It’s over! Now what?

I went for the regrade, since I figured all the changes I’d made for Meta would help bring up my grade. For the showcase, I had gotten my project working half an hour before the jury came.

The lcd flickering is gone and I’ve gotten the timer working. Boolean statements don’t work properly on Arduino and I had to work my way around that.

I also got the Parallax scanner to stop sending the previously scanned card by changing the RFIDReader.available() to greater than 2 rather than zero (tipped from Gumbo Labs). It worked amazingly well and I made sure to add serial.flush(), set char[] to zeros to clean out everything.

Resource: RFID to Arduino (Code) | Using RFID Parallax | Serial.flush()

void ReadSerial(String &ReadTagString)
int bytesread = 0;
int val = 0;
char code[10];
String TagCode="";

if (RFIDReader.available() > 2) { // If data available from reader
if ((val = == 10) { // Check for header
bytesread = 0;
while (bytesread<10) { // Read 10 digit code
if ( RFIDReader.available() > 0) {
val =;
if ((val == 10)||(val == 13)) { // If header or stop bytes before the 10 digit reading
break; // Stop reading
code[bytesread] = val; // Add the digit
bytesread++; // Ready to read next digit
if (bytesread == 10) { // If 10 digit read is complete

for (int x=0;x<10;x++) //Copy the Chars to a String
TagCode += code[x];
ReadTagString = TagCode; //Update the caller
while (RFIDReader.available () > 0) //Burn off any characters still in the buffer
for (int i=0;i<10;i++){
code[i] = 0;
bytesread = 0;

It was the fastest way to make everything stable and it solved the issue. I would like to keep tweaking it, getting the LEDs to start turning off and on again. It’s in the code, but now oddly doesn’t work anymore.

I can set it up for MaxEx before I leave for May, and then I’ll be back in June to pick up my project from IMA. I’ll have to figure out where to store it or maybe I’ll just burn it.

Looking back at the year, I feel like I’ve learned a lot. I learned to not over commit myself. I need to know when to say no, especially if I’m under a lot of pressure. I still get everything done, but I can’t work for free forever. I’ll always offer help and advice, but if I’m helping you take down your project, please let me know that you’re going to throw it away, so I know not to be so careful.

I learned time management and perseverance. Interning at Y&R, part-time at ISS, freelancing, and school (thesis and a liberal). I’ve always wanted to be this busy, since going to Ryerson. I always felt like I could do more with my time and I felt like I have. I get the opportunity to research and develop in new technologies, playing with the Raspberry Pi, learning GPIO, Bash, Python, and Linux terminal. Figuring out solutions with few resources (both from Y&R and thesis), figuring out what I had (hot glue and drills became my best friends), working around time limitations of other people and the buildings. I also got to improved my PHP, while incorporating my html/css abilities.

I understand the value of my work and that I know a lot of different things (jack of all trades, master of none). I’ve always been good with searching on Google and I can always find an answer (even if it’s just a concept of how to solve it). Programming concepts and structures can be converted to the language that I’m working in. That applies to other things too, I guess. Becoming the interdisciplinary manipulator.

Working at Y&R has been a good experience. The agency currently lacks a lab team, but hopefully they’ll see the importance of jumping on getting a lab space and a lab team (like Nurun).There are a lot of ad, interactive, and multimedia agencies in Toronto and I’m not limiting myself to this city.

I like conception, development, and experimentation. It keeps things interesting and being able to show a prototype brings the client to another level of understanding. We’ve worked on coming up with good concepts, achieving it technically, and then making it aesthetically pleasing for 4 years. I’ve really enjoyed new media and I don’t think I would have learned these skills anywhere else.


About Cristal Sung

Cristal is a new media designer, who believes in the importance of feeding the soul with art, culture, and food. Her work focuses on themes of identity, sociopolitical problems and the concept of beauty. Cristal is from Hong Kong and studies in Toronto.

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