What is IVY

Ivy is my latest crazy experiment: to investigate the symbiosis of computer and plant. Normally computers are dependent on plants, for the fossil fuels that indirectly power them, to the oil by-products that provide us with the plastics to construct them. In this simple juxtaposition, it is the plant which depends upon the computer for survival.

The construction of IVY

Read the mod log here.

Current Movie

Check it here!

Now that I have more than 1 second of animation, I'm providing a DIVX avi of the growth to date. The movie plays at 30 FPS, and each frame is an hour, so you are seeing 30 hours per second. Current growth movie is from March 8th, 3:23 EST, 2003, and is 1473 frames. The flashing is from the light in the room being turned on - I hope to compensate for that in the future. The sequence of 175 identical frames is from the power failure that happened all to close to one of my weekly checks.

Latest Pictures

It seems clear: I have to pull the plug on this experiment. The light has proved to be inadequate, and the watering schedule not enough to keep the plants healthy. I've updated the pictures & movie, but it sadly only shows the death and decay of these once proud plants.

Picture dated February 22nd, 3:23 EST, 2003

At least this update is small... Bad news, it seems my weekly watering schedule is not enough to sustain these voracious plants. Those watching the movie will see the period wilting followed by recovery. The current plan is to restart with IVY 2 when an automatic drip feed is properly engineered to our exacting specifications.

Unfortunately, we had a power failure. I thought I had the recovery scripts set up properly, but there was a permission problems with /dev/video0, so I got a few hundred frames doubled up. *sigh*.

It is now a veritable forest in the computer case! The beans have quickly caught up to and surpassed the peas, and they all have clustered around the light. Soon we may no longer be able to tell it IS a computer case!

Picture dated January 18th, 9:23 EST, 2003

WHAT HAVE I DONE? If I have unleashed some new horror upon the world, let me apologize in advance. I did not know this would occur! But, when I saw the frames of what I only hope are the beans rise out of the soil like avenging demons, I knew my hubris may have doomed us all.

Picture dated January 14th, 19:23 EST, 2003

I think it is the beans that are struggling up for the light. Today I hope to go off and water them, after this much growth I suspect they are thirsty!

Picture dated January 12th, 13:23 EST, 2003

I've been patiently waiting for some sign of life, and my perseverence has paid off! I have the first greenery sprouting up! About 30 hours before this pic, the vertical guy on the far right showed up, and if you look under the network card you can see a big leaf which is rising omniously up from the dirt.

Picture dated January 10th, 20:23 EST, 2003

If you look very carefully, you can see how this picture, taken some 35 hours after the previous pic, differs.

Picture dated January 7th, 21:23 EST, 2003

This pictures is a composite of 704 seperate pictures taken over a twenty minute interval. By taking so many pictures, I can fake a longer exposure time than the camera allows. The resulting picture is then blurred and local-luminance-equalized by Houdini's HALO system. The local luminance equalization uses a 167 pixel kernel.

Picture dated January 6th, 10:23 EST, 2003


It is still alive! I have the automatic picture update going to my local machine. I still have to manually process and upload the movie, so you don't have pic-of-the-moment or anything froody like that. Automatic watering is gaining a priority as I have noticed it tends to wilt down before my weekly arrival. It's a long distance to the sekrit off-site location, so I want to avoid the commute.

My plans are still for: