I just read a great article on interfaces by Baobab's Mike McKay entitled Text Editors and Electric Kettles. It's really worth a read. It's the kind of thing I'd show to design students, it's so good. And it also does a nice job summing up some of the challenges and solutions that they're working with specifically down in Malawi. And, hey, if you have a digg account, bump the story up!
I went to the Bent Festival at Eyebeam today--sorta. I didn't do the music--noise music makes me want to stick icepicks in both ears and both eyes. In fact, I think the Max/MSP teachers at Parsons next semester should hoist noise "musicians" out the window until they apologize for making our collective heads compress every time yet another one "discovers" how to modulate sawtooth waves with the fucking serial-in off a potentiometer circuit. It's a trick--get an ax.
The classes I went to were fantastic and related very well to the user research I am doing for my Pleech project. The first was for a build of the MintyBoost, taught by its inventor, Limor Fried. Not only is it charging my wife's iPod as I write this (thanks for the guinea pig, hon!), it has the right kind of electronics (1.5V to 4.5V in, 5.0V out, 350mA max) that could power the kind of devices I'm interested in. This could be the supply end of the Pleech, minus the two AA batteries.
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