Dumbest Coding Article Ever

Okay, this really tears it for me. No more Salon.com. And it's because of an article called "Why Johnny Can't Code".

With that kind of headline, that article should have been great for me. It is exactly the kind of area I'm investigating--how we fail at teaching code to novices.

Turns out, it's a three-page rant that we don't have command-line Basic anymore. The author makes a huge leap from this to saying that kids aren't exposed to the "nitty-gritty" anymore and, therefore, our civilization is doomed. Huh?

Penguin Portfolio

Part of my MFADT application portfolio was a series of animated penguin videos that I made using Blender, most of them in the fall of 2005. I'm a little obsessed with these birds, but I can't quite say why. They're just so damn funny.

Anyway, now they're all "you tubed."

YouTube Links of Note

First off, you can see my YouTube profile and subscribe (or not... hater). And, if you're a Parsons MFADT person, you should join the MFADT group.

Also, here are links to Inti and TrayJayG's pages. I'll add more once I get everybody's YouTube channel links.

Podcasts and Pings

Podcasts are pretty cool, though I haven't really found the killer app for me yet. Since I don't own an iPod, I don't really have that available to listen to the casts on. So, for the most part, I just have to listen to them on my computer. Not always what I want to do, to be honest, because I'm usually busy with other things.

For that reason, a podcast that does work for me is the audio commentary podcast for Battlestar Galacticca. It's like having the comment track on a DVD. Nice! And it's something I would use--since I'd just play it off the laptop as I'm watching the show, it doesn't distract me from what I'm doing. Instead, it adds to it.

YouTube, Your One Stop Shop For Bathroom Hacks

It's good to see that I have company. Here's my bathroom hack from fall of 2006, where I added audio triggered by the IR sensor on the 10th floor sink:

The best part was that I left a "record" button on the device underneath, so people could sample their own voices, music, sounds, whatever. Hence, audio graffiti.



Here we see the trusty stand-in phone testing the harness for a parachute drop.

Game Salon Presentation Audio

Here's the audio of my presentation of our Inspector Carbone game, generously recorded by Becky Heritage. I spoke before the salon, which organized by the good folks at games for change. There was quite a crowd there, which made me a little nervous, but they had really interesting questions and comments about the project. All in all, it was an extremely valuable experience.

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:

Games For Change Salon

I presented the EPA game that Jonghoon, Lena, and I made for the OSI collab. The game, Inspector Carbone, got some really excellent feedback from the audience. I also got to meet a whole bunch of other people interested in using games for education and activism. I'm really glad I went.

The other game demos were also very good. Check these out:

Wireless Sensor Networks

I've been looking into a number of possibilities for wireless sensor networks, tiny little bugs called motes hiding in corners of who-knows-where collecting who-knows-what kind of data. Imagine the kinds of fun we could have at Parsons with this stuff!

So far, I'm most impressed by moteiv and their Tmote Sky motes. For $78 a pop (bulk order), you get a USB stick-like board with built-in temperature, humidity, and light (both in visible range and up to IR.) There's an antennae attached to each of them, and they all talk to each other over ZigBee and run on the open-source TinyOS. Sweet!


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

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