About P{three-sixty}5 and Tim Armato

365 programs in 365 days.

When I graduated high school my English teacher/advisor, Mr. Patterson, recommended that no matter what you go on to do in life, you should write every day.

That was 1992. It’s now 2007 so I thought I’d finally give it a shot. I’m going write a little bit of Processing code… everyday.

The benefits of this project may be many. Primarily I see it as a way for me to become a better programmer. I’ll try my hand at new techniques and probably try to improve some old things. I also hope this site will serve as an educational resource. I teach Processing to web design and graphic design students and there are two things I often see people stumble on: 1) finding comprehendible example code, 2) understanding that programming is a process.

Firstly, while I applaud everyone who has contributed to the Processing references, I am often confronted with examples that seem too complicated, too abstract, or not adequately described for the novice programmer. I hope to create some examples of basic functions and techniques that avoid these pitfalls.

Secondly, I see many people get frustrated and give up on programming because they haven’t learned how to approach the problem. Developing a program is so much more than just conceiving it. It’s not just a matter of looking up the right commands and syntax; it’s breaking-down an idea and then building it back up piece-by-piece, procedure-by-procedure. By documenting my progress, trial-and-error, and incremental edits, I hope to present examples of how to become a more effective programmer.

All that being said I’m sure much of what I am going to do here will be profoundly boring! I don’t expect this blog to be something that has groundbreaking content all the time. I don’t know if there will be a coherent narrative from day to day. While I hope some people will check it out regularly, in my mind this project is more about the overall accomplishment than the daily experience. Some posts may be incremental progress on a larger project; some may be quick, pointless doodles that I kick out in 2 minutes just to get something done that day. But no matter how large or small, I am very interested in seeing what happens when I actually work with the Processing language every day.

My name is Tim Armato. I am a fine artist, a designer, a printmaker and an educator. I have a BA in Geology from Gustavus Adolphus College, an MFA in Visual Studies from the Minneapolis College of Art + Design. I work for my wife, Amy, at Armato Design & Press, and I teach Web Design, Interactive Media, and Graphic Design at The Art Institutes International Minnesota. I was introduced to Processing in 2004 when Ben Fry and Casey Reas gave a guest lecture and workshop at MCAD.

Nothing here is guaranteed to work for you. These projects are literally sketches. I create them for myself and they work on my computer. I make reasonable attempts to publish them in formats that can be accessed by others, but I do not—and will not—test them for compatibility. Please remember, on top of the normal maelstrom of browsers, plug-ins, operating systems, and Java versions, Processing itself is experimental. So if something doesn’t work for you, I’m sorry. The best advice I can give you is to refresh the page and hope it works the second time. I’d love to know about it just in case it’s an error on my end, but it might just be you.