May 5, 2013

Leap Motion Update: Slow-going progress for me, at least for now!

Leap Motion Progress

My Leap Motion dev kit arrived in March. With excitement,   I installed it on my new 27-inch iMac. I decided that this would be the time to take the "leap" into Objective-C and explore the mysteries of Xcode.  I had planned to make a simple  iPad app for my 2-year-old grandson, but this inspired me to change my plans.

Why not learn Objective-C to make a simple music/art/dance Leap Motion app for little ones?  

My progress so far?  Slow.

I updated Xcode. I installed the Leap Motion SDK.  I updated the Leap Motion SDK.  I played with the samples that came with the Leap Motion kit.   

When it came time for me to try something on my own, I thought I had everything set up in Xcode.  I got error messages that I did not understand. My attempt to figure things out led me to the Stack Overflow website, and by then, I had to get back to my paperwork in order to prepare for the next work day.

Today I realized that I missed the link about installing the Leap API docs for Objective-C in XCode.  Other things needed to be updated, so at that point, I decided to write this post....

After writing some code and making repeated errors, I realized how much I had let Microsoft take root in my head.  Until 2003, the coding part of my brain was a pristine slate. It wasn't cluttered with bits and pieces previous coding languages.

Since I tend to be a knowledge junkie, my brain soaked up more than I needed when I was taking computer courses.  If you could peek inside,  you'd see C# code snippets for multi-touch and NUI, a few algorithms for A.I. and data visualization, trivia from MSDN,  and images of the Visual Studio workspace. There would be odds and ends from VB.Net, JavaScript, ActionScript, CSS, Java, C++, and pseudocode for a variety of computational thought experiments.    

A lot of stuff, and for most of it, no place to go, except for an occasional technology dream.

What's ahead?
In the short term, I'll be doing what I always do this time of year.  For many school psychologists, the last couple of months of the school year is sort of like tax season for accountants.  I have lots of students to see, lots of psychological evaluation reports to write, and meetings to attend.  The paperwork will crowd up many evenings and weekends, but  there is an end in sight.   

Summer.  This will be my summer of code.

I'll be in NYC for one week in June, attending the Interactive Design for Children conference (IDC 2013).  Many of the workshops I'd like to attend will be held at the same time.  Take a look at the program and you'll see why!  I

Decisions to be made... 
Although I am pretty good at keeping a lid on my desire to design and code during my day-to-day life as a school psychologist,  I'm finding that it is getting more difficult to ignore. I have some thinking to do. In the not too distant future, it is possible that I'll leap out of my K-12 cocoon.  

I don't think I'll leap too far, because I'd like to focus my work on projects that enhance the lives of children and families.  I will ensure sure that some of my work will benefit people of all ages who have disabilities or encounter barriers in their lives.

Joy of Computing, 1985

My daughter, who was just two years old in the above picture, returned to school to take computer courses after working in the non-profit arts management field.  I'm happy about this, but I know that she'll face many hidden barriers when she starts working in a male-dominated environment. She is not alone.

I'm working on a future post about computer and technology-related careers.  Things have changed rapidly over the past several years and there are many new ways to learn how to code, and over time, more opportunities for creative computational thinkers - male and female, to take the lead.

In Google's Inner Circle, a Falling Number of Women
Claire Cain Miller, NYT, 8/22/13

So You Don't Want to be a Programmer After All
Jeff Attwood, Coding Horror, 4/29/13

StackExchange  (Includes StackOverflow, helpful when I troubleshoot coding problems)

An Overview of HTML 5, PhoneGap, and Mobile Apps: Understanding how web languages are used for apps and how they work with native code
Dan Bricklin

No comments: