Install some software

Processing is a programming language that's especially convenient for creating multimedia art. If you don't already have it installed, head to the web site and download it.
On Mac OS X, the .zip file you download will have a Processing application inside it. You can drag that to your Applications folder or anywhere else you like. On Windows, the .zip file will contain a folder. You can drag that folder anywhere you like.

If you get stuck or you'd like more information about getting started with Processing, take a look at the Getting Started tutorial for Processing.

When you're finished, you should be able to run Processing and get a window like this one:
Great! Now for the next thing we'll need: The Fadecandy software. You can download this from the releases page on GitHub. The link you want is the "Source code (zip)". This package contains both the source code and the binaries you'll need for this tutorial.

The specific release we're using here is Fadecandy 01.
This will be another .zip file. When you extract it, you'll see a lot of things. This package contains everything related to the Fadecandy project, including things like the source code for the board's firmware, and CAD files for the circuit board layout. You can ignore most of its contents for now. There are two things we'll need from this download:
  • The Fadecandy Server (fcserver) program, in the bin directory
  • Processing examples, in the examples directory
First, run the fcserver program. This program runs in the background and connects your Processing sketches with the Fadecandy Controller board. It also has a simple web interface you can use to test your LEDs.
  • On Mac OS, double-click the fcserver-osx file in bin
  • On Windows, double-click fcserver.exe in bin
This program will run in a Terminal window. If all is well, you should get a message like "Server listening on". This tells you it's ready to accept connections from other programs on your computer.
What is fcserver listening for? Three things, actually:
  • Programs using the Open Pixel Control protocol to talk to your LEDs
  • Browser-based programs using WebSockets to talk to your LEDs
  • Web browsers requesting an HTML-based user interface
Let's try out the browser interface. Now that fcserver is running, you can navigate your web browser to http://localhost:7890. You should see a page like this one:
If you plug in a Fadecandy Controller board, it should show up in the Connected Devices section. No need to reload the web page.

The bottom section shows you how the server is configured. This isn't really important unless you have special requirements or you're using multiple Fadecandy Controller boards, but you can read more about this in the Fadecandy server configuration documentation.

That's all the software you need for this tutorial. Now for some wiring!
This guide was first published on Nov 20, 2013. It was last updated on Nov 20, 2013. This page (Install some software) was last updated on May 04, 2015.