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Physical Computing


By Wednesday, March 1, 2006No Comments

it’s been a while since i’ve posted some research and thoughts on arduino. in the fall, i spent some time working on my arduino board. soldering, researching, and building code. rudimentary examples can be found on their site. i used it as part of the smoke system. with smoke, i used the arduino board to process sensor readings and to talk to processing and max/msp/jitter.

what i like about the board is that one doesn’t need to use a programmer board. i learned physical computing on the bx-24, which in retrospect was a big waste of time. while the basic tenets of programming were good and just as important on the bx, it would have been better to have learned on the pic. so when arduino came out, i jumped at the chance to get back into physcomp.

this past weekend, tom led an arduino session, which served to revitalize many ITP people on the platform. version 0.3 alpha was released recently. aside from some much needed UI revisions, tom commented that there were many under the hood changes. most notably was the need to recompile the atmel8 chip. jeff was gracious enough to set up the bootloader and helped me with all my chips. i’ve gone back to blinky, which is now illuminating my glass of water.

a few tips though. when building the board, always use female headers, using male ones is just plain silly. i’ve never understood why ppl use male headers, the job is that much more difficult to program and swap components in and out. in the 0.3alpha version, the arduino folk were good enough to remember to bundle the FTDI patch with the distro. they also updated the download baud rate to 19.2. yay!

sitting here dreaming of some fun projects is indeed proving to be fun again. programming directly from my 12″ pb to my little arduino board is a breeze. i may now fix some old projects – including the soap box radio. if i could hack my old rio to act as the mp3 storage device, and drive video on a small lcd, soapbox could be version redone into v0.2.

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