Workflow Lab - Computing and Programming
Within this Workflow lab, we were tasked with trying to power a small LED bulb, first by connecting the right parts of a circuit board, and then secondly through using coding as a means of allowing this LED to power itself, as well as creating blinking patterns, which we managed by creating intervals in the code.
We started by connecting the LED bulbs pins into a lettered/numbered section of the board, which would be accompanied by coloured wires to deliver current (A1,B2,C3 etc.) which we could then input to the programme. The board had a USB input which we could use to connect to the laptops provided, which generated our electrical current to power the LEDs. We were then taught to tell the bulb to blink, of which we were free to choose the rhythm for. This would occur by applying integers alongside a command, essentially telling the computer to power the LED for a set amount of time and vice versa for when it was off. This was something I did find quite interesting as I was doing it, as most people were set on the two step command (ON/OFF) but I realised you could add additional lines of code, varying the rhythm with each line, which could result in using encrypted Morse code through it. Whilst I can’t remember exactly how the coding went, it could go something like:
CommandInput_PowerOn / (3)*
CommandInput_PowerOff / (1)*
CommandInput_PowerOn / (7)*
CommandInput_PowerOff / (2)*
And so forth.
Whilst it is something as simple as repeat messaging, it was something that I did find quite interesting at the time, regardless of whether I would actually use anything like that in the future.
Personally, I didn’t see what the point of the lab was. I understand from a certain perspective that it is trying to offer more methods of work to us that we might not have previously considered, and computing definitely has its uses outside of programming; like it would most definitely be used within the textile industry as a way of mass manufacturing patterns, as they would be designed with the assistance of automated machines in mind. As well as this, there are also uses of coding within photography as well. I studied Non Human Photography by Joanna Zylinska in my second year at University, in which she discussed a photo project that documented glacial decline in colder regions of the planet. This project had fixed cameras that had had their hardware altered so that they would automatically take photos at set times on certain days, to photograph these spaces without needing a photographer to be there at all times to man them. I am aware of the importance these technical skills can provide to several industries, but it is not how I operate as a practitioner, nor is it something I ever really plan on implementing at any point.