Thursday, March 05, 2015

Cracking the age code: When should kids learn programming? (Part 2)

The 1st part is here.

Steve Jobs didn't so much create anything at a young age in the field of technology, but was interested in the subject in the single digits. At the age of 13 he got a job at Hewlett Packard factory (this was 1968 people, relax), and started building  and selling illegal "blue boxes" with Wozniak in 1972. The devices gave people the ability to make phone calls for free.

We can see from the three brainiacs' history above that is seems like the age that they really got into technology was in their early teens. While that may have helped us in the 60's, times have changed so drastically in the field of technology, thanks to these awesome guys, that knowledge is more readily available and programs have been developed that enable learning to take place at earlier ages.

For instance, the youngest game programmer currently is an 8 year old girl who made her very own video game app at the age of 7. The late Arfa Karim became the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional at the age of 9 in 2004.  There's also the 14 year old programming prodigy Santiago Gonzales who's made 13 apps to date and started college at 13. We admit it, we're envious.

Okay, so we know kids are learning at a younger age now, but that doesn't really help those of us who have little ones running around at home and no idea how to introduce them to the topic without overwhelming or boring them. All in all, it really boils down to the child's interests.
To find this out, introduce them to technology yourself. Give them your phone or tablet, we recommend supervision and one of those crazy giant plastic cases, and see what they go for. If you notice little Emily enjoys puzzles and solving problems, rather than the million diaper changing and make up apps they have now, that might be a sign to look for apps and/or programs dedicated to teaching kids computer programming in fun ways. 

photo credit: Edenvale Branch Library San Jose, CA via photopin (license)

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Cracking the age code: When should kids learn programming? (Part 1)

Both kids and adults today are living in a world where technology is everywhere. And as time goes on, that technology will grow, expand, and become integrated in even more aspects of our lives. It only makes sense to that people who grow up learning about programming from an early age will be better equipped to handle future changes, and may even help create some of them.

The question is, at what age is it best to teach kids about computer programming, and possibly even get them started on designing their very own project? Short answer, there isn't one! 

Technically there has been no specific age determined by any study to be the optimal age to introduce the kids to technology or the innards of computers. However, sometimes the best place to find an answer is in the past. Let's take a look at some of the big names in technology, and when their first steps in the virtual world took place.

Bill Gates wrote his first computer program (tic-tac-toe against the computer) in the 8th grade (13 years old) when he took an interest in the GE system in BASIC.  The school notices his knack for technology and asks him to create a computerized schedule of classes.

Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple) teamed up with his neighborhood school friend Bill Fernandez at the age of fourteen where they started building "The Cream Soda Computer", a computer board named after their favorite sugary drink.

The 2nd part is here.

photo credit: Old School via photopin (license)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Updated Software: ByteScout BarCode Generator SDK 4.30.760 and ByteScout BarCode Generator Freeware 4.30.760

ByteScout BarCode Generator Software
ByteScout updated software for generating barcodes: 
ByteScout BarCode Generator SDK 4.30.760 and ByteScout BarCode Generator Freeware 4.30.760

  • MS Access source code sample added
  • minor internal fixes in BarCode image
  • minor XML comments updates for API
  • minor fix in GUI demo
  • Crystal Reports example updated
  • ValueIsValid(value, checksumIsMandatory) method added to controls
  • mandatory checksum checking added into IsValidValue() method

  • What's new ByteScout BarCode Generator 4.30.760 freeware:

  • barcode generation improved
  • minor interface improvements
  • stability improved
  • More info and ByteScout BarCode Generator Freeware downloading at the link.

    Thursday, February 12, 2015

    New: ByteScout BarCode Reader SDK and ByteScout BarCode Reader freeware

    ByteScout updated software for reading barcodes: ByteScout BarCode Reader SDK 8.20.1312  and BarCode Reader Freeware 8.20.1319 on January 28, 2015.

    What's new ByteScout BarCode Reader SDK 8.20.1312:

    • improved barcode reading support in .net and
    • improved pdf reading support
    • new source code samples added
    • updated documentation

    What's new BarCode Reader Freeware 8.20.1319:

    • improvements in reading barcodes from images and barcodes from pdf
    • reading barcodes from live camera function improved
    • minor fixes and improvements
    More info about BarCode Reader Freeware 8.20.1319 is here.

    Tuesday, February 10, 2015

    Find images for your website (Part 3)

    Photo from Flickr
    Billions of images have been uploaded to Flickr since its launch in 2004, and a large percentage of these images have been released under the Creative Commons license (Remember this means giving credit where credit is due.) Flickr also has a large collection of public domain photos called The Commons. The link will send you directly to The Commons, though you can also utilize the search tool.

    Picjumbo offers free pictures for business and individual works. With a search tool integrated it’s simple to specify the sorts of pictures you're searching for and rapidly find what you need. There is a wide mixture of diverse pictures covering food, nature, animals, technology, in addition to different classes. All photographs are allowed to be utilized, so long as the creator is given credit. When you search for something though, keep in mind you will not get back a plethora of results as PicJumbo offers a 6/month premium membership they’re trying to promote. 

    There are many other resources available to people out there, so don’t feel limited to this article. If you have any websites or newsletters you are astounded weren’t included here, please let us know! 

    photo credit: furry-photos via photopin cc

    Thursday, February 05, 2015

    New software released: PDF Extractor SDK, PDF Renderer SDK, PDF Viewer freeware

    ByteScout updated developer libraries
    ByteScout PDF Extractor SDK 5.80.1781 and ByteScout PDF Renderer SDK 5.20.1870.
    Also, the 
    freeware PDF Viewer 5.20.1871 was released in January 2015.
    • PDF to XML, PDF to CSV, PDF to Text functionality updated
    • OCRMode now provides 9 modes
    • .DetectLineInsteadOfParagraph now works much better. Set it to False to capture multiline text in table cells!
    • PDF controls support improved
    • FDF and XFDF data extraction 
      and more!
    • improved pdf to image in .net and
    • improved controls rendering support
    • improved rotated objects rendering support
    • new samples added
    • minor bug-fixes.

    • PDF to Text, PDF to XML, PDF to CSV improved
    • OCR support added (can read text from images and repair text)
    • Attachments extraction improved
    • PDF Splitting, page extraction added
    • Improved table detection and table data extraction
    • PDF search improved now with multiline search and word matching mode.

    Tuesday, February 03, 2015

    Find images for your website (Part 2)

    Death To The Stock Photo

    This website is more so a newsletter than a image hosting site. The user can subscribe to a monthly email newsletter which will contain images licensed under the “Photographer End User License”. In English, this means that the user can modify and/or display the photos however they see fit, but cannot distribute them. This is because there is a premium option on the website for 10/month, which sends the user extra packs to their email and gives them access to future and past posts.

    Google Image Search

    If you’ve gotten to this blog, chances are you probably know all about Google and Google images. It only seems natural that you’d get your photos from Google after all. Just don’t go searching and picking anything for your website or blog however. Remember, you need to pay attention to the licenses. The good news is you can search whatever image keyword your heart desires and use Google's advanced search tools to filter the results to show only those images which fall under the licenses you can use publicly. The link included links to images covered by the license that enables you to both use the image as well as manipulate it. 

    photo credit: castgen via photopin cc