Thesis progress, week 6 / by Ernie Gerardo

Last week, DeAngela said something along the lines of "If you're struggling, good.  It means you're on your way to that big breakthrough."  Meanwhile, Han Solo famously told Luke Skywalker, "Don't get cocky, kid."  Well, there was a bit of a breakthrough, and it looks something like this.

Unrefined as it may seem, that is a shot of the giant ground plate and some wires meant to be connected to the Makey Makey.  DeAngela also said that we should really be focused on building the thing ("the thing" varying from person to person but referring to whatever form the project takes).  For me, a lot of that was getting down the interaction first, then letting that inform the physical form the project would take.  As such, take a look at the brain of the beta.

This is essentially a more sophisticated version of the Scratch patch I wrote for the IDM show, now expanded to five sound modules.  Although it's not the generative composition patch I want to eventually build for this, it does provide some excellent sounds for the first user test I'm doing tomorrow (or this afternoon, depending on when you're reading this).  The fun part was either making the samples or playing with it once I had all five modules running.  Who am I kidding?  The fun part was the playing!

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do as much writing as I wanted.  While I was able to source some great research material and at least plant the seeds of my concepts (I should really update that outline), this is the part that feels a little more disjointed.  Still, it will be fun to present my work to a big group of my target audience, that is, kids aged 8 to 12.

Here is the link to the next draft of the body as it currently stands.  The first draft of the intro, specified for today, is included at the top of the document.

Keep your eyes posted for the next entry, where I give a quick rundown of my meeting with Donovan and then proceed to play with this thing with some kids for an hour.