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Wireless Carillon Project

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

For the past few days, I’ve been preparing a wireless carillon that will hang on our Christmas tree this year. The carillon is a set of 9 brass bells, which can play different tunes. It is connected to an Arduino micro-controller that controls the bells. The Arduino receives messages from my desktop computer via an […]

Fractal Music Box

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

I made four of these laser cut music boxes as christmas gifts to my family. The pattern was generated with a Processing script, which I wrote. The lid contains an inlaid Hilbert space-filling curve. On each of the sides is a colorful J, representing each of my four family members (our names all begin with […]

Composing for Mechanical Instruments

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

Oh, I’ve been bitten by this mechanical music bug big time. I’m now working on composing some new music for an orchestrion. This will be no mere weekend-long project (as most of mine tend to be), and hopefully I can share some audio snippets with you as work progresses. I imagine most of you don’t […]

Instant Ascii Cam

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

Tonight I’m working on a Flash-based web app that turns your webcam into an ascii cam. If you have a webcam (or a built-in webcam, as on a Mac Book pro), you can play with it here. Bear in mind I’ll be working on it over the weekend, and it may go loopy from time […]

Utility is overrated.

Sunday, June 24th, 2007

There are few questions that suck the joy out of a room faster than this one: “What good is it?” As the creator of innumerable software toys that serve no useful function, I find this type of question, and its close relatives (which include “what did you make that for?”, “how are you gonna monetize […]

Puzzle Games made with Lasers

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007 is the website of Kadon Enterprises, a family owned business that builds beautiful puzzle toys to order out of acrylics and wood in their workshop in Pasadena, MD.  Most of their games consist of sets of tiles that fit together in interesting ways, such as Polyonimoes, Penrose tiles, and edge matching games using regular […]

Freshly Opened Play-doh

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

Yesterday I did a lecture for the USC chapter of SIGGRAPH entitled “Interactive Art & Toys,” in which I demonstrated how to build a Karl Marx Paddleball toy in Flash. As a gift, chapter president Pamela Fox presented me with this really cool book: Timeless Toys : Classic Toys and the Playmakers Who Created Them […]

Cabaret Mechanical Theatre

Wednesday, February 1st, 2006

Cabaret Mechanical Theatre is a UK based exhibition and virtual museum of automata, or mechanical sculpture. There are some amazing pieces on this site, some in the form of Quicktime movies, which you can enjoy, as well as wooden kits you can buy. Their designing kit looks particularly cool — it contains a variety of […]