#MonthOfMaking Day 3

March is all about MAKING!!

I have decided to take on the challenge of making a 5 minute micro:bit make everyday throughout March.

Day03 – Count Down Timer

Today I have decided to make a countdown timer.

The timer will count up to 20 when button A is pressed and the timer will start counting down from what ever number you chose between 1 and 20 when button B is pressed. Lets get coding!

Python Code

seconds = None
from microbit import *
seconds = 0
while True:
if button_a.is_pressed:
if seconds < 20:
            seconds += 1
            display.scroll(seconds)
        if button_b.is_pressed:
            for i in range (seconds):
                display.scroll(seconds)
                sleep(1000)
                seconds -= 1
            display.show(Image.NO)

EduBlocks Code

EduBlocks code

MakeCode Code

MakeCode

Demo

Final Words

Come back Tomorrow for another fun 5 minute micro:bit make

#MonthOfMaking Day 2

March is all about MAKING!!

I have decided to take on the challenge of making a 5-minute micro:bit make every day throughout March.

Day02 – Random Number Generator

Today I decided to make a random number generator.

The random number generator will generate a number between 1 and 5 and dsiplay it on the micro:bit. Lets get coding!

Python Code

shake = None
from microbit import *
import random
display.scroll("Shake Me")
while True:
if accelerometer.was_gesture('shake'):
shake = random.randint(1, 5)
if shake == 1:
display.show(1)
if shake == 2:
display.show(2)
if shake == 3:
display.show(3)
if shake == 4:
display.show(4)
if shake == 5:
display.show(5)

EduBlocks Code

EduBlocks code

MakeCode Code

MakeCode code

Demo

Final Words

Come back Tomorrow for another fun 5 minute micro:bit make

Month of Making

March is all about MAKING!!

I have decided to take on the challenge of making a 5-minute micro:bit make every day throughout March.

Day01 – Hello World and More

In tradition, I decided to create a Hello World program. When learning a new programming language this will typically be the first program you learn to create, but this literally takes about a minute with a micro:bit. So I have decided to integrate the buttons and display some images too.

Python Code

from microbit import *
display.show(Image.HAPPY)
while True:
if button_a.is_pressed():
display.scroll("Hello World")
elif button_b.is_pressed():
display.show(Image.HEART)

EduBlocks Code

EduBlocks code

MakeCode Code

MakeCode

Demo

Final Words

That is it for Today, check back Tomorrow to see what I do for Day2.

Introducing Monday Makes

This is going to be a new blog post series of things I have been playing with. This can range from playing with micro:bits, Raspberry Pis or Adafruit Circuit Playground Express. There may even be some Arduino thrown into the mix too.

The plan is to have a different project up every Monday (Time permitting) Look out for the first post within this series next Monday.

Here is a sneak peek:

dav
preview:

Installing Mu on Linux

Mu is a simple code editor developed in Python for Python. Mu has built-in support for Adafruit Circuit Playground Express and the micro:bit. Mu runs on Windows, Mac, Linux and even the Raspberry Pi.

Each Linux distro is a bit different, so for this guide, I am going to focus on Ubuntu.

Mu requires Python3. You can check and see if you have Python3 installed by typing:

python3 --version

If nothing is displayed type:

sudo apt install python3

to install Python3.

You also need pip3 installed type:

pip3 --version

If it shows nothing you need to install pip3 by typing:

sudo apt install python3-pip

Finally to install Mu type:

pip3 install mu_editor

You can now run Mu from the command line by typing:

Mu

Now that you have Mu installed you can go and develop in Python3, Micro Python for micro:bit or even CircuitPython for the adafruit Circuit Playground Express.

New Ventures

About two weeks ago I came up with the idea that there should be a community magazine for the micro:bit. I proposed the idea to another two community members who loved the idea and this is where micro:mag was born.

“micro:mag is the unofficial micro:bit community magazine”

Today (3rd of April 2018) seen the official launch of micro:mag and call for contributors. If you would like to write for micro:mag get in touch at micromag.cc or email us at hello@micromag.cc.

We need you for micro:mag to grow!

Subscribe to micro:mag here to get every issue straight to your inbox.

Young Coders Conference

On Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th of February 2018, I attended the first ever Young Coders Conference in the Tate Exchange that the Tate Modern in London. I volunteered to help coordinate the conference and make sure everything could run as smoothly as possible.

What is The Young Coders Conference?

The Young Coders Conference invited 12 Young coders aged between 10-16 to take part in CPD (Continuing Personal Development) training to continue delivering excellent workshops within their community.

Day 1

To start day 1 off we had Grace introducing the young coders to what the plan was for the two days, then we had lightning talks from Josh talking about EduBlocks, Femi talking about Young Coders forum, Louis talking about VR(Virtual Reality) and mentoring CoderDojo and myself talking about running Raspberry Jams.

The 12 Young coders then spent the day learning from industry experts from the micro: bit foundation, GitHub, Computers at School (CAS), IBM and Google.

All of the knowledge that the 12 Young Coders learned from the professionals would be put to good use developing 4 brand new micro: bit workshops to run on Day 2 to the General public in a Celebration of Code event.

There were 4 categories for the workshops. We had wearables and neopixels, gaming and networking, Internet Of Things (IoT) and Robots and physical computing. To make things fair the teams and mentors were picked by names being pulled out of a hat.

The teams have been working away all afternoon developing their workshops, we brought them back together to tell us what they had achieved and what they still had to do. Once the Young Coders had finished telling us what they had been up to, the micro: bit foundation surprised everyone by giving each young coder a club set of micro: bits, which contained 10 micro: bits, USB cables, battery packs and batteries for them to go and run workshops within their communities. This was not the end of the surprises, Cat Lamin from pi-top presented all 12 young coders with a pi-top t-shirt and requested that they wore them for the second day, so they all looked part of a team (which they now were)

At the end of Day 1 every team had nearly finished designing their workshop materials and tried out what they were going to do to make sure it all worked and their workshops would run as smoothly as possible on the second day.

Day 2

Day 2 started with the groups having 2 hours to finish preparing their workshops and making sure they had everything printed and equipment they needed. While this was going on the volunteers were tidying up and getting all the other event areas organised.
At 10 to 12 we already had a queue at the door eager to come in and see what we had in store for them. 12 o clock the doors opened and the public started flooding in. The 12 young coders had 2 hours to explore and promote their workshops to the public. During this time there were a few other workshops running, which were VR (Virtual Reality), wearables, IoT Internet of Things) and visualizar.

Visualizar is an augmented reality application for Android phones that allows you to draw pictures from your phone. Find out more at Visualizar

2 pm came it was now up to the Young Coders to deliver their workshops. Each workshop ran 3 times allowing each Young coder to deliver their workshop. While the workshops were running I was tasked with taking pictures and getting people to leave feedback in return for people leaving feedback we were able to give them free micro: bits. (yes we were giving away free micro: bits)

All the workshops ran pretty smoothly and most importantly the Young Coders were enjoying sharing their knowledge and proud of what they had accomplished over the two days. Give yourselves a huge pat on the back!

Well done to all of our Young Coders for working hard over the 2 days. I can’t wait to see what you do in the future. Also a huge thank you to Grace and the South London Raspberry Jam team and the other Young Coders Conference organisers for giving me the opportunity to be apart of such a great event. Hopefully, there will be many more Young Coders Conferences in the future.

You can find out more about the Young Coders Conference here: Young Coders Conference

On The Road To MozFest 2017 pt 4

Week 4: 22.10.17 – 26.10.17

So this week I have received the final info I need for the festival. I have also completed the session presentation and prepared 10 kits for the session, plus extra components in case some of the components decide not to work on the day. (it is better being over prepared than underprepared)

Even as I am travelling on the train and writing this post I have found another good piece of info to add to my presentation about LEDs. LED info

I am very excited to meet everyone Tomorrow (Friday), but also getting nervous about running a session within a festival of this size, but also psyched about doing it.

This is a very short post again, but be prepared for a long post at the start of next week loaded with lots of pictures.

Thanks for keeping with me through this series of blog posts. Hope to maybe even see some of you at MozFest 2017!

On The Road To MozFest 2017 pt3

Week 3: 15.10.17 – 21.10.17

Well, this week has seen a fairly busy week by making sure I have enough electronics for creating the quick reaction game kits, getting a RaspiKidd t-shirt printed ready for MozFest. I have also been working on the presentation for my session which has to be complete by Monday the 23rd. I am just waiting to see if the PiZero EduBlocks problems are solved before the deadline. If not rather than following my plan of live coding the Quick reaction game with the participants I will just be adding the code to the presentation.

The reason I was going to use a PiZero for the coding is that I can have it plugged into my computer through USB and have the PiZero act as an on the the go Ethernet device. Basically, I can log into the PiZero through VNC viewer using raspberry pi.local rather than having to find out what the IP address is. Also, the PiZero can share the laptop internet connection. It’s always good to have a plan B and maybe even a plan C.

Again this has not been a very short update. Next week is the week leading up to MozFest. I will probably write a quick update on the week while travelling to London on the train on Thursday. I have not decided how I’m going to blog about the weekend yet. My options are trying to find time at the end of every day and do a round up after or do a longer post after the weekend. (probably on the train back to Scotland lol) If you guys have a preference for this I would love to hear them in the comments.

As well as blogging about the whole festival I will also do a post on how well I think my session went.

That’s all for this week. Come back next week for the final part of the Road To MozFest.

On The Road To MozFest 2017 pt 2

Week 2: 08.10.17 – 14.10.17

Well within the last week I have finished the first draft of the worksheet and sent it off to wranglers to be checked over and see what they think.

I have also started my presentation for MozFest which explains what the electronic components are and how we are going to use them within the session.

We are now going into the final 2 weeks before MozFest so lots of deadlines coming up. I need to have the worksheet approved and completed for Friday the 20th, so they can go and get printed in time for the festival. There is a video call for facilitators on the 22nd.

That is all for this week Come back next week for the next update.