LittleBits/Matrix Color Rotator Code for Twilio Signal HackPack

I made my twitter handle scroll across the screen, changing colors as it goes – pretty simple effect, but here’s the Arduino code:

#include <Adafruit_NeoPixel.h>
#include <Adafruit_GFX.h>
#include <Adafruit_NeoMatrix.h>

#define PIN 1

Adafruit_NeoMatrix matrix = Adafruit_NeoMatrix(8, 8, PIN,

void setup() {
// put your setup code here, to run once:
matrix.setTextColor( matrix.Color(0, 0, 255) );


int x = matrix.width();

int colorRotator = 0;

void loop() {
// put your main code here, to run repeatedly:
matrix.setCursor(x, 0);
if(--x < -70) {
x = matrix.width();
if (colorRotator > 3) {
colorRotator = 0;
if (colorRotator % 3 == 0) {
matrix.setTextColor( matrix.Color(0, 0, 255) );
} else if (colorRotator % 3 == 1) {
matrix.setTextColor( matrix.Color(0, 255, 0) );
} else {
matrix.setTextColor( matrix.Color(255, 0, 0) );

Built In Austin and BurntX run articles about UT Apps Demo Day

UT Apps Demo day is tomorrow, but the students’ mobile app demos have already gotten some press!

First up is Built in Austin, with an article titled 6 apps to debut at UT Austin App Demo Day.

Next is burnt x, with Six Apps Made For UT Students By UT Students.

I’m really excited for tomorrow’s UT Apps Demo Day – I’ve seen all of these students form groups, work through issues, and go from concept to working app all in one semester (on top of all their other classes).


Journalism Hackathon 2015

The University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism and the Austin American Statesman both sponsored the first Journalism Hackathon, which was a success, especially for a first year event.

This was my first time organizing a hackathon – as part of a team including Robert Quigley and R.B. Brenner from the School of Journalism, and Christian McDonald and Andrew Chavez from the Statesman (they both also teach at the University of Texas in the School of Journalism as well). I’d like to thank Mashery, Microsoft, and Clarify for coming to the hackathon to show everyone what their technology does, and how it could apply to the changing world of journalism.

Many of the participants had never been to a hackathon before, and in fact were kind of intimidated – maybe the combination of “hacking” and “marathon” really doesn’t sound that friendly! From the beginning, we wanted to organize a friendly hackathon, where the focus was on learning something new, getting to know the other participants, and accomplishing something!

The highlight of the hackathon was the tour of the Statesman’s newspaper printing presses, led by Christian McDonald – the presses were busy churning out the next day’s paper. One of the most interesting facts we learned is that the Statesman prints many other newspapers as well – it’s just cheaper for these other papers to get rid of their printing presses, and run their paper copies off on the Statesman’s presses.