Monthly Archives: September 2007

Inclusive Game Design – very simple game

Starting to work on a game for children… a simple tamagochi where the character (a dog) on-screen asks to be petted… a real stuffed animal with switches will then know if the child has petted the right place.
Click HERE to see the first version to test the code and switch… press any key on the keyboar to make it bark and move its mouth 🙂
Now I have to add switches to the rest of the stuffed animal and create a more interesting (and pretty for that matter) dog on screen which will to be petted and point to where it wants to be petted.


Went to see a great documentary yesterday called “Helvetica” – yes – the FONT!!
It looks at the ubiquity of this font in today’s world – or at least the Western world – why some designers love it, some are “over” it, but mostly how it came about (Linotype, Switzerland – 1950’s – most readable font) and how the advent of computers made it even more widespread (it is the default font for computers).
There were many amazingly beautiful still shots all through the movie illustrating Helvetica around the world.
Worth checking out not only from a design point of view but also in terms of niche markets, trends, changes in society, and even cognitive psychology – why the hell does the eye like Helvetica more than other fonts?
And by the way – this is not Helvetica 🙂


For Computers for the Rest of You we had to read “Happiness In Everyday Life: The Uses of Experience Sampling” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Jeremy Hunter.

For me the most interesting aspect of this paper is to show how smart nature is. Basically our bodies trigger happiness in us when we are socializing and doing activities that are not stressful but require us to think and use our abilities – from that we see that nature is basically tricking us into finding a partner and evolving into something better by giving us a “cookie” when we are doing such activities. Another interesting finding of the study was that those who actually spent time studying or reading, which bring on lower levels of happiness, report a higher than average level of happiness when doing sports or socializing proving the concept that you cannot know true happiness if you’ve never experienced true sadness.
The second part of our homework was to think of the logging project we want to work on. I am thinking of the following:

  • One illusion I have is that I am a very active person when I am awake and when I sleep I am motionless. To test that I want to use an accelerometer to see how much of my day is actually producing movement. I would use the Nokia accelerometer coupled with a bluetooth equipped cell phone to record and log the information. I would attach the accelerometer to a hat to include class room time as active time – if it was in my pocket the accelerometer would be still. I am also interested in measuring how much I move around at night while sleeping.
  • Another illusion we have is that pictures represent more than what is actually framed. I want to enhance that illusion by recording the gps location, the ambient sound during the time I am taking pictures as well as record what music I was listening to during that moment. This will add some context about the framed object, its surroundings as well as the photographer’s mood. I intend to do this by coupling a GPS, a sound recorder and my iPod/iPhone to the camera. The click of a picture should trigger the GPS for a reading, record ambient sound for 30 seconds and log the name and artist of the song that is playing on my iPod. Some more about this idea here.
  • Inclusive Pong – version 1

    So the new Pong is almost ready – have to figure out some mouseButton bugs… right now you can only adjust the settings of the game OR play it…
    To see the adjust settings game click HERE.
    To play the game without adjustments, click HERE.
    Will post the final version soon.
    As per the documentation I included, here are some features I still need to include:

    • Allow user to change color of background
    • Allow user to change color of text elements
    • Include a color-blind mode – gray scale applied to the entire game
    • Allow user to adjust the speed of the ball
    • Allow user to adjust the speed of the enemy
    • Allow user to play with the keyboard

    iPhone SIM unlocked on a Mac OSX tested on Brazilian carrier roaming on T-Mobile!

    After thinking I would have to go to an Apple store and invent some story that “a friend” messed up with my iPhone and it does not work any – I want a new one – I was able to unlock the iPhone for any carrier!
    It is a “painful” process but with the help of some sites and UNIX knowledge it is done.

    1. To start off with, make sure your iPhone is updated by iTunes (check for updates).
    2. Then you have to “unshackle” the iPhone. I used iFuntastic. Get it here.
    3. Got through the unshackle process.
    4. On the iPhone, run the Installer app that should appear on your home screen and install the following three applications, in this order:
      1. Community Sources
      2. BSD Subsystem (might take some minutes)
      3. OpenSSH
      4. Term vt-100
    5. Back on your computer download the following files to your computer – open the downloaded folder.
    6. Using iFuntastic’s File Manager, navigate to the /usr/bin/ directory and copy the following files to that directory:
      1. iUnlock
      2. ICE03.14.08_G.fls
      3. nor
      4. minicom
      5. bbupdater
    7. Navigate back to the /usr/ directory and now create a new folder called local. Within the local folder, create a new folder called etc. So you should have /usr/local/etc/ in your iPhone’s folder/directory structure.
    8. Back on the iPhone, go to the Home -> Settings -> General -> Auto Lock and set it to Never (this is so that the WiFi connection does not drop during the process)
    9. Now you have to run stuff on the iPhone. Open Terminal (Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal) and SSH into the phone by typing in ssh root@ (this is your iPhone’s IP address – to find what it is go to Settings -> WiFi and click on the blue arrow next to your WiFi connection). The password is dottie. Then type in the following commands:
      1. cd /usr/bin/
      2. chmod +x bbupdater
      3. chmod +x iUnlock
      4. chmod +x minicom
      5. launchctl unload -w
      6. /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/
      7. iUnlock ICE03.14.08_G.fls nor
    10. Once that finishes, type in minicom
      1. After the application starts, type in AT S7=45 S0=0 L1 V1 X4 &c1 E1 Q0 and then return.
      2. No results were printed out on my screen but it worked.
      3. I was not able to quit minicom so I just exited the entire Term-vt100 by pressing the Home button and entering Term-vt100 again.
    11. Type in the following command in Term-vt100
      1. launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

    That did it for me… put in my Brazilian SIM card from TIM and there I was roaming on T-Mobile’s network… Made a call and it worked. My AT&T card is also working – tested a call, SMS and the EDGE network.
    More information about this entire process with more detailed instructions and things to do if something goes wrong:
    Also – this seems to be the wiki with the most up to date information – – there is a GUI app called anySIM that they released but it did not work on my phone – had to go the manual way described above.