Results, and Other Lies

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
-- Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931)

Upon completing our project, we were very satisfied with our results. We used the oscilloscope in a completely new and remarkable fashion to us. We have a fully functional game of pong that we created totally from scratch. We used a great deal of ingenuity along with knowledge from a variety of fields including hardware engineering, computer science, and microcontrollers. Plus we even completed a web page that doesn't completely stink =) Considering how ugly the web pages Bala created for were, this is an unbelieveable accomplishment in and of itself.

As PONG is concerned, overall things finished as they were planned. The variable resistors worked well in positioning in the paddles, and the ball moves smoothly all about the screen. The game seems pretty easy to follow and understand by users, who are having a blast. Friends, teacher assistants and other students all seem interested to play the game. There are minor "issues" however regarding the accuracy of our display and motion.

As Greg Michealopoulis tactly put it, "The ball doesn't follow the laws of physics." At the same time, however, he didn't want to stop playing =) It is true though, that the ball bounces with regards to where it hits on the paddle, and does not consider the angle it strikes a paddle to come up with a new one. This is actually quite common in video games such as PONG though.

It must also be noted that there is error in producing the paddle at the top of the screen. Although no user has been able to notice it thus far, based on tests we have conducted, up to 1/30 of the paddle may extend past the field of play at this time, since the output of our voltage source is not exactly 5V always. We wished to err on the side of caution (in allowing the user to return all shots), so our voltage divider consists of a 6.6Kohm resistor connected in series with our variable resistor as opposed to a 60/9 Kohm resistor we could connect in a perfect setting.

Our "errors" don't stop there though. The DAC we built only recognizes 7 significant bits. Therefore, the minimum voltage step is not infinitely small, but rather 1/(2^7) or 0.0078125V. This doesn't seem to pose any in the game however since this voltage corresponds to roughly 8 hundreths of an inch. Since the ball is moving at over 100Hz, these voltage steps are interpolated by our eyes, which resolve a smooth motion. The paddle appears to have small holes when the scope is focused, but unfocusing the scope easily takes care of this issue without hinderence to the game.