Start of Classes

Nice Hat

I'll be blogging for the Major Studio: Interactive class for the rest of this semester. I may also blog about my other classes, but I'll keep those tucked away under my main blog section.

I graduated from the University of Virginia, Phi Beta Kappa, with an honors degree in Anthropology. I spent the last eight years as a programmer for various dot coms with varying longevities. I'm a mostly self-taught hacker, which means I have the right combination of pig-headedness and lack of social skills to get pretty good at it. Foo.

I have a lot of odd interests, but here are a few, in no particular order, that have tickled me recently:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Search Engines/Data Mining
  • Robots
  • Education
  • Games
  • Open Source
  • Sentiti

Okay, that last one I sort of made up. I'm trying to find a name, based on Italian, that is similar to graffiti (which is derived from graffiato -- to scratch.) With sentiti, though, the idea is that the thing you're leaving behind is reading/listening/sensing rather than something that is read/heard/sensed. Like dropping weird sensors in inappropriate places. For example, installing a guerrilla traffic monitor in the first floor of the building to report on traffic flow via ZigBee/Wifi and spawning text messages to subscribers (who'd route their elevator choices elsewhere in the event of a jam.)

That's an example of what I'd like to get out of the class--making weird little boxes that will help people know more about their environment without, you know, asking for permission to do it. Because it's far easier to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission, naturally. My focus lies somewhere between interactivity and computation, so I'd like to combine the best of both and make things that have both a unique physical presence and a useful interface for the public.

My favorite childhood toy, in reflection, was the Commodore 64. Seriously. It's the one thing I spent the most time with. Maybe it's a meta-toy, because it housed my games and the first snippets of code I ever wrote, plus whatever odd bits I was able to stuff into 5 1/4" disks. Nevertheless, I eventually sold off my Star Wars figures and lost any stuffed animals I had, but that C64 sits pretty much where it has for years in my folks' basement. Waiting... to be... reborn!

Behold its glory:

Suck on that IBM, Apple, and Atari!

Copyright Mike Edwards 2006-2009. All content available under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license, unless otherwise noted.