All posts by Henry

Media and All Things Computational


© 2000 EyeWire Inc.

Last semester, when looking for classes in Albert, I remember what I first thought when I read the name of this class: Intro to Computational Media. My first thought was, ” I wish I was smart enough to take a computing class.” That thought then became, “maybe I AM smart enough to take a computing class.” And finally, “You know what, screw it, It doesn’t matter if I’m smart enough or what- I’m taking a computing class.” Computing has always been something that interested me. When I was five years old, I got a large white PC computer for my christmas. My twin brother got a go-kart. My older brother got a motorcycle. Today, I spend roughly 6-8 hours a day on my computer. It only makes sense to know the ins and outs. Until I decided to take this class, that was something that I had just accepted that I would potentially never know.

Computational Media is the future. Those who understand how to use it will adapt with future advancements. Those who understand the ins and outs will create those future advancements. This is something I recently realized. Thus, sparking my interest in taking this class.

I took this class for a number of reasons. One of which, is that — as with my Gallatin concentration — human interaction with computer is simply, communication. Whether it be myself writing this blog post right now or someone walking down 6th avenue taking a photo on their smart phone, a very special form of communication is occurring. That is, the asking of the computer to perform an action and the return of the computer performing an action. People tend to forget that interaction is occurring. As these devices are becoming more so extensions of the body, these interactions become as commonplace as let’s say- asking your finger to bend or asking your knee  and the other various necessary human parts to bend and stand.

This class- as with computational media- taught me how exactly that interaction occurs- through the various means and methods.

My Gallatin concentration is more so focused on how we, humans in 2014 and in the past, use technology as means of communication. I find it fascinating how we communicate with computers in order to communicate with humans. If that makes sense… If you had asked me what my concentration was prior to taking this class- it would have been something completely different. My thoughts are a bit jumbled. Well, that’s what’s on my mind right now. Kind of a stream of consciousness. Hope is doesn’t read as a bunch of 1’s and 0’s.


Cursor Craze

Here is my final project in all of its glory: Cursor Craze.

Can you get to the other side??? There’s only one way to find out!!!

I’m not exactly sure how to post a downloadable link to the full folder- but i’ll figure it out. For now, all of the images I used are in the “Media” library in WordPress.

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 1.42.20 PM


Here’s the code:

Food for thought:

– would be great to add a timer

– would be even greater to have the map move

– Different levels would be awesome



Big Data, Little Brain

I really wish my brain could wrap around this idea of Big Data and how exactly to use it. I really do see the importance of it all. Over the next few years I will make it a goal of mine. In the meantime, I can just pretend that I understand it and sound smart to my friends.

I’m still extremely interested in this whole Wikipedia Philosophy thing. After looking more at Wikipedia’s API– the more I understand the importance of APIs as a whole as well as the wealth of information that Wikipedia is.

I decided to make a little mock up of what a possible data visualization of the links to “Philosophy” would be:



Would be pretty cool….

In 2 years time, I hope to be able to make the real deal. High hopes! High rewards! Yeeehaw!



I decided to switch out my last travolta post with a different one. I wanted to make to I could have a bird (a bluebird) perched on my shoulder. So I wrote a little bit of code to make that possible…

I kind of ran into similar issues that I had with my previous Travolta mask. This time, I used a pink post it note as my distinct color for the bird image to attach to. However, because the image of the bird (even though its a PNG/transparent image) is larger than the bird itself, the image wouldn’t lock directly onto the pink square. Instead, it fell about a few pixels below (as you can see with the screenshot below.) Thus, my original plan to stick the post it note to my shoulder failed…


Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 3.31.37 AM


The bird still moves around a bit. When it’s on my other shoulder…It kind of looks like its pecking at my head. I think this is because there is a bit of pink in my skin/lips.

here’s my code:



Final Maze Game with some Arduino connection

youcandoit copy


Missing the telecommunications class was not smart on my part. Although I was in Boston, so it was a bit out of my control- I really wish I had been able to learn how to fully bridge the Arduino/Processing gap. I tried to teach myself how to exactly to do that this weekend- but it just wasn’t the same. I got each side working on their own…but the actual connection part (mainly the downloading part) I just don’t understand. Along with that, the Arduino lingo is a bit confusing too.

So…I decided to just write out the code (on both ends) of how I *think* it would work. I do understand what is going on. And I do wish I could make use of the understanding- because this section was kind of the culmination of the everything we learned this semester. For the time being, what I have figured out here will do.

Basically, I took my final maze game and replaced the keyPressed function (“q” as the restart button) and replaced it with a force sensor. Pressing the force sensor would clear the map of the “YOU LOSE” message.

Here is the code from both sides:


and Arduino:

I wish somehow that I could control the cursor with the force sensor- though first I’ll just have to figure out how exactly to fully connect the two.



too much travolta for one brain to handle…

So I have turned my travolta ball into an object and created an array list to organize various objects. However, for some reason I’m having trouble having to so a new ball is created with each click. For some reason, it either creates 2 or 3 new balls- but never more than four. Sadly, I’m not going to be in class today but I will keep tinkering away. I’m probably getting close to breaking the world record of longest stare-off with John Travolta’s face- so, if someone has any ideas I would gladly appreciate them.


This is how far I’ve gotten…

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 2.18.47 PM








And this is my code:



Travolta Bounce


Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 1.21.35 PM

I decided to keep pushing forward with the Travolta Bounce. I cleaned up the code and added a few things ( a cool background and also the ability to click the Travolta ball into place.) What i really wanted to get was a new ball with every click…so I’ll continue to work on that.

Here it is in action.



bouncing travolta


Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 2.11.23 PM

Last night I was watching the Oscars and John Travolta (for some reason) presented the singer of the song for Frozen. Word on the street is that he butchered the singers name. Regardless, his appearance inspired me to create an animation. Here is the John Travolta bouncing ball. Pretty hypnotizing, huh?





not sure what else to call it…

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 1.35.29 PM




A Shake of the Hand




I kind of hate it when I meet someone and they give me an unnecessarily strong handshake, so my stupid pet trick deals with that pet peeve of mine. I attached a force sensor to the palm of my hand. When the handshake is too hard, a red light pops up. When it’s just right (or too soft) a green light pops up. Simple as that.


Here it is



simple switch












I decided to keep it simple and just create two switches that would each activate a separate LED. The first would activate the large blue light and the second would activate a set of three smaller, red lights.

Here is it in action:

And here is the code:



Toilet Seat Switch


For my switch I decided to use the toilet seat as a a button pusher. In order to do this, I needed about 6 feet of wire. The button was taped (heavily) to the top of the toilet seat and the wire ran from the toilet across the floor, outside to the hallway located on the other side of the bathroom door. When the toilet is in use and the seat is up, the blue light outside turns on!

Here it is:

photo 2 copy

The taped button on the top of the toilet seat.

photo 2

The entire toilet with the wire running down to the left…

photo 1

…all the way to the arduino set up in the hallway outside


Toilet Seat Switch

And finally, the toilet seat switch in use!

photo 5

The light is on- the toilet is in use!

I figured this switch would come in handy in instances in which someone was using the toilet and forgot to lock the door. I have two roommates, so this happens all the time. Ideally, I would have liked for the arduino/light to be stuck onto the wall next to the bathroom door but I figured that would be impractical (plus, I used up all the tape sticking the button to the toilet.) Maybe next time…

I found that the sensitivity of the button was kind of all over the place. This made it somewhat challenging to figure out a good spot to stick it on the toilet (hence why so much tape was used.) Sometimes the lightest touch would switch the light on- other times it took a force full push of the toilet seat. However, after a good amount of tinkering, I found the right spot!