WebSci 2015 – WebSci and IoT panel

Sunshine on Keble quad, brings back memories of undergraduate days at Trinity, looking out toward the Wren Library.

Yesterday was first day of WebSci 2015.  I’m here largely as I’m giving my work on comparing REF outcomes with citation measures, “Citations and Sub-Area Bias in the UK Research Assessment Process”, at the workshop on “Quantifying and Analysing Scholarly Communication on the Web” on Tuesday.

However, yesterday I was also on a panel on “Web Science & the Internet of Things”.

These are some of the points I made in my initial positioning remarks.  I talked partly about a few things sorting round the edge of Internet of Things (IoT) and then some concerts examples of IoT related rings I;ve been involved with personally and use these to mention  few themes that emerge.

Not quite IoT

Talis

Many at WebSci will remember Talis from its SemWeb work.  The SemWeb side of the business has now closed, but the education side, particularly Reading List software with relationships between who read what and how they are related definitely still clear WebSci.  However, the URIs (still RDF) of reading items are often books, items in libraries each marked with bar codes.

Years ago I wrote about barcodes as one of the earliest and most pervasive CSCW technologies (“CSCW — a framework“), the same could be said for IoT.  It is interesting to look at the continuities and discontinuities between current IoT and these older computer-connected things.

The Walk

In 2013 I walked all around Wales, over 1000 miles.  I would *love* to talk about the IoT aspects of this, especially as I was wired up with biosensors the whole way.  I would love to do this, but can’t , because the idea of the Internet in West Wales and many rural areas is a bad joke.  I could not even Tweet.  When we talk about the IoT currently, and indeed anything with ‘Web’ or ‘Internet’ in its name, we have just excluded a substantial part of the UK population, let alone the world.

REF

Last year I was on the UK REF Computer Science and Informatics Sub-Panel.  This is part of the UK process for assessing university research.  According to the results it appears that web research in the UK is pretty poor.   In the case of the computing sub-panel, the final result was the outcome of a mixed human and automated process, certainly interesting HCI case study of socio-technical systems and not far from WeSci concerns.

This has very real effects on departmental funding and on hiring and investment decisions within universities. From the first printed cheque, computer systems have affected the real world, while there are differences in granularity and scale, some aspects of IoT are not new.

Later in the conference I will talk about citation-based analysis of the results, so you can see if web science really is weak science 😉

Clearly IoT

Three concrete IoT things I’ve been involved with:

Firefly

While at Lancaster Jo Finney and I developed tiny intelligent lights. After more than ten years these are coming into commercial production.

Imagine a Christmas tree, and put a computer behind each and every light – that is Firefly.  Each light becomes a single-pixel network computer, which seems like technological overkill, but because the digital technology is commoditised, suddenly the physical structures of wires and switches is simplified – saving money and time and allowing flexible and integrated lighting.

Even early prototypes had thousands of computers in a few square metres.  Crucially too the higher level networking is all IP.  This is solid IoT territory.  However, like a lot of smart-dust, and sensing technology based around homogeneous devices and still, despite computational autonomy, largely centrally controlled.

While it may be another 10 years before it makes the transition from large-scale display lighting to domestic scale; we always imagined domestic scenarios.  Picture the road, each house with a Christmas tree in its window, all Firefly and all connected to the internet, light patterns more form house to hose in waves, coordinate twinkling from window to window glistening in the snow.  Even in tis technology issues of social interaction and trust begin to emerge.

FitBit

My wife has a FitBit.  Clearly both and IoT technology and WebSci phenomena with millions of people connecting their devices into FitBit’s data sharing and social connection platform.

The week before WebSci we were on holiday, and we were struggling to get her iPad’s mobile data working.  The Vodafone website is designed around phones, and still (how many iPads!) misses crucial information essential for data-only devices.

The FitBit’s alarm had been set for an early hour to wake us ready to catch the ferry.  However, while the FitBit app on the iPad and the FitBit talk to one another via Bluetooth, the app will not control the alarm unless it is Internet connected.  For the first few mornings of our holiday at 6am each morning …

Like my experience on the Wales walk the software assumes constant access to the web and fails when this is not present.

Tiree Tech Wave

I run a twice a year making, talking and thinking event, Tiree Tech Wave, on the Isle of Tiree.  A wide range of things happen, but some are connected with the island itself and a number of island/rural based projects have emerged.

One of these projects, OnSupply looked at awareness of renewable power as the island has a community wind turbine, Tilly, and the emergence of SmartGrid technology.  A large proportion of the houses on the island are not on modern SmartGrid technology, but do have storage heating controlled remotely, for power demand balancing.  However, this is controlled using radio signals, and switched as large areas.  So at 4am each morning all the storage heating goes on and there is a peak.  When, as happens occasionally, there are problems with the cable between the island and the mainland, the Island’s backup generator has to deal with this surge, it cannot be controlled locally.  Again issuss of connectivity deeply embedded in the system design.

We also have a small but growing infrastructure of displays and sensing.

We have, I believe, the worlds first internet-enabled shop open sign.  When the café is open, the sign is on, this is broadcast to a web service, which can then be displayed in various ways.  It is very important in a rural area to know what is open, as you might have to drive many miles to get to a café or shop.

We also use various data feeds from the ferry company, weather station, etc., to feed into public and web displays (e.g. TireeDashboard).  That is we have heterogeneous networks of devices and displays communicating through web apis and services – good Iot and WebSCi!

This is part of a broader vision of Open Data Islands and Communities, exploring how open data can be of value to small communities.  On their own open environments tend to be most easily used by the knowledgeable, wealthy and powerful, reinforcing rather than challenging existing power structures.  We have to work explicitly to create structures and methods that make both IoT and the potential of the web truly of benefit to all.

 

It started with a run … from a conversation at Tiree Tech Wave to an award-winning project

Spring has definitely come to Tiree and in the sunshine I took my second run of the year. On Soroby beach I met someone else out running and we chatted as we ran. It reminded me of another run two years ago …

It was spring of 2013 and a busy Tiree Tech Wave with the launch of Frasan on the Saturday evening. A group had come from the Catalyst project in Lancaster, including Maria Ferrario and she had mentioned running when she arrived, so I said I’d do a run with her. Only later did I discover that her level of running was somewhat daunting, competing in marathons with times that made me wonder if I’d survive the outing.

Happily, Maria modified her pace to reflect my abilities, and we took a short run from the Rural Centre to Chocolates and Charms (good to have a destination), indirectly via Soroby Beach, where I ran today.

Running across the sand we talked about smart grids, and the need to synchronise energy use with renewable supply, and from the conversation the seeds of an idea grew.

fiona-crossapol-beach-2663997355_ea73a75f4c_z-cropped

I started my walk round Wales almost immediately after (with the small matter of my daughter’s wedding in between), but Maria went back to Lancaster and talked to Adrian Friday, who put together a project proposal (with the occasional, very slow email interchange when I could get Internet connections). Towards the end of the summer we heard we had been short-listed and I joined Adrian via Skype for an interview in July.

… and we were successful 🙂

The OnSupply project was born.

OnSupply was a sub-project of the Lancaster Catalyst project. The wider Catalyst project’s aims were to understand better the processes by which advanced technology could be used by communities. OnSupply was the main activity for nine-months of the last year of Catalyst.

OnSupply itself was focused on how people can better understand the availability of renewable energy. Our current model of energy production assumes electricity is always available ‘on demand’ and the power generation companies’ job is to provide it when wanted. However, renewable energy does not come when we want it, but when the wind blows, the tides run and the sun shines. That is in the future we need to shift to a model where energy is used when it is available, ‘on supply’ rather than ‘on demand’.

The Lancaster team, led by Adrian consisted of four full time researchers, Will, Steve, Peter, and of course, Maria, and the other project partners were Tiree Tech Wave, the Tiree Development Trust, Goldsmiths University, and Rory Gianni, an independent developer based in Scotland specialising in environmental issues.

The choice of Tiree was of course partly because of Tiree Tech Wave and my presence here, but also because of Tilly, the Tiree community wind turbine, and the slightly parlous state of the electricity cable between Tiree and the mainland. In many ways the island is just like being on the mainland, you flick the switch and electricity is there. While Tilly can provide nearly a megawatt at full capacity, this simply feeds into the grid, just like the wind farms you see over many hillsides.

However, there is also an extent to which we, as an island population, are more sensitised to issues of electricity and renewable energy.

TTW6_DanPictsForSaturdayPitch-3-604x270

First is the presence of Tilly, which can be seen from much of the island; while the power goes into the grid, when she turns this generates income, which funds various island projects and groups.

But, the same wind that drives Tilly (incidentally the most productive land-based turbine in the UK), shakes power lines, and at its wildest causes shorts and breakages. The fragile power reduces the lifetime of the sophisticated wireless routers, which provide broadband to half the island, and damages fridge compressors.

Furthermore, the aging sea-cable (now happily replaced) frequently broke so that island power was provided for months at a time from backup diesel generator. As well as filling the ferry with oil tankers, the generator cannot cope with the fluctuating power from Tilly, and so for months she is braked, meaning no electricity and so no money.

So, in some ways, a community perfect for investigating issues of awareness of energy production, sensitised enough that it will be easier to see impact, but similar enough to those on the mainland that lessons learnt can be transferred.

wirlygigThe project itself proceeded through a number of workshops and iterative stages, with prototypes designed to provoke discussions and engagement. My favourites were machines that delivered brightly coloured ping-pong balls as part of a game to explore energy uses, and wonderful self-assembly kits for the children, incorporating a wind and solar energy gauge.

The project culminated in a display at the Tiree Agricultural Show.

While OnSupply finished last summer, the reporting continues and a few weeks ago a paper about the project, to be presented at the CHI’2015 conference in South Korea in April, was given a best paper award at the CHI’2015 conference.

… and all this from a run on the beach.

 

toys for Tech Wave – MicroView

I’m always on the lookout for interesting things to add to the Tiree Tech Wave boxes to join Arduinos, Pis, conductive fabric, Lilypad, Lego Technic, etc., and I had  chance to play with a new bit of kit at Christmas ready for the next TTW in March.

Last year I saw a Kickstarter campaign for MicroView by GeekAmmo, tiny ‘chip-sized’ Arduinos with a built in OLED display.  So I ordered a ‘Learning Kit’ for Tiree Tech Wave, which includes two MicroViews and various components for starter projects.

Initially, the MicroView was ahead of schedule and I hoped they would arrive in time for TTW 8 last October, but they hit a snag in the summer.  The MicroViews are manufactured by Sparkfun who are very experienced in the maker space, but the production volume was larger than they were previously used to and a fault (missing boot loader) was missed by the test regime, leading to several thousands of faulty units being delivered.

Things go wrong and it was impressive to see the way both GeekAmmo and Sparkfun responded to the fault, analysed their quality processes and, particularly important, keeping everyone informed.

So, no MicroViews for TTW8, but they arrived before Christmas, and so one afternoon over Christmas I had a play 🙂

DSC09196 DSC09200

When you power up the MicroView (I used a USB from the computer as power source, but it can be battery powered also) the OLED screen first of all shows a welcome and then takes you through a mini tutorial, connecting up jumpers on the breadboard, and culminating with a flashing LED.  It is amazing that you can do a full tutorial, even a starter one, on a 64×48 OLED!

Although it is possible to program the MicroView from a download IDE, the online tutorials suggest using codebender.cc, which allows you to program the Micriview ‘from the cloud’ and share code (sketches).

The results of my first effort are on the left above 🙂

Can you think of any projects for two tiny Ardunos?  Come to Tiree Tech Wave in March and have a go!

codebender-code

 

the year that was 2014

While 2013 was full of momentous events (Miriam getting married, online HCI course and walking 1000 years around Wales), 2014 seems to have relatively little to report.

A major reason for that is the REF panel and the time taken, inter alia, to read and assess 1000 papers.  I am not at all convinced by the entire research assessment process – however, if it is to happen it is needs to be done as well as possible, hence while still reeling from the walk (indeed asked whilst on the walk) I agreed to be on the panel at a relatively late stage late in 2013.

At the end of the year with the results out I guess the other members of the REF panels and I are either loved hated deepening on how different institutions fared … maybe it is good that I live on an island so far from anyone :-/

I guess I am no more convinced at the end of the process than I was at the beginning.  It was good to read so much over such a wide range of topics, I feel I have an overview of UK computing that I have never had before.  This was often depressing (so many niche areas that clearly will never affect anything else in computer science, let alone the world), but also lifted by the occasional piece of work that was theoretically deep, well reported and practically useful.

Beyond the many many hours of reading for REF, the world has moved on:

  • Fiona has begun to sell more textile art online and at events, including a stall at Fasanta where the Tiree Tapestry was also exhibited.
  • Miriam passed her driving test and has a car.
  • Esther has had a number of performances including a short film (although sadly I’ve not managed to attend any this year :-()

Personally and work-wise (the boundary is always hard to draw):

  • I eventually managed to fill in the remaining day blogs for Alan Walks Wales in time for 1st anniversary!
  • I’m gradually managing to spread the word about the unique data I collected at various talks including at events in Bangelore and Athens.
  • The OnSupply project about awareness of renewable energy production was wonderfully successful with several workshops in Tiree, a best paper nomination at ICT4S and an accepted CHI paper.
  • Work with Rachel on Musicology data, which has been slowly ticking along informally, has now been funded as the InConcert project and we ran an exciting symposium on concert-related data in November.
  • At Talis I am looking at the benefits of learning analytics and published my first journal paper in the area, as well as using it practically in teaching.
  • Tiree Tech Wave has gone from strength to strength with capacity attendance and digital fabrication workshops for the Tiree community in the autumn.
  • … and not least competed in the 35 mile round Tiree Ultra-marathon in September 🙂

… and in 2015

who knows, but I’ve already entered for next year’s ultra – why not join me 🙂

 

Tech Wave is coming

The eighth Tiree Tech Wave is just over two weeks away.  We have some participants coming from GRAND NCE Canada’s Digital Media Research Network as well as those closer to home including the Code for Europe Fellows working in Nesta’s Open Data Scotland project.

There will be the normal open agenda, and also a few special activities.  Jacqui Bennet has  a little friendly competition planned and Steve Foreshaw from Lancaster will run a workshop on using low-cost 3D scanners, which we hope to then use to scan some of the lug boats around the island in collaboration with the Tiree Maritime Trust.

FabLab Cardiff are bringing a sort of mini-FabLab-in-a-van.  During the Tech Wave they will be making things themselves, including re-installing the Tiree touchable in a glorious new enclosure. They will also run some short tutorial/workshops on using some of the equipment for TTW attendees and Tiree locals.

FabLab Cardiff Cubify Sense 3D scanner Tiree Maritime Trust - lug boat in action

Although time is getting tight, I am hoping we might also have a couple of MicroViews, a miniature Arduino with built in OLED display.  I ordered a Learning Kit through their Kickstarter campaign with two MicroViews (Blinking Eyes), so looking forward to some winking teddy bears 🙂   After being ahead of schedule, they had a slight production problem with their second batch, and TTW is in the third batch, so keeping fingers crossed, but, if not this time, certainly at the spring 2015 TTW.

    

 

running and talking

September saw two events on Tiree; both exciting but each very different: at the beginning of the month the first Tiree Ultramarathon organised by Will Wright our very own Tiree superhero and towards the end ‘Re-Thinking Architecturally‘, a workshop of the European Network of Excellence on Internet Science organised by Clare Hooper from Southampton University.    I was lucky enough to take part in both.

In addition, in a few weeks time (23-27 Oct) there will be the eighth Tiree Tech Wave, which will include participants from Canada, Scotland, Wales and England (but no-one from Ireland yet).  As well as the usual unstructured serendipity, we will have some tutorial workshops of 3D scanning, 3D printing and laser cutting … but more about that in another post.

The Tiree Ultra

photo Rhoda Meek

I should first emphasise that I did not run all of the 35 mile ultra-marathon course around the coast of Tiree, but did about 50:50, walk/run.  I’d never done anything remotely like this before.  The longest I’d run was the Tiree half marathon back in May and the longest I’d walked during the Wales walk was a 29 mile day (although I did that over more than 12 hours).  I had as a schoolboy once done a 34 mile day hike up into the coal valleys above Cardiff, and one of the spurs to sign up for the Ultra was to beat my 17 year old self!

With my usual level of preparation it came to the beginning of August and I realised I’d not run at all, nor even taken a walk longer than to the beach and back, since the half-marathon in May.  Just before the event I found a couple of sites with training schedules for marathons, all of them were several months long and the ‘beginner’ level was “runs 15-25 miles  a week regularly” … what about zero miles a week?  Anyway my lengthy one month training schedule consisted mainly of short (2.5 mile) beach runs with the occasional 7.5 mile run to Hynish and towards the end a run of 8.5 miles along part of the route of the Ultra round the base of Ben Hynish.  I was aware I’d not done any really substantial runs and so, rather foolishly, on the Wednesday 4 days before the event I ran (and walked!) 21 miles around part of the route on the east end of the island and down to Hynish and back.  A good last run before the event, but one I should have done a week earlier.

Somehow or other, despite my foolish training schedule, I managed to get round without any serious injury.  My main problem was eating, or rather failing to eat. I found I could only mange food during walking stages, and then just a small amount of Kendal Mint Cake and few bananas, I guess overall I managed to burn around 4000 calories, but ate less than 1000, which really made the legs start to tire as I got to the latter parts of the course.  I’ve already entered for the 2015 Tiree Ultra next September (half the places are already gone and entries have only been open a week), but I will have to work out how to eat better before then.  Crucially I got round the course … and not even last.  The serious contenders managed times not much more than 4 1/2 hours whilst I got round in just over 8:20, but I was simply happy to get to the end.

Although it was further and faster than any day walking last year, it was in many ways a lot easier than the Wales walk.  About 2/3 of the way round the Tiree course my right ankle and calf started to stiffen, which was where I’d had Achilles ankle problems a couple of years ago.  Although I did try to ease a little I was not terribly worried; the worst would be that I’d be hobbling for a month or so after the run.  In contrast, last year I knew that I would be walking again the next day, and the next,and the one after that; with each ache I worried whether it would be the injury that did not get better, and stopped the walk. And, despite the worry of this, I had also learnt quite how resilient the body is, that most pains and strains did get better, albeit slowly, despite unrelenting exercise.

I was also reminded very much of the walk when I finished.  I took off my running shoes and socks, the latter sodden from beach and bog, and filled with fine layer of sand.  The soles of my feet, which had been subjected to 35 miles of damp sandpaper, felt like I was walking on coals and I hobbled about between van and Ceadhar where they laid on a post-walk pizza and party.  It was just like that so many days last year, I would get to where I was staying, ease off my boots, put on sandals, and then hobble out in search of food, wondering if I would get as far as the closest pub or cafe, let alone walk again the next day.

Re-thinking Architecturally

The Internet Science workshop was equally enjoyable, but a little less physically challenging!  It brought together economists, architects, lawyers, policy advisors, and some with more technical background from as far afield as Umea in northern Sweden. It was lovely being able to attend a technology workshop on Tiree that I hadn’t organised 🙂

Clare had been to one of the Tiree Tech Waves, and then, when she was organising a workshop for the European Network of Excellence on Internet Science, she thought of Tiree.  The logistics were not without problems, but after the event I’ve been getting together with the Tiree Trust to make an information pack for future organisers to make the process easier.  So if if you would like to organise an event on Tiree, get in touch!

The participants all seemed utterly taken with the venue, several brave souls even swimming in the mornings off the Hynish pier, in the words of one of the participants on the way back after the event “I’d rather be in Tiree!”.  Another said:

one great consequence of the week in Tiree was a kind of intellectual regeneration that let me set aside the stresses of the coming academic year and…think openly a bit.”
Alison Powell (London School of Economics)

In fact this is precisely the feedback I get from many who have been to Tiree Tech Wave.  It is hard to capture in words the way the open horizon and being at the wild-edge opens up the mind, especially when meeting with others equally committed to exploring new ideas freely and openly.

One of the memorable moments from the week was a debate of internet freedom and regulation.  We started off half on one side half the other and then part way through we all had to swop sides.  I can’t believe how passionate I got about both sides of the argument … and I managed to wheel in my school English teacher as authority on benevolent dictatorship1.

photo Parag Deshpande

photo Rory at Balevullin

People

While two very different events, a common story was the wonderful welcome of the people of Tiree.  During the Ulta-marathon, at every way-station there was a glorious array of tray bakes, chocolates, pre-sliced fruit, and above all smiling faces.  This was great for me seeing faces I knew, but clearly very special for the participants who came from afar being greeted as if they too were friends.  For the Re-thinking Architecturally workshop many people made it a success: the wonderful team at the Hynish Centre, especially Lesley who kept on smiling despite a seven hour wait for participants whose travel was disrupted, everyone at Ceadhar, Ring n Ride, and at the airport re-arranging travel across Europe when the Thursday plane was cancelled.

  1. I wrote what I thought to be a masterful mock O’level essay that asserted that Macbeth was actually a good king taking a ‘he made the trains run on time’ argument — my English teacher, Miss Griffiths, was not impressed.[back]

get fit on Tiree

Today is the winter 10K run on Tiree.  It has been organised by Craig Watson, one of the airport firefighters on Tiree, in aid of the “Michelle Henderson Cervical Cancer Trust”.  It is looking a lovely day for it, although there will be a chill in the air under the clear blue winter skies.  I saw the plane land earlier and I know there are folks coming over both on the plane and the ferry to take part.  Personally I have trained with my usual level of foresight doing my first run for 6 months last Tuesday :-/

Of course this is not the only event of its kind on Tiree there is the annual 10k, which I sadly missed this year as I pulled my Achilles tendon :-(, a round island sponsored cycle in March this year, and ‘Team Tiree‘ get off island for various events through the year.

Although this winter 10K is organised by Craig, many of the island fitness activities are due to Will, runner of ironman races and organiser of the Costa del Muscle training week I took part in in August and other regular island fitness activities (from 9 to 90s!).

Next year Will is branching out and organising residential training camps, one in Majorca (for the warm weather wimps) and one in Tiree next March. The latter starts the week after the next Tiree Tech Wave, so you could come for a weekend of sitting around hacking technology followed by another of shedding flab and toning muscle!

Tiree Touchtable – the photos

At last, the photos from the week making and installing the Tiree Touchtable.  You can see all the photos on Flickr, but here is small selection:

The main components – projector, Kinect (on top of projector) and mini-Mac:

The Kinect disassembled:

Platform to attach to roof beams and support projector and mini-Mac:

Add mirror:

Andrea adjusting the mirror:

It works!

Alan gently centre-punches location for screws on Kinect frame:

note the tool … after this the Kinect didn’t work … can’t think why?  But happily there was a second Kinect 🙂

Then Andrea screws Kinect to timber support:

Testing on the workbench:

Moment of truth — on the way to the Rural centre to install … second Kinect carefully cradled in Alan’s old jumper:

       

Parts laid out, ready to go:

Steve fits mounting brackets, Alan looks on:

Alan thinks, “platform looks secure”.  Fiona thinks, “Alan doesn’t”.

Gets boring standing at the bottom of the ladder

Andrea fitting Kinect drop arm:

Andrea fitting the mini-Mac:

“Yep, that seems to be OK”

Let there be light:

Looking down — behold, Tiree Touchfloor:

The secret of true engineering … if the table is too low for the sensors, lift it higher:

Tiree Touchtable installed

It is there!

Suspended high in the ceiling of Tiree Rural centre, a slightly Heath Robinson structure (pictures to come) that powers Tiree’s first public touchtable.

It was a long day, starting at 9:30 in the morning and not finishing until after 9pm in the evening.

The first few hours were simply getting the physical supports in place — with special thanks to Steve Nagy, who fixed the major elements, in particular the awkward tasks of suspending a two foot square (60cx x 60cm) platform that had to be positioned to lock into four steel rods, all while standing on a ladder 20 foot in the air.  Then a long task up and down ladders, huddled over computer screens, adjusting extending, puzzling over strange banding effects that we eventually concluded were artefacts of low level processing with the Konect’s image depth algorithms.

A squadron of flies constantly circled in the projector beam, their shadows suggesting maybe a virtual ‘squat the fly’ game could be developed!   There had been a sale in the cattle ring on Friday, so the flies presumably a remnant of that … but curiously, in the absence of cows or sheep, it was the Konect sensor itself that was their focus of attention, occasionally landing on one of the lenses — maybe they were attracted by the Infra-Red transmitter – a whole new area for etymological research.

The team cleaning the cattle ring, watched and chatted, and then returned with a spotlessly cleaned (it had been covered by ‘you know what’!) sheet of white wood to act as a table cover.

And now, well there is still work to do: permanent electric supply up into the rafters (to replace the temporary tangle of strung together extension cables, that hung from the ceiling during testing), improvements to the algorithms to extend the range to allow the sensors to be as high as possible (to avoid being hit by the next passing ladder), and of course applications to run in the space.

But we feel the back has been broken and a good weeks work.

D-Day for Tiree Touchable

This is it, D-Day — installing the projected touch table in Tiree Rural Centre (see “microwave — Tiree Touchtable“).  Everything made up and ready on the ground after a week of sawing, screwing, drilling and gluing.  So now just (!) climbing up ladders and bolting it all onto the beams, 5 metres up, then seeing if it all works!

A few minor problems along the way, lost one Kinect due to (Alan’s) over-enthusiastic use of a centre punch when drilling holes.  One broken mirror — oops, don’t I remember something about those?  And tetchy projector that doesn’t want to talk to its remote control (helpful manufacturers online FAQ says, “if the remote doesn’t work, use the control panel”).

If we manage the day without dropping a computer 20 foot, we will probably be happy.

Full report and photos later today …