Friday, April 27, 2018

Hacking IKEA LEDBERG flexible rgb lightstrip

I got a roll of awesome rgb lights at IKEA and used part of it to make an infinity mirror (sorry the link is to IKEA Europe but for some reason it's not on the US site, but anyway it was here in large quantities in Brooklyn). It's made to cut at certain points marked with a scissors and I only used a few feet of a 5 meter roll for the mirror project. So at the time I thought I would figure out eventually how to use the rest. It would be a shame to throw away.


Saturday, April 07, 2018

Milling PCBs: Fritzing, FlatCAM, and Carvey

I have a new superpower of making PCBs! Here are my steps, worked out over several boards of my own and my students. The project here is one my students did using an Adafruit Pro-Trinket 5V to program 5 LEDs and a button. (I now know we could have used an ATtiny84 to control the LEDs but I'm just starting to learn how to use them.) Here are a few finished projects.


Friday, January 19, 2018

Set up MCPI Mod for Teacher Gaming Minecraft EDU on Mac

These are just some itemized steps so I can remember, for getting started coding Python on a Minecraft EDU server.
First, download and run the Minecraft EDU v 1.7.10 jar installer (I have) and install the client only (for students).
Then, download the McpiApiMod and put it in Library / Application Support / minecraftedu / minecraft / mods folder. This folder is tricky to get to. Open Finder, click Go and press option key, click Library, etc.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Can Processing's Turtle Library Do Beetle Blocks?

The answer is...sort of! Beetle Blocks is a fascinating blocks based programming environment that allows you to program in three dimensions using a variation of Turtle Geometry.

Image Integration With the Turtle Library for Processing

In this post I'm going to explore using Leah Beuchley's Turtle library for Processing to "stamp" images in a sort of port of Scratch's ability to stamp a sprite's costume. The turtle's self knowledge of its heading and position will come in handy here, though the way Processing's rotation method works make it a little tricky at points, but certainly worth while.
Something to try is creating a graphic that models an animal's movement, such as a butterfly, like I did here with Scratch.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Write an Arc Function With Processing Turtle Library

Blocks based Logo environments that have an arc block, such as TurtleArt, allow you to input the angle of the arc you want to draw, as well as the radius of the circle it is on.

There isn't an arc function in Leah Beuchley's Processing Turtle library. A great challenge is to write your own arc function, and I think high school students would have a great time with this, too. I'm going to break down this problem step by step.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Home Automation Adventure: Living With Google Home Mini

Photo credit Wikipedia
I didn't expect to have one of these and had voiced my opinion against bringing such things into the house in answer to my son's persistent begging for a while. My main objections (uneducated) were that I figured it would be less of a practically useful device and more of a pain to figure out and use, and that I didn't know how Google would end up using any information it picked up from being in our house.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Laser Cut Boxes and Light Up Plushies: Pulling Out All the Stops In the Maker Space

I just did a hard and fun project with two English teachers as part of their 11/12 grade students reading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. They made stuffed monster plushie dolls with hand sewn LED circuits and designed wood and acrylic boxes to "contain" them (containing the monster being one of the themes in Frankenstein).

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Processing's Turtle Library to Cricut Vinyl

Here's a workflow I'm trying out for Leah Beuchley's Turtle library for Processing, making vinyl cutouts with a Cricut Maker machine. These steps will produces shapes that will allow the cricut to follow the outline to retain the full design in one piece. Also uses Processing's pdf library. This example is a very simple shape but it will be interesting to push the Cricut and see how detailed it can get.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Distributing Processing Apps for MacOS

Processing's ability to export a sketch to executable for Mac, Windows, and Linux is an amazing feature. But the MacOS Gatekeeper after Yosemite kneecapped this method of distribution for Mac users in Sierra and and later as the codesigning certificate implemented in Processing fails to extend to the developer's sketch, or something like that. So if you develop something in Processing and you want to distribute it without people having to open your sketch in Processing you must codesign your own app.
After some searching, I finally found out how. You have to have the paid $99/year Apple developer license, I don't think it works with the unpaid developer subscription. You get a cert in your dev account and download it to your computer, then find the exact name for the dev ID in your Keychain Access. There was something else you have to include, I believe the hash format of the ID, but I've forgotten and will update when I try this again.