Oracle Code Behind the Scenes

The Oracle Code (@oracledevs) event series is going to 20 cities around the world, showcasing many Oracle Cloud Service offerings.

Oracle Code coming to a city near you!

The event at each city will have keynote sessions from various speakers, demo stations showing many of Oracle’s Cloud services, a code lounge for developers to check out some “hardware” linked and controlled through Oracle backend, and other partner booths.

AppsLab has been actively involved in these events, hosting the IoT Workshop session at the code lounge, and also setting up Pac-Man on a String game for developers to have some fun, while learning some ins-and-outs of Internet of Things.

Posters: IoT Workshop, and Pac-Man on a String

The first stop of the roadshow touring was in San Francisco on 3/1/2017, and the feedback from developers were awesome! I think developers had great sessions at the IoT Workshop and had fun playing Pac-Man on a String game. Today (3/8/2017), the event is on the second stop in Austin, TX.

IoT Workshop at Oracle Code in San Francisco

So the tour started and will go on for next several months.  In this post, I would like to look back, and detail the build process for the Pac-Man on a String game consoles I built leading up to the first Oracle Code event. There is an Instructables for the game, if you’re interested in building your own.

Shortly after we got back to work in 2017, we started to look into vendors buying more than 20 of different components and parts for the game. It proved that procurement process was no easy task, and we finally got all the parts in place, about one week ahead of the first event in San Francisco. And it was a hectic week to fabricate and assemble the complete set.

From parts to a finished set

I estimated to make one set per day, considering that I built one game box last year, plus having prepared all software and setup ready. But it turned out that using screws vs using doubled-side tape is very a different process. In order to withstand the roughness of shipping around the world, I decided to use screws to bolt down all parts on an acrylic box. The work of drawing and drilling holes with proper size at proper position requires great patience and focus, and it was 3-times the effort of my early estimate.  It took me a long week in my garage to get the first two sets ready for San Francisco event.

First two sets – start the journey going to Toronto and Austin.

The build of game box is a meticulous hand-made process, typically it took two days of drilling and fitting even when I had the engineering drawing in place. I had to enlist many helpers (the same crew who made the original box using double-sized tape last year), to build out 4 more sets.

Help please! – need many hands to streamline the build

And after two days, we have got the 4 boxes assembled – looks ready.

Four more sets – going to APAC and EMEA

We just couldn’t call it all done yet.  What if some sets do not work as expected – well go debug – except you don’t have source code to step through like in software.  Every time before I plug in power to the game box, I pray “please work.”  And here is picture of an end-to-end testing to ensure game works and scores being reported in the Scoreboard/Leaderboard in Oracle Apex.

Pac-Man on a String game testing

On the other hand, the testing for IoT Workshop setup is much more predictable, and has so much less stress 🙂  So for now, the majority of build work is done. Just need to get the 4 sets ready for their journey.

IoT Workshop equipment setup and testing

Since so much effort went into this build and setup for the Oracle Code event, I sincerely hope that developers attending around the World will learn something from the IoT Workshop and potentially get into this new field. Meanwhile, have some fun playing the Pac-Man on a String game, and show us your ranking on the Leaderboard!

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