Author Archives: Drew O'Connors

Bright Lights

Hi All,

This was by far one of the most frustrating things that I have ever done.  I was a situation of knowing what the computer had to do in English, but completely over complicating it and forgetting simple stuff when coding. (Ex. “Serial.begin(9600)”) Dumb. Not having power plugged in.  Dumb.  In the end, with a serious amount of help from Scott, it worked.

There are a whole bunch of next steps.  I think the visual feedback is really important as a guide. Like the glove I made, the LED tells you which scale you a playing.  Creating a trellis like board that would support the 4 pronged through hole NeoPixels seems like a lot of work and skills that I don’t have, but Mike’s arcade buttons inspired me.  An arcade button MIDI controller with customizable LED colors.  Get a microSD card reader and a speaker in there. Awesome. Get some bluetooth or other wireless protocol and have two of them talking to each other. Awesome.  So many ideas.

Anyway, here is the video:

Here’s the Arduino Code:

Here’s the processing code:

Thank you all for such an awesome class. I had a bitchin’ time.


What Computing Means to Me.

Throughout this class, my perception of technology has been turned on its head.  I have always felt naturally curious to explore things that were put in front of me, but never really thought to dig any deeper.  It was like… “Oh this is cool. I can do so many cool things with this?” But I never really thought about how it could be improved.  The picture under glass description of current technology and the lack of natural hand motions have really changed my outlook.

As I’ve said multiple times, everything that I learn I immediately try to think about how it is applicable for my students.  While I think that current technology is a wonderful teaching and learning aid, there is so much more room for exploration.  Instead of having a virtual piano on their phones, why not create their own pair of piano gloves.

It also solves some of my big problems with students today.  In order for a student to create something, they have to work together and therefor there picture under glass devices are put away.  They may be using technology to create new technology, but they are not being zombified by it. Technology is a wonderful tool when it is used correctly.  Unfortunately, many people, not just children, are pacified by it instead of inspired by it.


I’m hoping that I am not the only one who was effected by the savage, brutal murder of hitchBOT.  I have made a small memorial for him for this weeks assignment, although it did not work as I planned and I can’t figure out why.

It gives this error:
** (Processing core video:3239): WARNING **: ColorConverter: size 32000 is not a multiple of unit size 31500

And no video shows up in the corner. I tried moving the instance of the video all around the draw function, but to no avail.

It is nice to recognize him either way.

Here is a screen capture:


Here is the code:


Here is the code:

Digital Stained Glass

Hi All,

I was going for some simple color block art.  I decided on rectangles that took up the entire width of the window. I also want the the blocks to be constantly changing colors and a black flash when any key is pressed. I also brought the frame rate down to make it less seizure inducing.

Here’s a lovely video:

Rectangle Art

Here’s my main code:

Here’s the rectangle class:

The problem with the patent system

Hi Folks,

Just saw this on Gizmodo and thought I’d share since it was a topic of discussion last week.

So sad.

Self Potato

Good morning!

This is my lovely selfie. It is complete with my utter lack of drawing ability and disgustingly large smile.

For those of you who are confused about the title of this post, check it out:


And here’s the code:


Jeopardy Buzzer

Hi All,

When thinking about this project, I was immediately brought back to work and my students.  Teachers in my building are constantly playing jeopardy as a review and the kids always argue about who buzzed in first.  I wanted to try and solve that issue, so I created a simple buzzer.  It could be built out with more switches and LEDs, but I went with two for now.  Anything to reduce the bickering and increase the learning is great for students and teachers. 🙂

Here’s a video:


Here’s the code:

It’s super simple, but it gets the job done.