It's about time...

It's about time...

Postby j_cavera » Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:10 am

So I'm trying to pull off an art project -- a subjective time clock
(explanation of what this is to follow). I initially had some support
and then had said support pulled due to budget constraints. I've
been trying to continue on in self-funded fashion, but am out of
money and am still missing a few components.

Here's a short list of what I'm looking for:

A large digital display of some sort. Flip-disk,
split-flap, LED, LCD, or whatever. So long as a
computer can drive it, I can use it. Ideally, a 2-line
LED display with about 40 characters per line would be
perfect.

A tablet computer or PC of some sort with a touch
screen. I may end up sacrificing a laptop to the cause.

A smallish generator or some source of power (enough to
run the aforementioned PC and display). Alternatively, I
can park it out near something else with a generator and
run an extension cord. Whatever works.

Money is always nice... lumber, transportation, etc.

So if anyone has such, please let me know. Note that I am not
coming empty handed. I have a couple of things that I can
give:

1 ticket to Burning Man!

Good karma!

A copy of the clock software, so that you can have the
correct subjective time on your desktop or java-capable
cell phone.

My services as a data acquision and controls engineer. If
it moves, flies or just sits and does stuff, I can design and
code a control system for it.

Other stuff that I can do or provide that I'm not thinking of
right now. Basically open to suggestions, but sexual favors
will be considered on a case-by-case basis only. Photos
required beforehand...

OH, and I guess I should tell you about the project. Here's
the copy from the grant proposal:

---

"It's About Time" is a subjective time clock specifically
designed to make the accurate tracking of time impossible. It
updates itself at random intervals and its internal (and
accurate) mechanisms are inaccessible. Instead of hands and
dials, it has a simple text display and chime. The display
updates every ten minutes or so (actually some random interval
between two and thirty minutes with ten being the mean) and a
chime sounds at random times.

The display is carefully designed such that it always gives
accurate information but of marginal use. Alternatively, it can
be considered to be completely useful yet not at all accurate.
Examples of some possible messages are as follows:

- two thirty or so
- no longer ten a m
- nearing three in the afternoon
- ten months until you forgive yourself for what you said
- the witching hour
- approaching noon
- tea time
- two hours later to the east

There are literally thousands of possible messages that can be
displayed with the control system selecting at random from a
space of appropriate messages given the actual (accurate) time.
The system is designed such that the message displayed will
always be appropriate for the time, or at least cryptic enough
to always apply, but does not indicate actual time. For
instance, "time to burn" might be displayed around 9:00 PM on
the Saturday before Labor Day, but could not be displayed in the
morning or on any other day of the year. Note that all messages
are purely text with numbers being avoided such that there is
not even a psychological association with any sort of exact
time measurement.

Interactivity takes place in two ways. First, the act of looking
at the clock forces the observer to rethink their conception of
time and their place in the universe in relation. Second, the
clock will be equipped with a data-entry terminal that will ask
the question "What time is it?" and then prompt for a response.
The entered answer will be time- and date-stamped and entered
into the database, becoming a possible message in the future. I
hope to get responses that are both unique, personal and
interesting, allowing the observer to become an intimate part
of the experience in a tangible way.

So that's it. Any help appriciated!

- Jim
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Postby gyre » Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:43 pm

Don't forget dark:thirty.
The usual time for burns.
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oh-dark-thirty

Postby j_cavera » Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:02 am

Got it! Thanks, Gyre.

- Jim
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Postby pinemom » Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:47 am

Oh and dont forget
"its fucking hot again!"
Names pinemom, but my friends call me "Piney".
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Postby Simon of the Playa » Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:54 am

"do you want the REAL time, or the crap they keep out here called PST"
breathe deep, the playa is the dust of your ancestors

A gift for the Playa
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Postby Finnegan » Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:21 am

That sounds like a cool project. Good luck!

Time to get a watch.
Fourteen billion years since the big bang.
Three seconds later than three seconds ago.
Almost Now.
"No one is innocent, citizen. We are merely here to determine the level of your guilt."
- Judge Dredd
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Postby Simon of the Playa » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:36 am

It'sImageTIME!
breathe deep, the playa is the dust of your ancestors

A gift for the Playa
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Need a new thread?

Postby j_cavera » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:04 am

Gads, I think I need to start a new thread just for message ideas. I had a few of those already, but keep 'em coming. Definately going in: "Stop! Hammertime!" Had to dry off the keyboard after that one. Damn you Simon, now I'm going to have to bring a pair of hammer pants...

Oh and by the way: DONATIONS STILL NEEDED! Thx.

- Jim
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Postby Finnegan » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:09 am

You forced my hand.

Image
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Postby Playa Tom » Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:33 pm

"What time is it Yogi?"
"You mean now?"
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2 cents

Postby SFbrothermichael » Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:42 pm

Time to make the donuts.
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Postby Simon of the Playa » Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:44 pm

Finnegan wrote:You forced my hand.

Image



i cant beat that, i fold.
breathe deep, the playa is the dust of your ancestors

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Postby Simon of the Playa » Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:31 pm

now here is an absolutely true story and relates to the arbitrary nature of time.

in 2007, shortly before leaving NY (Western NY, it's different) i bought a watch at the local public market for $10. It was Huge, Platinum colored, with fake diamonds all around, and on the face a picture of Fifty-Cent, and the words "Fifty-Cent"...(for all of you urban dialect majors, the correct pronunciation is Fitty-sent.)

I wore it around a couple of days, and soon began answering anyone who would ask me what time it was (i swear this watch was a beacon for anyone in a hurry, or sans cell phone) with the same answer, as non-chalantly as possible while showing them the watch face "It's Fitty-sent time".....then walk away, or smile and continue on as if i was absolutely certain, that it was indeed, fitty-sent time.

The Airport was even more fun, as my fellow travelers would ask, get my now pat response, then ask again, only to be told in a much louder voice, "It's Fitty-SENT time, i just told you, do you want me to put a cap in yo' ass?"

that almost sorta got me in trouble with the airport people but i explained i was referring to my hat.

when we got to reno, every bum on virginia wanted to see my watch, , did i have a quarter, do i need any meth, and ask what time it was....i gave a full flying crunking "It's fitty-sent time" much to the chagrin of my girlfriend who had already had enough of my now running joke.

after 3 or four days on the playa, the rest of the camp had started to send anyone who asked what time it was to me, the keeper of the Time, which of course was, "Fitty-sent" time...

this only got more ridiculous because you know how people on the playa are...*

"what time is it?'

*uh-uh-uh-crunk-crunk*" it's Fitty-Sent time!!"

"Fitty-Sent? Fitty SENT? oh shit, Hey Honey, what time are we supposed to be at that cocktail party because it's already Fitty-sent time"

"dont worry, we're fine, the party is at half past Ludacris"


(*true, actual banter)


on sunday, we were setting up to serve bloody mary's to the citizens of black rock city (an annual event at root society, sunday morningish) when we realized somehow we had no ice...

how can you serve 1000 bloodies with no ice....cant do it...


we panicked, we ran to all the ice stations...

nothing....nada....not even a sno-cone from the sno-cone guys.

as a last resort i remembered that center cafe has an ice truck they keep in the back for the cafe (i worked as a volunteer trash guy a couple years) and begged the cafe contessa for just a bag, just one bag, please, pretty please, i then promised her i would give her most most precious possession. she eyed me up and down and then slyly said "Ok, but if your lying, or give me some piece of crap swag, i'm gonna beat your ass!"

i handed over the watch.

her eyes immediately lit up and looked at me and KNEW that it was indeed, my most prized possession, and when i asked her what time it was, it was if we had one of those moments, she screamed out "It's FIFTY_CENT TIME MOTHERFUCKERS!" and started dancing around.

so yes, i like your idea, no i dont relly have any of your list of stuff you need, but i will file it under "look for" in my garbage picking oriented mind.


by the way, does anyone know what time it is?
breathe deep, the playa is the dust of your ancestors

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Postby oneeyeddick » Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:52 pm

Time is irrelevant , it can't be properly measured anyhow.

All clocks are are machines trying to imitate other machines that are trying to imatate some other machine and so on and on.
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.
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Postby Bounce530 » Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:57 pm

Once again, Simon has me laughing to tears.

(just wondering is this year going to Plaaaya-flaav?)
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Postby gyre » Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:52 pm

"It's Cobblering Time!"

A subtle reference to pie.



And my favorite.

ETD
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new additions to the database

Postby j_cavera » Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:11 pm

Just added:

its fifty cent time motherfuckers
stop ... hammertime
time to make the donuts
time to get your own damn watch


Keep 'em coming. And I could use a big (20"+) LCD display...
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Postby Zona_the_stona » Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:26 pm

Simon, I tip my hat to you sir. Great story!

I have message idea, "Drunk O'clock". It always seems to be dark thirty or drunk o'clock while at burning man.
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Postby gyre » Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:55 pm

The big screens and clocks are LED.
And if you set up drivers for the numerical forms in software, you can use any type of light source.
The big nasa clock still uses light bulbs in dividers.

Search giant clocks, counters, etc and check out the big screens and see if Panasonic or someone will loan you a screen panel.


ETD is estimated time of death, if you aren't aware.
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Postby gyre » Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:37 am

Image
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still looking...

Postby j_cavera » Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:27 am

> Search giant clocks, counters, etc and check out the big
> screens and see if Panasonic or someone will loan you a
> screen panel.

My thoughts exactly! I was just hoping that someone [i]here[/i]
had a line on such a thing! So far, I drawing a blank. My
fallback position is a big (22"+) LCD monitor. I'm giving my
search another week-ish then going that route. Just two more
months...

- Jim
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Postby Token » Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:47 am

The concept is cool but in order to be effective on Playa you will need a sign that is really bright and the letters would need to be feet tall, not inches.

The 22" monitor cannot be seen from more than a few feet away in all the Playa noise.

Even the commercial scrolling signs you see at airports and bus terminals seldom have a visibility greater than 100 feet which in Playa proportions is quite minuscule.

A few years back there was a jumbo 4 character 7-segment display made form neon or something of similar brightness that would occasionally show the time and assorted 4-letter-words. It was quite effective.

Perhaps you can unleash your data acquisition and controls engineer skills and build your display out of CCFL tubes and go big. CCFL tubes are readily available in 24", 12" and 6" size, perfect for making 14/16 segment displays.
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Postby j_cavera » Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:56 am

> The concept is cool but in order to be effective on Playa
> you will need a sign that is really bright and the letters
> would need to be feet tall, not inches.

I realize this -- again, this is my fall-back position. The
original design made use of an LED display of the sort
found on outdoor signs. No money, yada, yada. So in an
effort to bring _something_ to the playa, I'm looking to
alternatives.

Yea, a 20-something inch display is tiny in playa scale
terms. Maybe I can manage something bigger next
year. But unless you have an essentially-free XL sized
display I can borrow, it may be what I'm stuck with.

And yes, my DAQ skills mean that I can drive nearly any
sort of display I can find. Just gotta find one first...

- Jim
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Postby Token » Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:02 am

Well, since you only bring good karma and a ticket to the table, why not sell the ticket, use the money to rent a small led display (Two-foot 80 x 7 matrix) which can be had for under $200/week, and hook up with someone who already has some spare power.

Skip the interactive input for this year and for next apply for grant or do fundraisers or somesuch.

The Cubatron started small and simple. Look at it now.

Just Sayin'
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more history...

Postby j_cavera » Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:55 am

A bit more clock history just to clarify things: I actually had funding
already lined up for this project but then lost it again. So I've been
doing my own fundraising for a bit now, just not on e-playa. As I'm
coming down to the end, I'm just lacking a couple of critical parts. I
have a power source, no longer have a spare ticket, have electronics
barring the primary display and have most of the physical structure.

Right now, I only lack:

- primary display
- a couple hundred $$ for additional physical structure
- a fuel cell or gas tank of some sort for the small generator

I've thought of renting an LED sign. Though the 24x4 inch would still
be pretty small, they do rent out larger ones. My concern here is
that the playa might kill it and I'd rather not be out the cost of a big
sign. Since a big LCD would have about the same visibility as a small
LED, and since LCD monitors are cheap on e-bay, I'll probably just
go that route and dream bigger next year.

- Jim
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Postby Token » Mon Jun 15, 2009 2:31 pm

Small projector would work well for this. Lots of refurbs from Dell on Ebay with new bulbs for cheap.

Build a box and a cheap anamorphic lens to squeeze the image vertically and I bet it would be plenty bright and large.
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sounds good...

Postby j_cavera » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:40 am

> Small projector would work well for this. Lots of refurbs
> from Dell on Ebay with new bulbs for cheap.

Interesting idea. No clue as to what the power consumption would
be, but can't be too bad. And I do have a 100w or so to spare, so
definately worth looking into.

- Jim

latest suggestion: lunch o'clock
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Postby Oldguy » Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:49 pm

.























It's about Space.























.
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Postby gyre » Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:43 pm

25 or 6 to 4


Rhyming slang?


Projectors vary a lot in wattage.
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Postby Token » Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:28 pm

Most modern projectors are below 300W. Typical bulbs are 200W which is most of the power draw.
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