5 days of non stop coding has made Sly not the least less social. In my opinion he is one of the most solid, happy and delivering coders of Hacker Camp this year. And he has the right to be happy, because unlike last year when he was kind of disappointed, this year everything works exactly as he was hoping. Sly, Jeff and Eric worked on the friendSlicer, a project that, given the amount of time spend on constructing it from scrap, could not have looked any more rich, professional and be more fun.
Sly is of the opinion that the success of the project lies within the team he choose to work with. Even when you have a simple idea, you have to work with people that compliment each others skills and point of views. At first 5 people wanted to work on the friendSlicer project, which seemed a bit scary. The final 3 all exactly knew their own responsibilities and did need a lot of communication between them. They just delivered the separate parts and assembled.
Even though everything went relatively smooth as ice, the friendSlicer also ran into some troubles when the software modules had to be migrated from the personal computers of the coders to the final, Mediamatic computers. This obstacle was however taken relatively easy.
Sly tells us that he cannot imagine a better climate to work on such a project. All he needs to deliver is a deadline, food, internet and technical equipment, which was all available at the Mediamatic Hacker Shack.
The best experience was to see people actually interact with the installation, to see them laugh and step into the booth to make a second video. An unexpected outcome was the enthusiasm of the users; once they are in the booth they are asked to create a sound without using their mouth. Who would know that the wooden box would have to endure so much force! Jeff really proved himself as a carpenter!
Sly also notes how important it is to get feedback as soon as possible during the traject. This renews the train of thinking. With the feedback he got from the live action at the booth he has a couple of ideas to implement into a friendSlicer booth 2.0; for instance to record the people that are watching and listening to themselves outside the booth.
Jeff is amazingly satisfied. He came to Hacker Camp not knowing what to expect at all, since he got introduced by a friend who did not come to Hacker Camp himself. He is very happy that the booth came to life.
If there would be a next time, he would choose to order the wood for the booth sooner. Now there were only 2 days to build it. Obviously, they did not expect to built a studio booth. Given the time and the materials they had, the friendSlicer is perfect.
The most unexpected outcome for Jeff was the feedback look the earlier users created. At first the users seemed to approach the installation as kind of a static experience. However, some more enthusiast users created a positive feedback, showing future users how much fun it is not to interact so statically. This kind of behavior spread quiet viral into the future movies.
Jeff noticed how important it is to be honest about your strengths and limitations. The most important thing of a Hacker Camp project is to get things done to create a good, fun experience for the users.
Technical specs final booth: 2 mac minis (playing and recording) A camera and a microphone. Open frameworks for recording and playing. Unix scripting + Python scripting for syncing between the computers. Rsync + SSH (for syncing). Python + sqlite3 for storing metadata and generating music files and open frameworks for playing the files.