Monday, 30 November 2009

Talks with Jon

Today was another tutorial session with Jon. He was updated about PICAXE so he managed to provide me with an arduino mini so i have started to make my 'real time clock'. It is yet to work but the chip is working so i suspect my programme is wrong. I have to just concentrate on this for next time.

Regarding sound, Jon doesn't like how i have moved away from bird songs to wake you up. I never did pick one idea and i never said it would play bird songs so I'm quite confused and annoyed as to what to do next. He did raise a good point about moving away from making it child based but i used that as inspiration so Pete is in tomorrow morning, so hopefully this will clarify things for me...

i need to have some sort of electronic prototype for next week... fingers are crossed!

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Some Clarity

Ok. My idea has developed into something I want to PLAY with.

I moved away from recorded sounds and live feeds to noises made through various materials. This gives me the experimentation factor i crave with any project. I will use some sort of electronics to 'knock' on my materials i will choose to act as an 'alarm signal' giving me the electronic side of the project. This signal will be activated at times you should be turning off to sleep and sounds to wake you up. The noises produced will not sound like an alarm clock. Just now, imagine a knock at the door. Curious, pleasant and attracting noises.

To 'hush' the device, you simply stroke it.
To put it on snooze, you turn the object.

The device will not indicate time, but will indicate a suggestion.

Mind Fuzz

Really not liking my project anymore.

I am strangely jealous of Callum K. PLAYing with ceramics with Sean. If i created my 3rd year project as my 4th i would be very happy.

I love PLAYing with materials, just recently i have been PLAYing with metal for my business module, bending, flattening and welding cutlery. Why is that not my final year project!!

I need to re-think and improve my idea. I do not want it to be like an alarm clock and i do not want it to be an air freshener!! I do not want to use recorded or live sounds as it is too similar to an alarm clock! grr! Feeling really down about it all, i still have nothing for Jon to see whilst everyone in the class is progressing and moving quickly. This has been a very bad week!

PICAXE hates me!

I have just wasted another afternoon trying to get this PICAXE USB download driver to install. It will not work, even Mike didn't know how to fix it.

I have however, manged to install Arduino 17 and it does work off my computer! Success!! However, I have ordered a chip from Ebay, it will take 2 weeks to arrive as it is shipping from Japan. I asked Ali if he had any spares going so i could work on it at the weekend and he doesn't so there is actually nothing i can do to progress.

Feeling pretty crap, i have nothing to show Jon on monday, I am losing the will and vision of my project.

Method 1: Fail

The scent did not wake me up, my room however did smell nice. I am thinking i need to PLAY with scents used to help you awake, as it has dawned on me that this might of failed with using lavender, a scent used to help you unwind and fall asleep... I must point out that I had the best nights sleep in AGES!

waking up, method 1

Scents on a Radiator

After a very stressful day of not getting PICAXE to work with the stress of other deadlines, I am going to use some scents that i have purchased to see if they can wake me up.

I placed lavender on my radiator and turned off my alarm clock.

Tutorial with Mike

I have yet to successfully manage to get PICAXE running of my computer. Mike and I went through some components i will need to order. After spending a whole day on it, I have failed to get it to download. Quite pissed off!!

Tutorial with Mike

In order to begin using PICAXE, we had to first assemble the PICAXE chips and download PICAXE software.

We split into 3 groups, 1 group of PC's and 2 groups of Mac's.

A circuit was assembled and ran off Lee's computer. The USB download was not successful to begin with, mine and Lee's chips both did not work, were Ross's just took us a while to realise this. This took a whole afternoon.

We have arranged more tutorials on Thursday to have individual help with our projects. Our task first is to get all chips working and downloading from your personal computer.

Talks with Jon

So had my weekly chat with Jon and told him about what i had discussed with Pete. Thumbs are up but Jon wants to see some prototyping on my desk next week.

PICAXE chips have also arrived and Mike has arranged to walk us through the set up tomorrow.

Talks with Pete

I spoken to Pete, another lecturer, to ask for help about what i should do with my final year project, and in particular, what ideas to narrow in on and focus my PLAY around. We have decided to concentrate on 5 ideas that could potentially merge and start PLAYing with methods of waking up.

Pete has suggested i start my PLAY on waking up with scents by placing some on my radiator. The idea being when my central heating comes on at 7am, it should gradually make me stir. The point being that i moved away from a generic alarm clock.

Mind Fuzz

I am really struggling to grasp the area of sleep i will be PLAYing around with, as my idea choice is so vast. Although i know which technology to be playing around with, i do not know which technological idea to take forward and PLAY with....quite stuck!

Talks with Jon

After speaking to Jon, my lecturer, we have decided not to get hung up on which idea to take forward but instead PLAY around with the technology i will be using to MAKE my projects a reality. Jon has suggested to use PICAXE, a programming software that i used in high school, so i'm quite happy at that.

In order to start PLAYing with this technology, PICAXE chips need to be ordered and set up. Jon is arranging with Mike, to set up tutorials on getting started. Other than that, I'm not too sure what i can do, apart from narrow my ideas down.

Just Starting

This blog is going to be used to describe the progress i make with my final year project based around going to sleep and waking up.