There are some things I didn’t enjoy in 2016. Including things whose import will continue to play out in 2017, that have been better covered elsewhere; some notably by Frankie Boyle.
But hey, here is a tiny selection of some I did…
Last month I did some travelling in Japan. Although I had a pre-arranged visit in the South for a few days, much of the time my travels across the country resembled a graph drawn as if from the output of a “travelling salesman” algorithm gone wrong. Because—visiting places I’d not been before like Matsumoto, Sendai, and maximising use of the insanely great railway system.
Scratch is a much loved visual programming application, created by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group of MIT Media Lab and often used for providing a first introduction to coding. For good reason it’s one of the six coding tools displayed in the programming menu of the Raspberry Pi. There’s a common impression that visual languages are just for beginners, and have to be replaced by textual languages for ‘proper’ programming.
‘there is a limited benefit [of Scratch] in a college level education.’ 1
Some notes from my talk at the Raspberry Pi ‘Big Birthday Weekend’; entitled ‘Two languages in twenty minutes’ it introduced a couple of programming languages—Pharo (Smalltalk) and Racket (Lisp) running on the Pi 2 Model B. And some background on why you might want to run them.
(PDF of the slides should you find it useful).
For 2014 I had just one New Year’s resolution (and that stolen from @patrickrhone). Which I failed to keep.
I updated an earlier post ‘Hearing the weather-sonification in Sonic Pi’ in the form of a ‘Learn’ resource available on GitHub.
I’ve made a start on a Racket interface to Gordon Henderson’s WiringPi C library, together with a first example of using it—driving the hardware of the 4tronix PiDie GPIO board. Hoping this will be useful for future projects.
I’ve been thinking more about sound ‘visualisation’ with Sonic Pi (there’s a name for it too, I discover—_sonification_). So, what about loading weather data, and listening to that. How to get some data? Why not take advantage of the fact that Raspbian now comes complete with a copy of Mathematica?
I was just writing an example for a Sonic Pi demonstration, and thought I’d show looping. But I got it wrong; and when I heard the results, it was totally obvious. This struck me as an example of where visualising code as sound can be a powerful learning tool.
One of the great features of the Raspberry Pi® is that because it can run a full Linux distribution, it’s an embeddable computer with vast array of programming languages just waiting to be installed; most just an
apt-get away. Here are some instructions on installing the Racket language environment. As W1A’s Will1 might say “Racket, yeh cool…what, say again?”. You may never have heard of Racket.