New to Everything!

Hello everyone,

I didn't see a newbie forum, so I thought this would be the best place to post my questions. I've never done any type of programming, but I saw this article ( ) in popsci and found the build instructions ( ) on GitHub. I do have a few questions though, well mainly one... I see the build instructions, but I need something more detailed, for I have NO CLUE what I am doing. Can I do this running OSX? Do I need to use a soldering iron? Where can I find the code? How do I plug the code in? I feel like such a noob :(

Thanks in advance... Jody

Also, tells me the Blackwidow is no longer available? Is there another option?

Thanks for the help! I'm starting to understand. About the soldering, I was assuming that it was understood that you would do it, just clarifying on that.

The question about the code, I see where it is on GitHub... But, for instance, I want the light to change colors say when I get a Facebook notification, how do I go about that? The author says the data streams are pulled off of his server at but I go there and the website appears to be changing.

Blackwidow is the arduino controller + wifi connectivity... from the build materials part:

AsyncLabs BlackWidow - Arduino + Wifi Price: $75.00 Source:

Alternate for the Above: Arduino Duemilanove w/ Atmega 328 and a WiShield. Source for the Arduino: Adafruit, Sparkfun, etc... Source for the WiShield: Asynclabs or any of their distributers

I emailed the webmaster of, he's the same guy who wrote the tutorial on GitHub... from the code section of GitHub: * Orbs of Approximate Data * * This code supports the "Bring Information To Light" article in the * June 2010 issue of Popular Science. The article deals with using * subtle glowing Orbs (or cubes) to visualize the trends in a data * stream. This mapping of a data feed into two variables - color and * intensity - provides a way to preattentively identify trends * in the data. These orbs are something that one can unobtrusively * embed in their environment. * * In this version of the code, data streams are pulled from a server * which has pre-digested the data and parsed it into a format suited * for these Orbs. That output is hosted on my server, * If you'd like to use a data feed that is not available there, you * can either suggest it to me or create your own feed and point * your Orb at it. * * This code will need a certain amount of configuration to work. Look * in the Configuration section below.

Waiting on his reply, will post with an update as soon as I have one. I appreciate you warning me about how difficult this will be, especially it being my first time trying one of these projects. I may possibly try something simpler, but I may go ahead with this one. Thanks again for all the help.

I can solder, so hopefully no problems there.