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CMU Electronic Media Studio II, Fall 2011, Section D » Looking Outward #3

Looking Outward #3

Looking Outwards — JILLIAN.GOODWYN @ 12:09 am

Arduino-based Etch-A-Sketch Clock

Okay, so this is preeeeetty awesome. I really hope I learn enough Arduino to make things like this someday! I love the fact that the creator took an everyday child’s toy and turned it into something that is actually quite useful and ultimately pretty retro and awesome-looking. This would definitely be a conversation piece in most houses. Something that this video leaves me wondering is if there is a way to make the final product more cleaned up? That is, can we make the wires invisible to the viewer so that the final installation looks seamless and good enough to be used like a regular clock? I’m sure this question and more will be answered as I learn more about Arduino.

The Newton Virus

I whole-heartedly enjoy this. This “virus” comes on a little flash drive, and you are supposed to plug it into your unsuspecting friend’s (or enemy’s) laptop or computer when they are not looking. The “virus” then randomly initiates the gravity simulator while the person is working, leaving them surprised and dumbfounded. If I remember correctly, the virus just wears off after a while and the computer will go back to normal (unless you plug the flash drive in again).

If I could earn a living creating small, insiginificant yet entertaining programs like this one for sheer enjoyment, I would do that. I really like the concept of injecting the everday experience of mindlessly working one’s laptop with the completely unexpected event of the icons plopping to the bottom of the screen. I am enthralled by the idea of breaking the norms of boring, everyday experiences and turning it into something completely unexpected. I wish it was requred that all computers were programmed to inititate completely random and unexpected processes that would keep us on our toes.

bit.fall (waterfall of words and images)

This awesome installation is programmed to let drops of water fall at precise moments in order to form words, shapes, and images. The end result is awe-inspiring and very visually satisfying. To me, this is, like, way better than any fancy fountain ever imagined because it conveys complexity on a whole new level. The artist, Julius Popp, commented that bit.fall is “a metaphor for the incessant flood of information that we are exposed to.” I can’t agree more with this statement, considering that we are increasingly bombarded with loads of information with each passing year. If this is a good or a bad thing, however, I still don’t know.

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