Gadgeteer – Getting Started

The “Internet of Things” (i.e. devices capable of connecting to the internet) is currently estimated to be as large as the internet of people. Over the next couple of years it has been estimated that this will increase to five times this size.
To address the growing need for connectivity Microsoft have enabled the .NET Micro framework to be run on very small devices. The concept behind this is to create a single programming model and tool chain that extends from very small devices significantly smaller than a phone and typically running 64Kb of code, then extending up through mobile phones, laptops, desktops, servers, the cloud, and internet pages.
The .NET Microframework proposes to potentially be able to link together the whole of this ecology of computing devices.

Compatible Hardware
Several devices are capable of running the .NET Microframework include:
Windows Sideshow
GHI embedded Fusion boards
Netduino (microcontroller scale based on the Arduino footprint)
Fez Panda.

The Gadgeteer was released at Maker Fair 2011 and is built on the .NET Microframework. It has been envisioned as a rapid prototyping environment. The concept behind it is to allow the creation of a physical tangible working device in a very small amount of time. In order to realize this it employs solderless connectivity and simplifies the connection of existing electronic components in the form of Modules that add functionality to designs. For example, letters marked on Modules containing components relate to letter marked on the board. This allows embedded and hand held devices to be iteratively designed, built and programmed, according to Microsoft in hours rather than days or weeks.

Building A Digital Camera

I ve been starting to use a GHI Electronics Gadgeteer kit in Space 2 of Culture Lab. It consists of a Fez Spider main board and modules which enable a specialised function e.g. one of the modules is an SD card. The idea for this is to produce object orientated electronic components that mirror the object orientated code that is used to program the board (C# via the .NET micro framework).
I used the kit to build a digital camera following this online tutorial:

Gadgeteer - Camera Starting Screen

Picture Taken and Shown The Display_T35 Module

Self-Portrait Showing The Camera and Button To Take A PIcture

Beyond The Tutorial
To progress beyond the tutorial I added the following code to make the led on the button module light up momentarily when the button is pressed to take the picture:

Added Code To Make LED Flash When Picture Is Taken

Delegate Method / Event Handler
The first part of the code added (in the first red box) declares a delegate method to handle an event (releasing the push button). The code that does this is described as an event handler.
When the push button is released the event handler is called and the led is turned off and on a certain number of times – this ensures that the led flash is visible and does not happen so quickly that the human eye cannot perceive it.

The LED flashing when a picture is taken

Ideas Arising
Develop a “derive” inspired recording device based on this tutorial but adding an intervalometer – this would record the derive as a time lapse that could be automatically uploaded online when an internet connection was available. A method of storage could be provided by the SD Card and ethernet or wifi modules would enable web connection. Other sensors could be added to this to create a data log overlaid onto the images.

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ACM Computing Classification System

Association For Computing Machinery – keywords

These keywords are found on research papers and help to classify them. This ensures accurate categorisation and helps readers to retrieve related material when carrying out research. It also makes sure the paper is placed correctly when a review appears in Computing Review.

ACM features
A Four Level Tree with Three Coded Levels and (usually at the 4th Level) category containing uncoded subject descriptors.

The following example is given on the website:




H.2.3 Languages

Subject descriptor: Query languages”


This link gives an introduction to the 1998 ACM Computing Classification System which is currently in use today.

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EM The Quantum Nature of Matter

Coil and iPhone

Coil & iPhone - EM The Quantum Nature of Matter

Click link below to watch video on Vimeo:
EM The Quantum Nature of Matter

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Hidden Psychological Layers Attached To Everyday Technological Apparatus

Inhabiting the deep technological spheres of everyday life
“Siegfried Zielinski has pointed out that one important fallacy to overcome is to view the course of technological development as ‘progress’, or to consider our current state of technological sophistication as the best possible and necessary outcome of a predictable historical trajectory. In his ‘Variantology’ project Zielinski makes a radical break with any idea of technological progress or determinism [2]. The Variantological approach emphasises that at any point technological development (and human development along with it) is contingent (it can go anywhere). Variantology does not look for ‘master media’ or ‘imperative vanishing points’. Instead it seeks out the moments of greatest possible diversity and individual variation. It operates in carefully chosen periods of particularly intensive and necessary work on the media,# across different cultural and physical geographies – exploring the ‘deep time relationships of the arts, sciences and technologies’.

Finally, an exploration of inhabitable technological ecologies needs to take into account the phantasmatic dimension of technological apparatuses and systems. Such a more psychographic understanding of the depth of technology aims to uncover hidden, or not immediately visible or discernible psychological layers attached to the technological apparatuses – perhaps we might refer to this as a ‘technological unconscious’ – that underpin human experience and our subjective ties with technological environments. It considers technology not only as an extension of the body but also as an extension of our deepest desires. It explores the void between the ‘real’ and that what is mediated by systems of language, media, and technology. It acknowledges the existence of a ‘third body’ (Klaus Theweleit) [3] that inserts itself between us and the (technological) objects. This third body only emerges in our interaction with these objects, but it is neither held by us nor by the objects alone.”
Concept developed by Eric Kluitenberg.

This reminds me of Burroughs and Gysin – The Third Mind. An exploration of cut up techniques utilising found texts to create new material. During this process they claimed that a “third personality” emerged from the resulting texts that was distinct from that of either Burroughs or Gysin.

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Astro @ Culture Lab 26th October 2010

Zip file with audio from all the sets:

Teched the sound for Astro tonight.

A totally awesome set tonight from Astro which completely abstracted my conscious mind from reality to a place beyond space and time via intense sonic textures!!!!…Has and Mikes set totally pulsated – throbbing synths and spidery guitar webs… Adams was beautiful with deep luscious subs blended with crackling chiaroscuro hi end.

SUBTERRANEANewcastle (Robert Malone):


“ASTRO is the solo project of legendary Japanese noise artist Hiroshi Hasegawa, also highly revered as a member of the seminal noise band C.C.C.C (along with Fumio Kosakai of Incapacitants, amongst others). Hasegawa is rightly regarded as a major player in the noise world, appearing on over 50 releases in various guises, famously touring the US with Hair Stylistics and Jazkamer, collaborating with Damion Romero, Masonna, Richard Ramirez and many others. He also appeared at 2006′s No Fun Fest in New York as half of Astromero, his duo with Romero.

“Expect intense, punishing psychedelic synth noise – the sound of ASTRO may cause delirium and use of machinery following dosage is not recommended.” (TUSK)


…is the long-standing Newcastle monolith who we all know and love. “A medicinal noise prescribed to fill internal voids”.


…“has been developing musical iPhone apps for live performance and improvisation. He uses iPhones in the duo ‘Atau and Adam’, with Atau Tanaka.

“His music ranges from glitchy, textural improvisations to bass heavy dancefloor assaults and avant garde disco pop. (Culture Lab)


Video Clip on Vimeo (but with poor sound):

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Lunch Bites – Jussi Parikka 20th October 2011

“Media Garbology or why Dead Media means Dead Nature”

Links to some of the artists and academics mentioned in the lunch bites talk.

Jussi Parikka

Jussi Parikka is the Director of CoDE: the Cultures of the Digital Economy-Institute (uk) and co-director of the Anglia Research Centre in Digital Culture. He teaches Media Studies at the Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, and has published the books Digital Contagions: A Media Archaeology of Computer Viruses and Insect Media. He has co-edited The Spam Book as well as the forthcoming title Media Archaeology.

Garnet Hertz – Dead Media
Circuit Bending workshops:

Concept Lab

Other interesting projects:
Webserver in a deadfrog

Toronto School of Communication Theory

Paul DeMarinis
Installation Sound Artist / Musician
“The Edison Effect” uses optics and computers to make new sounds by scanning ancient phonograph records with lasers.
\"The Edison Effect\"documentation on Youtube

Jennifer Gabrys BA (Hons), MLA, PhD
Senior Lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London
in Design, Convener of MA Design + Environment

Book available to read free online:

Martin Howse
The Creative Technology Review 18 (Martin Howse interview)

A Sunday evening data roast and carvery with Martin Howse, Danja Vassiliev (and Gordo Savicic streaming from Belgrade).

Data carving treats the user’s hard drive (and memory chips) as a
surface for constant excavation. Reverse engineering daily data
sediments promotes new forms of digital archaeology, with hard disk
trouvee as rich seams to be opened and mined for mineral and personal

The sunday evening carve will showcase varying techniques of file
carving on found hard drives; piping memory to the transmitter and
broadcasting encoded executables/memory live to receptive consumers.

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Affordance, Appropriaiton and Design by M. T. Schaefer

“Appropriation means that users integrate technology into their everyday practices, adapting and sometimes transforming its original design. It covers the use, the modification, the reuse and further development of artefacts in ways often un­ foreseen by the original designers (Dix 2007). Reacting to the initial design of an artefact and changing it according to other needs has been described as a common consumer and user activity (Pacey 1983). The material aspects of Internet culture and the effective possibilities for collaboration have only aggravated this practice on a global scale. Appropriation is related to affordance, because the material characteristics and the design choices affect the act of appropriation. Design and the specific material qualities form the basis for use and appropriation.
Figure 2. Affordance, appropriation and design.
As shown in figure 2, affordance, appropriation and design are interdependent. Affordance exists in both, namely the specific material features used for design, and in the design process, which also constitutes affordance. Design is the formalization of anticipated user activities through the use of certain materials or technologies and the shaping of these into artefacts that constitute the designated affordances. The challenge for design is to employ material characteristics accordingly. A pro­totypical example of contradictory design will be presented in the case of the Microsoft Xbox, a game console that actually had the typical characteristics of a per­sonal computer but was limited, due to its design, to the functionality of a game console. Users hacked and modified the game console in ways unintended by the vendor. Microsoft learned from these acts of user appropriation and formalized several aspects into the design of the next game console, the Xbox 360, aiming to include several forms of game console use and attempting to exclude others that were more efficient than the older design. The labour of user communities, their innovations and their way of using a device were then formalized into new design decisions and therefore implemented in further developments. During all stages of development, the involved participants can be professional designers employed by a company, individual users, a collective of enthusiastic students, or a user commu­nity, a team of hackers and so on; all of these participants are users and producers.”

Quoted from

Schäfer, M. T. (2011) Bastard Culture! How User Participation Transforms Cultural Production. Amsterdam University Press. pp. 19 – 21

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Ram Skull Build Complete

ramskull top view


ramskull side view

Ram skull other side

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