Week 4: The printers go public

We chucked Cathy and Heathcliff in at the deep end on Saturday. Having set them up to print SMS, we wrote their numbers on them, and had them right on the door in reception, like a visitors’ book! Saturday was the take-down party of the Bill Drummond exhibition “Ragworts” and Bill was here along with a lot of other people. The printers were working hard all day – particularly when a group of sixth formers took themselves off on a Drummond adventure. Following some of the instructions laid out in one of his works, they took buses out of town and sent observations about the amusing minutiae of their adventures to Cathy and Heathcliff. Everything went brilliantly, their messages were fantastic, and the apart from a small wobble at the start (James went along to fix them, by which time they’d already fixed themselves) they were an unqualified success!

Then I came in this morning and found all Cathy’s innards on my desk, covered in the sort of html a machine would display should it be woken up suddenly in the middle of an operation. It turned out that back in London, their Creator James Adam had been upgrading, disturbing Cathy and risking all our lives. They’re fine now, don’t worry. We’ve spent quite a lot of today trying to buy the right combination of things to get them road-worthy: more to follow on this. This week we’ve also had a day in a branding workshop (interesting trying to nail down the word ‘innovation’), half a day in the office (long story), and half a day at home wrestling with Processing.

I couldn’t be at C&H’s inauguration in person on Saturday, because I was co-hosting an Imperica/Sci-fi London event at the BFI. It was a fantastic weekend celebrating 30 years since the birth of the ZX Spectrum, and the organiser Paul took on board some of my suggestions for speakers, meaning I was able to hang out with some of the brains whose work I admire most (as well as some amazing new people). After the event I met up with a couple of friends, one of whom has done some excellent Kinect hacking. The whole thing was incredibly inspiring for Happenstance and gave me loads of ideas. It made me think a lot about the way people learn, and how creative thinking is all about working around the edges. So much suddenly feels possible in a way it didn’t before. But look, rather than bore you here, I’ll follow up in more detail over on my own blog,

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