Posts tagged ‘code’

Collection of hacks

Its been quite a while since I last posted anything.

That doesn’t mean that i haven’t been coding small hacks, just that i haven’t posted them. But now is probably a good time to show some of the stuff.

As the title suggest it has something to do with I have been using processing on and off for some time. Its is really nice when you want to make a quick hack, or as its called in processing a “sketch”.

In no particular order here is some of the fun stuff made using processing.

General remarks

The following sketches and their sourcecode have served as small hacks, hence don’t expect nice comments or optimal algorithms…


It is possible to remove the line from a picture representing the least amount of information. The algorithm evaluates every pixels “weight” as the absolute difference between the different color channels (r,g,b). And then finds the “lightest path” from the bottom to the top.

This means that “prominent features” won’t be removed or change size when shrinking the image. Here the definition of “prominent features” is high difference in colors between the neighboring pixels.

Have a look at shrinkImage

Room for optimizations :

Eventhough its quite quick at calculating the weights and finding the lightest path, it does so in every iteration. Letting it use a bit more memory and just recalculate the changes when removing a line should speed it up. I found a huge speedup when just having an array with the weights from the last and current line, when calculation the path, so not only would saving all weights require a bit more memory it would also slow down the first calculation. But I’m sure it would give a significant speed up in the next iterations, and a lot of +-1 frustrations ūüėČ


There a some quick getting to know processing hacks, this is one off the. helloFoo

One of the very cool things about processing is the ability to use openGL, so originally this sketch uses openGL. But applets and openGL isn’t exactly the best combination. It can be done, but since it doesn’t work for me (firefox, linux openJDK JRE) i just converted it to standard java graphics. And the effort required to do this, is remove an import and don’t say setup(400,400, OPENGL) but just setup(400,400). This is trivially true the other way around. If you want to use openGL its quite easy.

The sketch is just bouncing balls, when going away from openGL I reduced the size and number of balls, in order to get a decent animation speed.


Again used openGl originally FooIII

Some satellites rotating around some satellites rotating around some ….


yes sketches tend to have silly names : sndHello

From Clifford Pickovers  book : Computers, Pattern, Chaos, and Beauty Рgraphics from an unseen world (p 39 section 4.3 snowflakes from   sound)
Draw symmetrically and in “polar form” the¬†fft of the sound, hence creating snowflakes based on the sound.
Music by David Rovics
Choppy sound I had some problems with the sound when run as an applet. You might have better luck using the jar directly or by downloading the sourcecode and running it with processing


The former applet relied on an external library for the sound, ther are quite a few libraries available. I did use GSvideo to hook up my crappy webcam and do some video effects. I experimented with slit-scanning in different ways.Unfortunately this won’t run as an applet and it might only run on Linux.

By creating a cube of the images, where the z-axis represents time, its possible to play back different parts of the movie from different layers in time. Which makes for some quite interesting and dizzing effects.

For example a time buble where playback is delayed around a “bulge in the timespace continuum” :s (a video of some guy playing with it (timebuble1.avi) some sourcecode for a similar effect where the mouse pointer moves the buble (TimeCube.pde) another more “traditional slitscan” (CamWarpTime.pde) .

In general there is plenty of room to fiddle with the code, there a functions like selectSlice or initQueues where its decided how to slice time. its great fun to play with..

Matrix Multiplication

Who would have thought that matrix multiplication could be beautiful ?

linear tranformation by matrix multiplication

The very short desctiption :

inspiration from an example of homogeneous coordinates in my linear algebra book and lectures about lineartransforms.

There is a jar, with sourcecode, if you want to se it “live” or twiddle with it.


DTMF dialer

UPDATE : see  dtmf-dialer-got-new-features

I got around to hacking some code together for a simple DTMF dialer on the mobile.

Its functional and simple. Enter a number, click ok and it will play the correct sequence of tones. It’s even possible to tweak the duration and pauses.

I have only tested it on my own Nokia 6300, but as far as I can tell it should run on most java enabled mobile phones.

dtmf logo

Here are the jad and jar files. If you want to run the program download them to your mobile and have fun.

At the moment it converts + to 00 and removes +45, as this is appropriate for a danish setting.

Here is the sourcecode if you need to make changes.

DTMF sourcecode

Using Netbeans

I used netbeans 6.0.1 and it was a mixed pleasure. Creating the the flow using a drag’n’drop interface, is well nice for something small and simple as this, but I found that it soon got frustrating. There’s no API to look in, and you have to use the mouse all the time.


This is the basic flow of the midlet. It was very quick to set this up, and it were indeed a pleasure to start with. Somewhere along the way a made a mistake, which the flowdesigner and codegenerator couldn’t handle. And no matter what I tried I couldn’t get rid of it, I knew exactly what i was. I had misnamed a variable and managed to let the generated code go into a never-ending recursion. (something along the lines of: private TextField foo() { return new TextField(Foo);} ). But no matter what I tried it just wouldn’t get back to normal. In the end I just created a new project, remade the flow stuff to what you see above, and copied a few functions over.

And the flowdesigner is quick to work with, but I get a nagging suspicion that if you are going to make something a little more complicated than this it will be an annoyance. You might know exactly where and what to change in the source code, but do you remember where to point, click and edit in the designerinterface? Another critique is that even when you know what to do, your workflow gets abruptted by having to constantly shift hands between keyboard and mouse.

To Netbeans defence i must say that I am used to using Eclipse, and changing to another IDE is in it self a frustrating experience. Whats the shortcut for blah, where do I set this. And its quite possible that I just didn’t know enough about Netbeans structure and shortcuts to feel at home.

Credit goes out to : for the image of the phone and dialabc for the soundfiles.