In the past few weeks we have been learning about the Arduino microcontroller, a tiny computer that can be built into exhibits, new kinds of interfaces, portable gizmos, and so on. To program the Arduino, we write code on our desktop in a language called Wiring, compile / verify it, and upload it to the Arduino, usually via a USB connection. As long as the Arduino is getting power, it will execute the code over and over.
This week we will begin exploring the Processing computer language, which is closely related to Wiring, but which runs on a desktop or laptop computer rather than on an Arduino. Code in Processing will look quite familiar, programs are also called ‘sketches’, and the development environment is almost identical. In future weeks, we will learn how to create systems where a Processing sketch on the laptop communicates with a Wiring sketch on the Arduino. This week, however, we are going to focus on the laptop side of the equation.
- Before class, go to the Processing website and install the language on your computer
- Work through “Getting Started. Welcome to Processing!“
- Get as much as you can from the “Processing Overview.” Don’t worry if there are some things that you don’t understand yet
- Rawsthorn, “New Tools to Help With Information Overload,” NY Times (5 Dec 2008)
In class we will be working through the following tutorials