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Posts Tagged ‘iphone’

A small change in our algorithm, just a tweak to four similar and adjacent lines of code, has made what for us is a big esthetic improvement in the “pieces” produced by our app. The change was in fact an accident that was meant to apply to a small part of the art engine, but which affected everything that is drawn. Local versus global, as they say in politics, mathematics, and computer science!

We’ve taken the caption for the frame below from the name of jazz standard. There is a wonderful recording by the Bill Evans Trio. Now if we could just permission to have this recording play along with little show produced by our app! That would be ever so cool. Alas, it will never happen.

HH

Blue in Gree

Blue in Green

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A very dreary day here in Boston, and rather quiet. The local universities are closed because of the potential, largely unrealized, for heavy snow. But it makes for a welcome and unexpected holiday feeling.

screenshot2

Screen shot #2

To pass the time, I have been working with my friend on our as yet unnamed and undisclosed app. And he, I must say, is working from an undisclosed location. Better for concentration, he says. Anyway, we are supposed to meet with friends tonight at the local bar. It will be good to get out of the house after a day inside with the cat and the computer. And I must stay true to my vow: no coding after sundown!

Our aim with this app is (a) to have some fun, (b) to make beautiful images, (c) make a little money, in roughly that order. With (a) we have succeeded, and we think (b) is realistic. About (c) … well, um, if it pays for a few good books, that will be some satisfaction. A trip to warm place would be even better!

We will reveal the not so secret sauce that makes the app work at our forthcoming launch event. Suffice to say that an essential ingredient is a bit of mathematics. Rather simple mathematics, in fact. My friend and I argue about where the beauty in all this really lies. Let us stipulate, for the sake of argument, that this image, or some other image produced by the app, is a thing of beauty. Now the image depends on the code, and the code on the mathematics. So if beauty is in the image, is it not also in the code, and therefore also in the mathematics? This is clearly a deep philosophical question. Perhaps we can resolve it tonight at the bar in our weekly “symposium.” (Inside joke: my more learned friends tell me that a symposium is derived from Greek sym = together and pinein = to drink. Plato and his friends knew a good thing when they saw it!)

As for our product launch, I do hope that we manage to do it in the too far distant future. For me the perfect has always been the enemy of the good, or at least of the satisfactory. I am always driven to make the code as clean, elegant, even beautiful as I can, even though it will likely never be seen by more than two sets of eyes. Alas, I did spend a large part of today refactoring the code so as to achieve just these lofty aims. It makes no difference to the user, but somehow it makes me feel happier. I guess that is justification enough.

Well, I have produced more text than needed to frame the image, which was really the whole point. Time to do something different for a while!

HH

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Hello friends! Some of you have asked “Where’s Hakon? We don’t see him on wordpress these days, we don’t see him at the neighborhood bar, the laundromat, or even the pizza parlor.” Well, a few persistent souls have observed my comings and goings, but the truth is prosaic, even boring. I have been writing code. The bad news is that the coding for this software project has been exhausting, with the exhaustion prolonged by the kinds of things that always go wrong with a many-person effort (whose name and nature must legally, but also mercifully go unmentioned). The good news is that the project is finished! The final commit was made last Monday, and the suits have approved our work. May their names be praised!

Kinetic Art

I am now liberated, or at any rate well into the liberation the process. Spent the weekend cleaning the apartment and my mind, playing the piano, and, well, writing some code. But the latter is strictly for pleasure. A friend and I are doing a little kinetic art app for the iphone — see a one-frame screen shot on the left. Think of it as a kind of algorithmically created film in which the user/viewer can involve himself if he wishes — selecting parameters, shaping sequences, etc. It has been fun — a combination of art, mathematidcs, and coding. All of which are arts of course!!

I doubt our little app will make much money, but we are having a blast doing it. I will keep you posted. We hope to release it in the next month or two.

Speaking of film and art, my friend’s son, who was at one point interested in mathematics, has now switched to film. Below is his first YouTube post. Both live video and stop motion animation edited together. It is amazing what kids can do with the software tools available now. I remember the days when one of the main tools was a razor blade!

Time is never long to die

Well, time to get some sleep. Hope to spend more now time blogging and doing other things both significant and frivolous.

HH

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