Tag Archives: featured

Is everything hackable?

Is everything hackable? Yeah, I think so. Does hacking known problematic student administration-style services and ‘wicked problems’ potentially lead to better teaching and learning outcomes and experience for students, staff and the university? Could it be done in 36 hours? That’s the answer I wanted to find out when I attended Monash University’s HackMon.

First up, introductions. This is where each team pitched their initial project idea with the hope of attracting new team members to help them solve their wicked problem.

Academic director of MU-OLT, Kris Ryan provides a teaching and learning context during his introduction on the morning of the first day.

Detail from the imagination wall, a breakdown of hackathon activities over the next two days, with pre-hack events.

Hackathon breakdown, including pre-hack activities. Next steps/post-hack-style activities could also be worth mentioning…

And then it started, which was awesome.

There was a whole lot of activity, including much horse trading and team building.

Taking a break for lunch on the first day. Great view from the seventh floor of 271 Collins Street.

Themes by project teams – Digital assistants (“What now and how?”), Resource/facilities management and Scheduling (What can I use?), status dashboards (“What and when?”)

My ledge

I built a ledge to create my own skate spot. A spot that’s far away from the broken beer bottles, empty pizza boxes, assorted rubbish, blood, weirdos, police tape and everything else that gets in the way of skating the local council skate parks.

I’m not sure how long my ledge will last, but I’m going to enjoy it for as long as I can.

My #diyskate ledge at The Ditch. #diyspot

A photo posted by Repurposed Ruin (@repurposed_ruin) on

My #diyskate ledge at The Ditch (Detail). #diyspot

A photo posted by Repurposed Ruin (@repurposed_ruin) on

Learn more about my ledge and how I put it together by exploring Building my DIY masonry block ledge at The Ditch.

Question 1.4: Design for you

The Question 1.4: Design for you homework for Week 1 of Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society required me to design an artifact that addresses my user experience gap of a solution that supports and encourages an efficient and affordable contactless ticketing system for public transport by creating a visual expression of the design as well as a simple prototype of the artifact.

Visual expression of the design, including dependent and  alternate technology.
Visual expression of the design, including dependent and alternate technology.
Prototype featuring app installed on NFC enabled smartphone

Flip rig: An extremely light-weight and simple rig for a FLIP MinoHD video camera

A project at work required video footage of a series of veterinary surgical procedures to be recorded for inclusion in an online resource. The project did not have resources (DSLR and personnel) to record the series of surgical procedures nor does the relatively small operating theatre permit an additional non-surgical staff member to occupy the theatre.

With these constraints in mind, I designed and assembled a camera rig from a number of different pieces of hardware to support a Flip MinoHD digital video camera (found in the back of an old storage cupboard) that could be used to record each procedure. The simple  nature of the Flip video camera means that any member of surgical team can start the recording prior to the commencement of the surgery without having to consider the possible complication of operating a semi-professional video camera or DSLR. The light-weight and unobtrusive nature of the Flip also allows the camera to be fitted to the arm of the surgical light. A perfect place to capture a bird’s-eye view of the surgical procedure.



I don’t always require an affirmation, but when I do, I prefer the Bene Gesserit’s litany against fear

Inspired by Tom Woodwards’s Dune-themed tweet on 24 April 2014, Rhys Fulber and Bill Leeb’s production on Fear Factory’s Fear Is the Mindkiller EP and the Bene Gesserit’s litany against fear and based on Jan Vantomme’s Drawing text and Running your sketch on an Android device  Processing recipes on Github, I created this portable litany against fear as a fun exercise in combining , expanding and learning further from the recipes I’ve worked through so far.


Extending the functionality

I’d like to extend the portable litany against fear by creating functionality that allows for use of:

  • sound by including pre-loaded audio samples that play as each line of the litany is displayed
  • custom text and audio affirmations to be entered by users
  • events such as display of text and playing of audio or other events to be triggered by touching and swiping of screen by the user.


Augmented contextual instruction user experience (Object tracking)

Screen captures from the completed object-tracking augmented contextual instruction user experience.  The augmented contextual instruction is made up of a sequence of junaio channels that can be browsed in the junaio AR browser. For this example, the channels were browsed using junaio on an iPad.

Step 1: Remove bracket from caliper
Place the assembled rear brake caliper on the workbench with the retaining bolts facing towards you.
The first step in disassembling a rear brake caliper is to remove the bracket from the caliper. Use a spanner to loosen the retaining bolts.
Remove the bracket from the caliper and then place the bracket on the workbench facing towards you.
The second step in disassembling a rear brake caliper is to inspect and clean the retaining bolts and remove the rubber seal from the bracket.
Put the bracket to one side. Place the caliper upside down on the workbench with the inlet port facing away from you.
Insert the air tool into the fluid inlet port of the caliper.
Turn the caliper over with the cylinder bore facing towards you.
The fourth and final step in disassembling a rear brake caliper is to remove the piston seal from the caliper.
Use a pointed tool to remove the piston seal from the caliper.
Disassembly complete!
You have now completed the final step in disassembling a rear brake caliper. Remember to inspect and clean all parts before reassembly.
Web page for supplementary material. http://rowanpeter.com/exp/ar/creator/resources/index.html
Supplementary material
Once the bolts have been loosened, you can then use your fingers to remove them. You can check out the How to disassemble a rear brake caliper playlist on YouTube.

Practising out in the open can sometimes lead to a happy accident

遺伝子組み換え食品との付き合いかた-GMOの普及と今後のありかたは? The way of dealing with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) now and in the future. Written by Ichiro Motoki. Photograph of page 81 from 遺伝子組み換え食品との付き合いかた-GMOの普及と今後のありかたは by Rowan Peter. Used with kind permission from Kaoru Kobayashi and Ohmsha Publishing.

“What we plan for the use of something is not necessarily how people will use it and we don’t necessarily dictate how they use it. We open it up and we hope for the best and a lot of the times we are surprised.”

This quote from Jim Groom’s February 2012 talk at Kansas State University reflects my own surprising experiences with sharing my work out in the open. My surprise came about when I was contacted by the co-author of a book seeking permission to use one of my photographs. I had taken the photograph for The Daily Shoot #ds446 – Sense of depth or dimension assignment for the Spring 2011 iteration of DS106. For me, the photograph had a single purpose. An exercise for The Daily Shoot, a record of my attempt at creating a sense of depth and dimension.

What surprised me the most was that someone wanted to use to my photograph at all, let alone for a for a completely different purpose. It’s likely the friendly request to use my photograph by the co-author of the book would not have occurred if I had not been sharing my work out in the open. Sharing this way allowed my photograph to be easily discovered by others and helped to create what Alan Levine calls a potential energy for happy accidents to happen.

Blood harvest (The Softain Biopsy) – Visual Assignment 340: Splash the colour

By now I’m sure many of you are quite familiar with the ground-breaking work of specialist surgeon Dr Sigmeund Softain. Dr Sigmeund Softain is the doctor responsible for pioneering The Softain Biopsy medical procedure.

The Softain Biopsy* is a medical procedure involving the sampling of diseased human cells or tissues for examination, repair, duplication and then re-insertion back into the patient.

What isn’t known is how Dr Sigmeund Softain manages to repair the diseased human cells. Well, earlier this week I had the privilege of spending time with Dr Sigmeund Softain in his lab. During this time I managed to find out out more about Dr Softain’s cell repair technology. “You see, it’s all rather simple” Dr Softain told me. “I use a rare species of spider that lives in a citrus tree common to suburban Australia to repair and then harvest diseased blood and human cells.”

*Dr Sigmeund Softain is currently undergoing an investigation from the Australian Future Medical Procedure Organisation (AFMPO) and has had his practise license withdrawn.

Visual Assignment 340: Splash the colour

Color splash is a technique to emphasize details- you remove all color from a photo, and then restore original color to a single object, e.g. a green apple on a table. Think of the Girl in the red dress from Schindler’s List.

You can do this in a number of ways with photo editing software or using mobile apps. The answer lies in the Google.

The Softain Biopsy – Visual Assignment 305: ReCaptcha Illustrated

The Softain Biopsy

The Softain Biopsy is a medical procedure performed by specialist surgeon Dr Sigmeund Softain involving sampling of diseased human cells or tissues for examination, repair, duplication and then re-insertion back into the patient.

Visual Assignment 305: ReCaptcha Illustrated brief

Include a screenshot of a word pair from a reCapctha (or heck right at the bottom of this assignment submission form) in an illustration or visual mashup that shows what the words might mean. Use your imagination to create something meaningful out of the random words. When you write it up, provide some narrative that puts the image in context.