Frameworks Week 2

Week 2


1 – stirring coffee

2 – metal bowl

3 – metal bowl with water

4 – metal bowl with swirling water

5 – wet finger on wine glass

6 – oscillating electric fan

7 – flapping cardboard

8 – two sine waves, one starts low and rises to meet the other

9 – two sine waves, start out the same and one decreases very slightly over time

10 – two sine waves, start out the same (222Hz) and one decreases to 111 Hz. The overtones sound like there’s a rising pitch but there isn’t.

11 – same as above, but with square waves

12 – same as above, but with triangle waves

13 – same as above, but with sawtooth waves

14 – … Read the rest

Frameworks Week 1

Week 1

Careful listening.
Step 1 - listen far.
Listen first to sounds near you, then proceed outward to the edge of your perception, attempting to hear sounds from as far away as possible.
Step 2 - listen close.
Find a repeatable sound, like footsteps, a keystroke on a keyboard, etc.
Listen as closely as possible to this sound, attempting to perceive the sound not as a singular sonic "icon" but as a complex phenomenon with many components.
Write down your observations and be prepared to share them in class next week.
Also, record a short sample (1-5 seconds) of the close listening, to present in class, and post it in your sketchbook as /1/1.mp3

The far sound I chose was a rope from a flagpole … Read the rest

Sustainable Electrochemical Energy

If the goal is sustainable energy, where might we find it?

We all know about the possibilities and realities of solar, wind, and to a lesser extent tidal and geothermal power, but I thought there might be another untapped and under-researched area: junk yards.

Note: all images have been lost in the ether

Millions of tons of purified metals are discarded each year* in landfills, in the form of construction refuse and personal and industrial appliances.

These metals were expensive to mine and purify, and represent wealth to some degree, except for the fact that they are scattered about.

But in some developing countries, where scavenging objects is part of daily life for some people, and electrical energy is often in short supply, electrochemical energy from … Read the rest




Very Low current (max. 50 mA)

Low voltage (max. 50 V).


PNP switching transistor in a TO-92; SOT54 plastic package. NPN complement: 2N3904.

* Low current (max. 200 mA)

* Low voltage (max. 40 V).


NPN switching transistor in a TO-92; SOT54 plastic package. PNP complement: 2N3906.

* Low current (max. 200 mA)

* Low voltage (max. 40 V).

PN2222A; NPN switching transistor

NPN switching transistor in a TO-92; SOT54 plastic package. PNP complement: PN2907A.

* High current (max. 600 mA)

* Low voltage (max. 40 V).

2N2222A NPN General Purpose Transistor

NPN switching transistor in a TO-18 metal package. PNP complement: 2N2907A.

High current (max. 800 mA)

Low voltage (max. 40 V).


NPN TO-3 metal case

Very High current … Read the rest

m-Box — An Electronic Music Box

m-Box — Electronic Music Box

The child’s version of the m-Box will be smaller, plastic, and as stated eariler, will rely on markings on paper rather than holes.

The range of notes will be greater, as will the number of possible notes per composition.

This version will be battery-operated.

m-Box — Electronic Music Box

Toy Design Final Project
Spring 2004


The m-Box is an electronic music box that can be programmed by marking a sheet of paper, and operated by a hand-crank.


Mike Chiaramonte and Matt Slaybaugh


Fun and educational for both children and adults, the m-Box

Read the rest

Ant Farm

Ant Farm

I later learned of a number of similar games, but this was my first effort at employing multiple ‘cellular automata’-style agents.

Ant Farm

The same game with an auto-generated music feature that is somewhat interesting.… Read the rest

Blogma Month 4

December 31, 2003

Conspiracy Laid to Rest

I did something today.
I made coffee from previously-used grounds.
Experts say this would yield sour, bitter, terrible coffee.
In fact it was fine. It was weak, but not bad.
The idea came to me from having used a French press for my coffee for a long time. Often I leave the grounds swimming in water for up to 15 minutes before I depress the plunger.
Drip-coffee is based on the premise that coffee should have as little contact with water as possible.
Many flavors are filtered out of the coffee using the drip method, some bad and some good.
I think drip coffee may be better for lighter roasts, but I prefer to give the gruonds a … Read the rest

Blogma Week 10

Quest for Curiosity: Qrio


Computical Physicing

Week 16

Cooking can be fun, but I’m wary whenever I see recipes that include steps such as “pat dry” or “mince finely” or “let sit for 45 minutes“.

I don’t mind stirring until well-mixed or chop into large chunks – coarse violence is fine, I just don’t like steps that require precision.

My favorite recipes include the word ‘dump’, as in, “Open can. Dump contents into bowl.”

Or better yet, “Dump contents into mouth.”

‘Pouring’ suggests some amount of care, while ‘dump’ means it doesn’t matter if some falls on the floor, if you leave some in the can to eat later with a spatula.

The latest humanoid robot (from Japan, of course) is named Qrio … Read the rest

Blogma Week F

Robot's Voice Helps It Find Its Way


Computical Physicing

Week 15

From The Economist, Dec 4th 2003

Computers that read your mind: Playing Pac-Man on thought-controlled computers

They stole my idea.

It is said that mycologists have the highest incidence of poisoning by mushroom.
Their confidence leads to carelessness.
That’s been the explanation for my recent failed efforts – sometimes when I’m sure I can do something, I don’t try.
Other times, I don’t know what I’m doing, but at least I know that I don’t know, and then I try and succeed.

100 years ago the Wright brothers built and flew the first airplane.
Last week I failed to make a little electric car.
Talk about weight-to-power ratios, they had to have enough power to actually lift the whole thing … Read the rest

Blogma Week E

Kenji Yanobe's Radiation Car Cobolt


Intro to Physical Computing
Fall, 2003
Jeff Feddersen

Week 14 – The Last Journal?!?

Ah. Snow.

Taxis' tires push

Through the slush of Houston Street:

Sounds like the Ocean

My final project idea is okay, but it needs a little something. Technically, it won’t be anything that hasn’t been done before (cancelling the negatives, it WILL be something that HAS been done).
So a business won’t be interested, but a museum might, but only if the thing has some kind of aesthetic value or meaning of some kind.

If I make the cables that connect the segments really long, that could be interesting.

If I make the cables switchable from left to right, then by changing them I could make the segments move in the … Read the rest

Blogma Week D

Kenji Yanobe's Sweet Harmonizer 2


Intro to Physical Computing
Fall, 2003
Jeff Feddersen

Week 13

interactive neurotic King's head assembly
The picture on the left is a ‘Kismet‘-style greeterBot being used at King’s College in London.
The article in Nature

I still want to make my Kisov robot, which would be capable of walking unaided to Cambridge and punching Kismet in the face.

I bought one of those multi-color IR sensors that is supposed to be able to not only detect light, but detect specific wavelengths.
Danged if I can figure out how it works. It has four glass plates on the front and two sets of three wires in the back.
I can’t find any specs anywhere.
Gov. Color Detector
The wires are sort of like those of a stepper motor, where each set of … Read the rest

Blogma Week C

Spring Turkey


Intro to Physical Computing
Fall, 2003
Jeff Feddersen

Week 12

Obligatory Fat Albert reference:

Randall: Mushmouth, you’re like p-comp on Thanksgiving.

Mushmouth: Whabat dobo youbou meabean?

Randall: No class

If I do the centipede robot, I could either make the segment wheels always turn together, relying on the head to pull them in the right direction, the way an 18-wheeler relies on the cab to turn.
Or, I could have the segment wheels turn separately, based on a signal that’s passed down from the head (right wheel to turn left, and vice versa).
But that would mean each segment turning on its own, and the whole thing would move diagonally.
Maybe I could just reduce the power sent to the one wheel rather than cut … Read the rest

Blogma Week B


Intro to Physical Computing
Fall, 2003
Jeff Feddersen

Week 11

MPJA has little 5V motors for 39¢ a piece for orders of 5 or more.

Some old friends visited over the weekend. Anna, the girl, was fascinated with all my electronics junk.
I taught her how to solder and she wired up some potentiometers and speakers for me.
She was into making LEDs turn on, and before long she had set up a circuit where she could vary the brightness of the LEDs with a variable resistor.
She’s only 9 but made as much progress in a few hours as I had made in my first week in this class.

She asked me whether I enjoyed playing sports. I said, ‘Not really.’

Then she said, … Read the rest