posts tagged with the keyword ‘video’


No Signal

“No Signal” was a project I wanted to do back in 2014, but never had time to. The idea was to have a projector set up in a space with a video playing that suggested the projector could not find the input source. For anyone who has done a presentation or had to deal with a data projector, you probably know the joy of changing the inputs, waiting for the signal to sync, and even “perfecting image” messages.

It’s 2015 and we still can’t plug a computer into a projector and have it “just work”.

No Signal

Since we needed some projects for the Dark Room at Maker Faire Milwaukee, I figured this would be a good fit. I quickly edited together a video (and I was suffering from a lack of sleep when I did it) that got more ridiculous as I kept adding things. I gave my projector to Bryan Cera for his “Entertainment System” project so I ended up using an old Apple Cinema Display I had on hand. The front looks very clean and stylish…

No Signal

…and for anyone brave enough to look at the back, I wanted it to look ridiculous. Insert comments here about how Apple products are clean and beautiful on the surface while hiding the ugly shit so you can’t see it. I used a lot of zip ties to secure the Apple Power Brick™ to the back of the display, and also added a Raspberry Pi to play the video. There’s also an DVI to HDMI converter in the mix.

No Signal

This is some very sophisticated last-minute rigging right here! (Note the masking tape that secures the SD card in place.) The video is below for you to enjoy.

No Signal

No Signal

No Signal

No Signal

Disclaimer: I may have been slightly inspired by Improv Everywhere.


Apple Watch

I presented a video piece at Maker Faire Milwaukee I called “Apple Watch” which consisted of a Raspberry Pi Model B connected to an Apple Monochrome Monitor from 1988.

The power of component video was harnessed to make a 2012 computer talk to a display that is 27 years old. (Also, Apple used to make solid hardware that lasted a long time!)

The video that plays (after the Raspberry Pi boots up Linux) is the old black & white wristwatch from early versions of the Apple Operating System. The video loops forever and just shows the cursor with the watch hands spinning around infinitely.

You can wait for something else to happen, but it won’t. You can imagine this would fit on your wrist, but it won’t. If the power goes out and comes back on, the Apple Watch will just start up and attempt to run (forever) again. That’s all it does. Really.


Raspberry Pi


Apple Watch


Here’s a video of the Turndrawble in action… Also, as an added bonus you get to hear the strains of a DC motor moving a gearbox to spin the platter. Turn it up, man!

Don’t forget to check out the blog post and the Turndrawble project page.


Ignite Madison

The second Ignite Madison happened on February 12, 2014 and I was there… and if you weren’t there, you can still see the video of me talking due to the magic of the Internet!

A few notes: Doing an Ignite talk requires a lot of practice. You’ve only got 5 minutes! I’ve given plenty of talks, and when you have a bunch of slides, and a bunch of time, and no specific timing to stick to, it’s a breeze. But, add in 20 slides changing every 15 seconds and it gets a bit more difficult.

I managed to go slightly off-track twice, but in the end, I think it turned out OK. I won’t be hitting the professional speaker’s circuit anytime soon, but I am glad I did it, because, as you’ll learn from my talk, learning, sharing and inspiring are the things that drive me to make.


If nothing else, I’m glad I could help out the Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Dane County by taking part in the event.

Oh, and check out the other presenters for the evening, they were all great! Thanks for the interesting evening, Madison!

Update: Slides are here.


Turkey Bowl

There’s this annual tradition members of my family take part in each Thanksgiving. It involves a bunch of the guys getting up early and playing football at an elementary school in Milwaukee. I didn’t know a lot about it other than they do it every year. It’s called the Turkey Bowl.

Back in 2012 my wife suggested I take part in the Turkey Bowl. As someone who doesn’t like to play football, or watch football, I remained unconvinced. Instead, I offered to come and film the game. Unfortunately, I somehow forgot to go, and did not film the game. So this year, I made up for it.

The kids and I headed out, stopped for hot drinks, and got to the school just in time to capture about 15 minutes of action at the end. (Oops! Based on televised sports, I thought football games lasted about 4 hours.) Well, I did manage to get some good group photos when they were done, which was much appreciated. I then told them that I needed interview footage, but they were all headed to a bar (it is Wisconsin) to watch football and drink beer. (Again, I don’t do either of those things.) So I made a plan to take my gear to the Thanksgiving dinner at my sister’s house, and after the meal, I did a bunch of interviews.

I then declared it would be ready to watch by Christmas. I then did a bit of editing the next week, and a little more the next week, and then I just pulled an all-nighter Christmas Eve and stayed up past 4am to finish it for Christmas Day. Merry Christmas!

The quality is not quite to the level I’d like, but it doesn’t matter. They loved it. It does a pretty good job of documenting the game and what it means to them. The audio is rough, the lighting and camerawork is not top notch, but that’s not what matters. Nobody paid me to do this, and I really enjoyed doing it.

What, you want to watch Turkey Bowl? Please do…

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