Week 18

May 2015—May 2015

This is a post about weeknotes.

Electronics user study

I was a participant in a PhD student's study at City University. They're interested in how people learn and tools to support them. The study was about an hour, I was set the task of using an Arduino to read a temperature sensor and turn on coloured LEDs depending on the sensor's value. So the task involved using online docs and example code to figure out how the sensor worked, some circuits and some programming.

Afterwards, there were lots of questions about how I approached the task and on my knowledge of the fundamental physics behind electronics and computing. It's no surprise to me that I have a very shallow understanding of the why. I approach problems iteratively and almost experimentally, weaving together bits of knowledge. This led me to fail part of the task because what I thought I knew didn't match the reality of the situation.

ThingsCon Berlin

I flew Norwegian to Berlin for ThingsCon. Norwegian have nice new planes with much more leg room than the RyanAir/easyJet equivalents. And wifi on the flight which quickly lost it's appeal after a few "I'm texted from a plane!" messages.

ThingsCon itself was good. It felt intimate and friendly. There was a good focus on ethics and privacy in the Internet of Things. Although I wonder if that's because perhaps there were no big players there who might have a different view? ThingMonk is different in that regard as it's stated aim is to bring these groups together.

Spent a couple days afterwards in the city which, as always, is fun.