IxD and Assistive Technology

Soft Reboot

Soft Reboot
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The last sunset of 2010, seen from Freemans.

2011 got a bit of a start on me. Not wanting the year to get all showy about it’s freshness, I decided that a new-year-blog-facelift was in order. 2010 marked the end of my undergraduate degree (though technically the forthcoming Honours is an extension of that) and something a little more professional was in order. Let me know if I hit – or missed – the mark with some comments.

The new year break was a welcome camping trip out of Sydney: first to the Peats Ridge festival, to perform an audio/visual set with Gentleforce and then onward to Freemans for some seaside drinking/camping.

It might be surprising to hear that university isn’t the only thing I spend my time doing (though I do wonder sometimes). Post the graduate exhibition, I got stuck into the new version of VPTQuartz Composer and the amazing Syphon, to prepare for my first visuals gig. It was a great opportunity to put together some visuals with Gentleforce, before he left for the UK.

With the aid of some fine Scott Morrison video content, I hit the stage with my MacBook Pro and BCR2000 and went to town on those knobs. The combination of MIDI knobs and an audio input served me well: peak sound levels gave me some input to control Quartz patches, whilst physical control of video seemed to do the trick. Although Quartz did crash a couple of times, I would point the finger at me overloading my laptop’s GPU, rather than the program itself: the frame rate hit the deck each time a crash occurred.

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Haven't these people seen horror films? Don't they know that fog signals something very, very bad is about to happen? Porta-loo city at the Peats Ridge festival.

As much as I enjoyed my set at Peats Ridge, we happily got out of the sweat box just as the porta-loo’s were starting to turn. I hope the toilet gods took pity on the poor souls left to endure a post-NYE deluge. Meanwhile, I was enjoying fine spirits and sunburn just 30min down the road, at Freemans camping area, in the National Park. A 5min stroll to the beach and excellent amenities made it one of the most relaxing new years I’ve ever had.

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Gentleforce hearts Hendrick's gin.

All good things must end though, and now it’s back to work, with the focus shifting to uni research for the coming Honours year. Obviously this is something I will write about in far more depth over the coming months, but as a brief summary, it will be building on the technology and projects I have been working with over the past couple of years.

What I hope will make this a lot more interesting, is that I hope to work with several people in a case study, looking at the physiological effects of interactive technologies. Of course, working with people does mean I have some issues of ethics to take into consideration, and therefore I won’t go into too much detail just yet – something I’ll make up for in spades during the year ahead.



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