Your microbit’s friendly name

:: microbit

Each micro:bit has a unique serial number, built in at manufacture. This number also translates to a friendly five-character name, which is a bit easier for people to recognize; here’s how to find it out.

What’s so great about the Raspberry Pi?

:: Pi, かわいい

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.

The expanding family of Scratch

:: Scratch, Snap, Pi, Smalltalk

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

Two languages, twenty minutes

:: Smalltalk, Lisp, Pharo, Racket, Pi

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).

Listening to my off-by-one error

:: Pi, Sonic-Pi

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.