Solar powered computation

This is a Raspberry Pi running a Racket Servlet (with the Mongoose 2000 data sync server) serving a webpage to the tablet. The neat thing is that it’s running on solar power – a day of gloomy winter Cornish light (not even outside) charging the on board battery results in over an hour of running time. This includes the ad-hoc wifi transmitter, which is presumably the main power drain as the CPU usage is negligible.

This system, which I’ll be developing more in the coming months, will be heading to rural India as part of an exciting anthropological research project with Shakti Lamba involving the Aakash tablet and some interesting ubiquitous livecoding experiments.


Many languages: Düsseldorf Institute for Music and Media Seminar

Last week was my first official seminar at the Düsseldorf Institute for Music and Media with Julian Rohrhuber filling my new role as Associate Professor in Critical Programming. I wanted to start by introducing the cultures and history of programming, with a focus on the people who invented programming languages and what they were doing if for – from the early mathematicians to the military/space industry and in more recent times the rise of JavaScript from a language that would only ever be used for “animating buttons” to the language with widest reach.


With that in mind I wanted to try teaching a fluxus workshop using planet fluxus, the version that compiles Scheme to JavaScript rather than the native code version. This is now working in a new url with quite a lot of fixes and now quite a lot of testing carried out on it. I’m pretty pleased with the support for webgl – and plan to use it for some upcoming games, other than needing switching on with some versions of Safari, it otherwise seems pretty widespread and fast.

My second day of teaching was followed by a presentation by Ellen Harlizius-Klück and Alex McLean on weaving, ancient mathematics, programming, mythology and music – which provided a great introduction for a meeting we had the next day on an upcoming project bringing these concepts together.