robjsoftware.org

A blog about software – researching it, developing it, and contemplating its future.

Archive for November 2013

Life Is What Happens When You’re Making Other Plans

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I didn’t exactly expect to take a nine-month blogging hiatus, but the last while has been considerably more exciting than I expected.

Help Wanted

Let me place my main request up front:  I am interested in self-publishing some software, specifically a Windows application that uses the new Kinect sensor for video and audio live looping. 

I have asked people I trust about how to go about doing this (creating an LLC or other corporation, filing taxes, etc.), and I have been told that I need to talk to an accountant and a lawyer, both of whom are licensed in Washington state. 

So: game developers, indie developers, and general friends in the Seattle area, what accountants and/or lawyers would you recommend for someone getting involved in software self-publishing?  All referrals are welcome.  Thanks very much indeed!

Where The Heck I’ve Been

First, last spring, I put sound effects into Holofunk sure enough.  I showed it at the Seattle Mini Maker Faire with some colleagues in the Kinect for Windows booth, which was awesome — managed to spiel it for seven straight hours without driving everyone crazy, so that was good!

Then, in the late spring, I went to a presentation at work about a program to send computer science workers into schools to teach AP computer science.  It’s called TEALS, for Technology Education And Literacy in Schools:  http://tealsk12.org and it is quite an amazing thing. 

During that presentation I saw a picture of Bill Gates looking at an older boy on a Teletype:

As it happens, that is the same device (ASR-33) that I typed my first BASIC programs on at about the same age Bill is in that picture.  I got surprisingly choked up, and realized how big a deal computers were for me back then.  So I knew I had to sign up.  I did so, and committed to teaching at Lindbergh High School in Renton.

Soon thereafter, I re-did the Holofunk sound effects interface, and had some friends over to play with it.  And it was EPIC.  Given that the majority of them had never seen it before, everyone was creating some pretty intense noises quite quickly.  I have some very raw video (dangling cables, the whole bit) here, if you are feeling experimental.

Everyone had so much fun with it that I realized two things:

1) Holofunk can and should be an actual product.

2) Holofunk needs the new Kinect sensor.

Now, realizing this just after having committed to become a half-time one-period high school teacher for the year — on top of intense day job — is not exactly anything like the best timing.  And there were various other complications with the teaching, including my original co-teacher having to drop out of the program after school had already started, an extraordinarily stressful situation.  Fortunately it worked out for the best… but it has left me no time for anything but work, family, and teaching.

Until now!  I would not be writing this if I weren’t finally regaining some energy for hacking.  And I applied for, and got into, the new Kinect for Windows beta program.  I will be ordering the new sensor tomorrow, in fact, and hopefully receiving it sometime late this month, which is extraordinarily motivating!

I’ve already registered holofunk.com and holofunk.org, and it’s time to create Holofunk LLC (or something, subject to legal counsel).  Then it’s time to bring in the new Kinect, video looping, and hand pose detection… no more Wiimotes.  That alone should help with the Microsoft science fair judges!  I hope very much to get all this working, at least at a basic level, by mid-winter sometime (end of February?).

I am ridiculously excited for the potential of this thing.  And I am also very excited for my high school class, some of whom were initially struggling but are really doing better now.  They are actually learning.  I’ll be making a later post (or several) about it all, as I finally get my head above water.

Enjoy the fall!

Written by robjellinghaus

2013/11/13 at 00:38

Posted in Holofunk