The Dawesome Digest #12
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Issue No. 12

This issue brings a slight change to the Dawesome Digest. There's now two sections, Input and Output. Input is a list of things I've been using, buying or generally being inspired by. Output is the things I've been making. You can ignore the output section if you so wish and just stick to the input section or vice versa. Simpler and hopefully better.
I N P U T

Midori MD Notebook - A5 Grid Paper This is the notebook I have on my desk. The paper is beautiful, takes ink well and lies nice and flat.

Grid This is a few years old but I still find it so invaluable. Will overlay a baseline grid across your site so you can check alignment etc. Very handy.

Video Export Library for Processing I’m using this a lot on the current project I’m working on and it’s a great way to export video from a Processing sketch.

Fibonacci Sphere Very elegant way to uniformly distribute objects around a sphere.

Cupcake Select a colour code in any text editor, press a certain key combination and Cupcake will show you a colour selector based around the selected colour that you can then tweak. Lovely.

Porter-Yoshida & Co quilted satin backpack I’ve been on the search for a great laptop bag for many years and when I found this one I knew my search was over. The second compartment is great for throwing some clothes in for an overnight stay too.

Apps for making laser-cut boxes Need a template for a laser-cut box? These handy apps may help.

Maths as code If like me mathematics makes your head hurt, then this handy cheat sheet for turning maths into code is a real find.

50 beautiful Polish books Wonderful covers for these Polish paperbacks.

Great set of icons 2400 icons for iOS 8, Android and other applications.

CSVKit Impress your friends with your mastery of any csv file with the incredible CSVKit.

Eames Typeface from House Industries Always have a soft-spot for anything Eames and this typeface is beautifully done.

Jonathan Glazer talks about Under The Skin â€œall I knew was I had a feeling; an emotional compass”.

Designing Design I've only just got hold of a copy of this book that I've heard a lot about. I think it may be one of the greatest books on design ever written. Right now I'm devouring every single word.

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O U T P U T

Two projects for The Atlantic

I used to make a lot of things that existed in a web browser; sites for brands or weird little interface experiments. More often than not these were made in Flash which is now pretty much dead from a web point of view, unless you're making games maybe. So when The Atlantic got in touch to ask me to create two pieces of work through their branded division, Atlantic Re:think, I got excited about making something on the web again, even though I had no idea how I was going to approach it.

The two pieces of work, sponsored by hard drive manufacturer Seagate, were based on two different data sets. One was about the size of the U.S. economy in Gigabytes and the other was about the size of data as seen through five of the Internet's largest platforms, in real-time. For some reason when I thought about the U.S. economy brief I saw giant cubes of data, sitting in a giant void, silent apart from a gentle, knowing, hum. There had been mention of a dashboard but I'd rather throw myself off a cliff than add another mundane, incredibly boring dashboard to the Internet; they're like photos of Espresso cups - there's enough of them already. 

Both pieces of work use three.js extensively together with a little bit of d3.js for data input and a tiny smattering of p5.js. Pretty crazy what you can do with Javascript these days. I'm happy to say that after The Invisible Infrastructure went live it picked up a lovely FWA Site of the Day award.

The Invisible Infrastructure
Exploring Deep Cyberspace
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Flippin' Big Remote

I've been using my own presentation software for a while now. Called Flip, it's a simple thing that allows me to put a presentation together quickly and easily, using images, video and little bits of text. In a small way it's actually become part of the presentations, or at least a part of me and how I present. However there was one thing missing – a remote control for Flip that was just as ownable; a hardware equivalent of the software. Sure I could buy a remote control that can be customised to do various keyboard commands, or I could even use my iPhone to control it, but they just seeemd a little bit boring. So I set about creating my own remote control for my own presentation software.

I knew I wanted it to have two things – big chunky buttons and be completely wireless, like a remote should be. I had a few large arcade style buttons laying around that would be perfect. In the same drawer I also had a set of Xbee radios that I've had for years but never done anything with. This was a perfect project to finally put them to good use, and of course learn how the hell they work.

You may remember that I recently created a piece of work for Fact in Liverpool, that let people twiddle various knobs to create an abstract 3D reprsentation of their current state of mind. Well the Arduino based electronics inside the console used a lovely protocol called Firmata. You simply upload it to the Arduino and then over software you can configure what the various inputs and outputs do. I thought this would be perfect for my remote control, but can it be done using Xbee to make it wireless? Well of course people much cleverer than I had already figured out such things; in fact there is a special kind of Arduino board that comes with an Xbee socket for just such a task called a Fio. It even has connections for a rechargeble LiPo battery which you can charge over USB - lovely! 

So after some weeks of fiddling with wires, bits of laser-cut parts and a little bit of code I had my ridiculously large unique remote control that was rechargeable and wireless. I've now used it at several talks and it worked a treat. No idea if I can ever get this through airport security though.

If you fancy giving the Flip software a try it's all on this Git repo.
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Project Patterns

Talking of Git, I took some time out of my current projects to quickly make this little thing that I've been thinking about for a while.

Git is a version control system, and I use it for every project I work on. As well as all the benefits that version control brings it also creates a timeline of your work patterns, that you can export out as a CSV file. So I took that CSV file and then in Processing created a tool to create these simple visualisations of some of my projects. It reveals the rhythm of how I work, when I work the most and other subtle little things. 

Project Patterns
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Exhibitions

Cinema Redux is currently on display in two exhibitions.

Big Bang Data, which has so previously been in Barcelona and Madrid has now moved to Buenos Aires, on until November.

Just opened in Seoul, South Korea is Designing with Data. Curated by MoMA it features the work of Aaron Koblin, Ben Fry, Casey Reas, Jonathan Harris amongst others, including my own Cinema Redux. 
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Thanks for allowing me to drop into your inbox and until next time, happy making.
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