Thursday, July 02, 2015

Programming Learning: Free programming courses and apps for kids (Part 2)

The 1st part is here.

  • Cargo-Bot – iOS APP
    An app that teaches children the foundation of programming concepts through a game like platform.

  • Alice – Software – Windows/Mac/Linux
    Alice uses an interactive programming environment to teach the creation of 3D animations.

  • Game Salad– Software – ALL Major Platfoms
    A downloadable software that teaches children how to build android apps.

  • Move the Turtle – iOS App
    Children play a game where tasks teach them some general coding.

  • GreenFoot – Software – Windows/Mac/Linux
    Focused on Java programming, the downloadable program uses object orientation method to making learning fun.

  • LEGO Mindstorms - Software Win/Mac/Linux-Hardware
    A downloadable software that enables children to build virtual animated robotics.

    All of the resources are worth of your attention. For example, courses are fun because of Angry BirdsZombies so kids love it. But they forgot Minecraft.

    Minecraft is awesome because even though it's a game it still helps younger people to learn. There are also mods out there like learntomod where the player can make their own mod to do exactly what they want which is very cool.
    If your kid isn't interested in MindStorms at all and likes Lego very much so Lego-programming would be great for him/her. 

    photo credit: Ok, let's talk via photopin (license)

    Tuesday, June 30, 2015

    Programming Learning: Free programming courses and apps for kids (Part 1)

    Have you ever struggled to find games that are fun but also educational for kids (your son, daughter, nephew)? Here is a list of free programming courses and apps for kids. 

    It's time to try programming learning together with your kid!

  • Scratch Animation
    A website provided by MIT that lets children of all ages bring animated characters to life with code commands.

  • Kodable Pro – iOS APP - Link to Appstore
    An app for iPad that uses videos and game like levels to teach children the basics of programming logic.

  • Hopscotch
    Like Scratch, hopscotch helps children understand programming by creating animated characters.

  • Code Monster
    The website guides children through JavaScript by showing the code input and the result of said input.

  • Coding basics
  • provides parents an enormous database of information and links to teach their children programming.

  • Khan Academy
    While generally used by teenagers, Khan Academy engages younger students with hands on activities and visuals.

    The 2nd part is here.

    photo credit: spielend-programmieren via photopin (license)

    Thursday, June 25, 2015

    Updated Software: ByteScout PPT To Video Scout 2.50.51

    The most of ByteScout's products are libraries and SDKs for developers, however, this month a popular end-user application for converting PowerPoint to video has been released.

    What's new ByteScout PPT To Video Scout 2.50.51 (June 8, 2015):

  • ppt to video and pptx to video converting improved
  • web cam preview is shown at the right bottom (use the "Record webcam" enabled option)
  • 1280x720 (720p) default video output
  • output video quality improved for WMV video output
  • minor bug-fixes

  • More info about PPT To Video Scout 2.50.51

    Download evaluation version here

    Tuesday, June 23, 2015

    Updated Software: ByteScout PDF Renderer SDK 6.00.2115, PDF Viewer SDK 6.00.2124, PDF To HTML SDK 6.00.2114

    ByteScout updated some developer libraries:
    ByteScout PDF To HTML SDK 
    6.00.2114,  ByteScout PDF Viewer SDK 6.00.2124 and ByteScout PDF Renderer SDK 6.00.2115

    What's new ByteScout PDF To HTML SDK 6.00.2114,:
    • PDF to HTML conversion improving
    • PDF format support improving
    • images, fonts, text encoding support improving
    • minor issues with HTML output fixed
    • some more minor improvements and fixes
    • stability of PDF to Image conversion improving
    • fonts and text rendering support improving
    • rendering of pdf controls improving
    • some minor bug-fixes and improvements

    What's new ByteScout PDF Viewer SDK 6.00.2124:
    • pdf viewer and pdf reading for .NET control improving
    • text displaying improving
    • images and text support improving
    • pdf reading speed improving
    • minor bug-fixes

    Download evaluation version here

    Friday, June 19, 2015

    Updated Software: ByteScout Bitmap Visualizer for Visual Studio 2005-2013 ver.1.2.103

    ByteScout updated Bitmap Visualizer 1.02.103 – free Visual Studio plugin on June 9, 2015. This visual studio debugger addon previews Bitmap and Image objects while debugging.

    ByteScout Bitmap Visualizer screenshot
    What's new Bitmap Visualizer for Visual Studio 2005-2013 ver.1.2.103 freeware:

    • Suppressed GDI+ exceptions on malformed bitmaps serialization and de-serialization
    • Minor bugfixes
    Download evaluation version here

    Tuesday, June 16, 2015

    QR Codes Comeback?

    "I know they aren't technically gadgets, but I felt this was the most relevant place. Anyway, QR codes in my opinion are pretty fantastic, but general opinion is negative and caused the whole thing to flop". 

    Some opinions:

    1. I'd love to use QR codes in marketing campaigns and was wondering if anyone had any ideas as to what would make them better or if they ever have a chance of gaining popularity again. The reason they're so bad is because they weren't even completed when they were put out for users. You have to download an app to even use the horrible things, and after struggling to get it to scan for 5 minutes, it most likely goes to a site that isn't even valid anymore.
    2. I remember scanning a qr code at Dunkin Donuts once. Worst. Decision. Ever. I started getting countless ads via text and email to my phone and swore off QR codes. Because businesses used them for this sort of marketing it caused the mass opinion about them on a whole to be negative. Maybe if they completely redesigned the idea, and made it so the user could just view a photo.
    3. We have the capability of creating code that reads links inside images, which really makes QR codes useless. Right now they're confusing to people because they don't understand them.
    4. I think they're useful in some aspects but not others. People keep trying to use them as a universal tool when in reality they can't handle everything. I used to play Animal Crossing and I remember the QR codes in there were used to share clothing designs online. It was fun and interactive, but it probably would have been easier if the developers had just made a specific connection for it via Wifi. Dude, no. 
    5. Sure it was "edgy" and considered "guerilla" marketing when it first came out, but QR codes are so done to death that if they were to improve they'd need a whole image lift.

    Thursday, June 11, 2015

    What’s your backup method?

    I've only been using a terabyte external hard drive for backing up my laptop, and was wondering if any of you guys had more secure ways to save your stuff in case of failure. 

    Yes, the guys have answers:

    1. Mine is pretty simplistic. Google Drive has my important docs because gmail is my main email, icloud has my photos and music. 
    2. External is always good because one thing goes wrong with digital and "poof", everythings gone. 
    3. I would however suggest that you downgrade from a terabyte and switch to two 500gb hard drives. That way if one fails you don't lose everything. 
    4. I use those, and back up weekly to Gdrive and Dropbox
    5. I've got my photos on Flickr because my photographs are large files and Flickr is the only site I know that doesn't compress photos when uploading, plus they're easily displayed. 
    6. My docs are saved on a 16 gb flash drive I carry around with me, and my computer is backed up on a monthly basis since I don't keep much on it to being with. 
    7. I agree that you should have a backup on an external hard drive, but fail safes usually exist when uploading to clouds and such.
    photo credit: FireWire and USB Powered 3.5 in Hard Drive via photopin (license)