that we have ever experienced as Americans.  It has been must-see-television at its finest for every debate.  My father and I have even had discussions about what this country is coming to with the two remaining candidates.  I don’t think we have ever talked about anything besides sports which shows you how much of an impact this upcoming election has had on me.

Instead of turning this into a political rant, let me just say that for every debate that I have watched or tweet read on my phone from the Republican nominee – – I am truly in awe.  I never knew a person like this actually existed let alone could possibly be running this great country for the next four years.  As opposed to thinking about what could be, Laura (who was the perfect partner) and I had an idea for our midterm project that could most accurately portray our feelings about this man.

Serial Communication

I am stubborn.  I know it and I accept it.  Sometimes, my stubbornness can be seen as advantageous.  While most of the time, it can be a monumental deterrent.  Today, however, I used my stubborn nature in attacking the two labs for the week and was rewarded with a better understanding of the material and a realization of how to best approach my future assignments.

I went to school early this afternoon to begin working on the two labs for the week and everything was going smoothly.  I began with the asynchronous serial communication lab and hooked up two potentiometers and a button to the Arduino.


What in the world just happened?  I honestly have no idea.  We spent the past three hours in our ICM/PComp synthesis connecting the Arduino to p5 and it is even more complicated than I anticipated.  The first two examples made sense after a bit of troubleshooting as the potentiometer and button controlled the sketches as expected.  After a fifteen minute pizza break, we were asked to take an existing sketch and figure out how a sensor could control it.

I brought in a sketch that I worked on in the previous week with the football player running into the football.  After working with my partner, Brandon, and consulting with several other classmates and residents, I realized I was way beyond my capabilities at the moment.  As opposed to agonizing over controlling the football player using a sensor, I chose to look for a simpler sketch created by faculty.  I found the mousePressed example where the circle changed from white to black when pressed.

Analog outPut

I had a little breakdown this past week.  I have a feeling that more are on the way as I continue to progress through this journey called, “ITP.”  I have had many conversations with second-year students and several residents who have all echoed the same sentiment: the first semester is very difficult.  I knew this upon transferring into this program from Steinhardt, but I had no idea how physically and mentally exhausting it was going to be.  My biggest issue and one that continues to plague me is that I compare myself to others.  I have heard it a thousand times that I need to find ways to become more confident.  I have heard a thousand times that I need to focus on my own growth and not worry about what other people are doing.  I spoke to Benedetta today and she echoed the same sentiment.


I have never been a big superhero kind of guy.  My brother was always a big fan of Superman growing up from the days that Christopher Reeve portrayed the iconic role.  But I never truly got into superheroes and (their many movies) until 2005.  Then Batman Begins came out and Christian Bale (in my opinion) did the best job as the hero of Gotham.  I was then hooked to the next three films starring Bale and even really enjoyed the first season of Gotham on FOX.  If you haven’t seen any of these movies/shows, I highly suggest them all.

Long story short – – after thinking of what to make for my enclosure this week, I decided that I wanted to make a TV set.  A wooden TV set, mind you, with Batman playing on the screen.