Posts Tagged ‘ homework ’

Why you should not jump the turnstile.

One the first things they tell you as a foreign graduate student in New York is that you shouldn’t jump the subway turnstiles and I’ll tell you why.

Sadly, the New York subway is my current form of transportation to the city and therefore have had lots of experience with it despite only having lived in the city a little over two months.

I first rode the New York city subway in 1994 when I first came here. Back then it was powered by tokens. They were easy, just pop them in and enter. No need to get a confiramation that you paid your fare.

When I came back in 2002, metrocards have been introduced and it took my father a bit to figure out how it worked. There wasn’t any indicator on what direction we were supposed to swipe it in until a stranger got the card the swiped it for us. Whew!

In my station, there are two ways to get to the Manhattan bound trains. One is through a regular turnstile and the other is through the more secure rotating type door that you can’t hop over.

I’ve noticed that regular commuters, when faced with urgency (like the train is on the platform) will make a dash for the first vacant entrance they see.

For months I used the rotating door turnstile and not the regular turnstile though it seemed faster.

People would swipe their metrocard on the sensors which are a pain for me sometimes towards the end of the month when for some reason the sensor would not recognize my card which is annoying. There are those who will swipe their card twice and they’ll get in. But usally if it hits 3 times, you can’t use the card at that entrance anymore which is a pain.


With the exception of families with strollers, I’d say that most people use both entrances equally. People would go to the first available one or the easiest to access. Much like electricity, they head to the path of least resistance. Those with children would gravitate to the much easier traditional turnstyles compared to the swivel type.

Of course those without a ticket, will jump over the turnstyles unbeknownst to them of the plain clothes policeman who is known to linger in the station from time to time.


More often than not, most users would not look at the indicator to pass unless they couldn’t. Those with stored value cards would occasionally look at the amount remaining on the card while others will just run by.

It’s actually interesting to watch people handle the subway metrocard shuffle. I’m more used to the RFID card type of transportation and I asked a friend to send me pictures from Singapore about their underground system.

Using whatt they call an EZlink card, they use it for a variety of items such as paying for public transportation (including taxis), toll fare, and even buying stuff from 7-11.

The method of using the card is effortless.

Just tapping the card om the sensor and off you go.

II wonder when New York will catch on to this?

Serial conenction

Hooked up the arduino to the mac via USB and using Processing to show a visual reference to the connection which I’m manipulating via the potentiometer.

Servo and Tone

I think I’ve just made my own Theremin Machine. Or at least something to annoy the neighbors.


This week’s CommLab2D homework is about typography.

So how would my name look like in typography?


I’ve selected 3 serif and sans serif fonts to fit the bill. From my name it’s important for me for the font to have prominent A’s, M’s and D’s.


It’s important for me to present the “A” of my mother’s maiden name due to the fact that there are technically 3 Melissa dela Merced’s in the family. The only letter that separates us is the middle initial and I’ve selected it here with Serif font, “Bergamo”.

My name has Spanish origins and traditionally the word “dela” is not counted alphabetically and is set in the lowercase. Using the font “Merriweather”, this allows a balance in the letters that are important to me without having to sacrifice any.


“Quattrocento” is an interesting font for me that I would like set in steel infront of my future office. This it almost looks like a sans serif font but the A’s and the M’s give it away.


“Days” is a sans serif font that I would like to put on the side of a race car. There is a certain amount of flair in the A while maintaining the orderliness of the rest of my name which I would describe me as a somewhat traditional person.


I’ve set my name in this order since I share the same initials as my mother. “Salaryman” represents my family. The way that it lines up the MDM together.


“Hattenschweiler” is what I call the Star Trek font or how your name is usually written in rallycars. I place it here as my fondness for both.


These are just a few of my experiments in typography. Two of which is based on what I was feeling over the weekend while the other came from a random word I saw on the internet.

Let’s play with electricity


This week doesn’t require any mad programming skills and just basic electrical know how.


With the help of helping hands, this allows me to both hold the points together to get a reading on the multimeter and take a picture at the same time. Of course this one beeps.

So does this one. Notice that I wired the board in such a way that both sides have power and ground.


Which of the images above has a complete circuit?

But fun question, does electricity pass through our bodies? Yes, but we still provide enough resistance that the 5V from the Arduino will not shock us nor complete the circuit.


And just like that with a resistor and all, we have another lit LED.


Interesting that the LED uses approximately 1.72 V out of 5V.


The amount of electricity passing through the resistor is approximately 3.31 V. Add that up it’s almost 5V. At least we know where all the power is going.



Let’s add a switch and see if it affects the power flow.


Well apparently all it does is just cut off the power completely.


Notice that the gree light is not as bright as the red one. Different color LEDs have different power requirements.



Notice the difference between the power usage of the green and the red LED and the amount that passes through the resistor.


Now when we add another LED, they don’t light up as brightly as before.


The resistor is now only getting 0.14 V.


But if we re-arrange the LED’s that they’re all being powered by a single line instead of a series of leads. It’s a whole lot brighter.


The resistor is using up 3.38V. while the LED’s are at 1.65 V.