Stuff that’s been happening recently(ish)

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

Hi All!

The summer holidays are over and as winter approaches, I would like to reflect on what’s happening and what is yet to come. During the summer holidays, as you may know, I went to the Scratch conference. I met a ton load of people at the Scratch conference:

blob8108 – 8108 is suppost to be blob in number form. He created some tools which makes the transition between Scratch and Python a little less scary. His friends also came along, and taught me some Python.

Sjoerd Dirk Meijer – Creator of the Shrimp Key, a under $10 version of the well known Makey Makey.

Digital Maverick – Teacher, and hopefully going to host a conference in UK, which will be awesome.

Joek van Montfort, @xota – The amazing person who hosted the conference.

Mitchel Resnick – The creator of Scratch. I like to think of him like Tom Lehrer of the modern world. He engages people in topics in new and interesting ways. Words cannot describe what he has done to the education system of ICT in the UK and worldwide.

CoderDojo, Rasberry Pi, Arduino, Catrobat – These are changing the face of technology of the UK, by teaching and innovating young and old.

…And so many more!

I think it’s good to see a change in the ICT curriculum in ICT due to Scratch. Instead of learning Microsoft, students will be learning programming, a new way of thinking. Scratch is offering so much and is being expanded in so many ways. While I was there I saw robots programmed in Scratch, Google Maps and even a simple AI.

While I was there, I talked to Mitchel Resnick about the future of Scratch, and here are the three things I am most excited for:

– Tablet versions of Scratch. iCatty is the start of this. Soon you can develop apps, like android app inventor via Scratch.

– Modules and functions. These are two things you have to learn when you leave Scratch at the moment, so it’s amazing these will be added.

– Scratch and Python merging, and allowing conversion of code. The learning curve between Scratch and text based code is fairly large. A step towards making it better, will be a good step.

“These are exciting times.” – Joek van Montfort

Other News:

I’ve been inspired to get a Rasberry Pi, relearn Javascript and HTML5, and make a website hosted on the Rasberry PI. Both from the stuff at Scratch2013bcn and want to explore deeper into computing has motivated me to do this.

Rasberry Pi’s are cheap:

http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=18043&p=182118 + internet cost + domain hosting (still deciding if I should buy another IP so I could host the domain?)

…and thus I can learn a lot without having to pay £100 or so for hosting.

Questions:

Is this website going to be a game?

Yes. My friend does pixel art so it should be awesome.

Is this game going to be a copy of Cookie Clicker, also, what score have you got in Cookie Clicker so far?

No and 10 billion before I gave up/found out I had access to the java-script console.

Tatics for Cookie Clicker?

Well the mathematical way to do this is:

lorem ipsum **** admiumvenium ***** turolagulio **** hippopotamus ****** Republican **** Daniel Radcliffe ******* with a bucket of ***** in a castle far away where no one can hear you *** soup ** with a bucket of ****** Mickey Mouse ******** with a stick of dynamite **** magical **** ALAKAZAM!

(This is a reference to Potter Puppet Pals, a viral channel in 2007/8 – if you got it you have passed the test)

Actually, if you have had enough of the game:

http://en.reddit.com/r/CookieClicker/comments/1l0t2c/what_is_the_best_cookie_clicker_strategy/

I want to learn programming and I have/haven’t used Scratch. Help!

Code-academy is awesome and I advise you use Scratch to learn the basics. After Scratch you should learn Python and HTML. It may take a while, but it’s worth it. I don’t like using books as they limit what you can do in the programming language by making you do set things, and not express your programming creativity. If you have questions or want more help then the subreddit learn-programming and learn-python are good. You can also ask me in the comments, I’m happy to help.🙂

Using the Amazon API

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Hi again,

Sorry it’s been a while, holidays, tests and homework clogging up a lot of time recently. I decided to do a post today about an API I’ve been working with recently, the Amazon Advertising API. As part of my Maths GCSE Coursework, I need to collect data about book costs, and whilst it was fine to collect 100 books on two genres and compare if one is more expensive, I decided to go with a larger sample, 16,000 in this case. I thought it went quite well, and this is how I did it.

First of all, why did I choose the Amazon API? Well despite there being a fairly wide range (Google and Ebay being large contenders), Amazon stores a surprisingly vast amount of data on each book, including factors like weight and height. You can also be very precise on what you search – not just for books, for anything.

Step 1: Collect an API Key (and a secret code + affiliates account)

To get into the API, I had to sign up for various places to get the API Key. Despite it asking for my credit details on numerous occasions, I somehow dodged giving anything away to Amazon. If you’re a developer doing something on these lines, feel free to contact me on how to get a key.

Screen Shot 2014-03-01 at 21.55.06Step 2: Choose a Python module which supports what you want

In this case, I chose the official Python API, written via Github so you can see the source-code on your browser. This API is by far simpler and has a good functionality compared to using an XML parser. It was a simple install via pip, which is mentioned on the page.

Screen Shot 2014-03-01 at 21.58.55Step 3: Handle the concepts of the API and module, and get cracking!

To make my script, I had to learn some raw basics about how you can run a search request via the API. First of all, you authenticate with Amazon to prove you are a human on the other side. Afterwords, you ask Amazon what you want it to give. It will then give you a mass of data, of which is your task to process.

Read the rest of this entry »

Good News All Round (And Thanks)! :)

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 19.37.59Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 19.34.39

http://taspoly.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/exposing-minecraft-learning.html

This is just some of the feedback I got from my bpermissions creator!😀

Joel Levin (the creator of Minecraft EDU) tweeted me and really liked it! I actually made a custom version for him (Permissions EX) Here.
Chris Monk from the tnmoc (aka an awesome archive of mostly retro tech) offered me to do some exciting projects during the summer. Just this weekend I met up with him and we discussed the projects.
Dbatty made an amazing ppt (web equivalent) explaining how people collaborate online, and using my project as an example.

Thank you so much for the feedback, it has really meant allot. I look forward to doing much more!

#Scratch2013bcn
Today Scratch2013bcn put up my page about me. It looked pretty cool! To note, the video thumbnail of me was when I was 10, I am now 13 and 3/4. I will be doing a at Barcalona on my birthday (27th July) which will be livestreamed. I will be updating you when I get more info!

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 19.36.42

MOOC:

I have been recently doing a MOOC (from Rice University) about Python which I just finished, getting 86% (results not confirmed until tomorrow). It was really fun doing a proper university course and I recommend you should give it a look over🙂

Next Post: Making Bukkit Plugins (for Minecraft servers) In Python…

Bpermissions – Creator

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Hi everyone!
Recently I have been doing a course about Python on Coursera. It has been really fun!

https://class.coursera.org/interactivepython-002/

Also, I have been really wanting to do a big coding project with my new skills of python/HTML/java-script. I tried with a game first.

Game Play

It being a game of course, my school quickly blocked it.

My friend said he planned of buying a physical server. After asking if I could host a Minecraft server off it, he said yes. Jokaydia who hosts Jokaydia Minecrafts (http://massively.jokaydia.com/) has always been a fan of bpermissions. It updates regularly and is fairly simple to use. The issue I found however is that it’s still too complex. Entering the world of server making can be tricky, and having to write hundreds of lines of YAML config doesn’t make it easier. There must be a simpler way! I tried to use Bpermissions GUI. It’s “simple” and “user friendly”. Yes, you can do changes, but most of those changes crashes your bpermissions and deletes it. It also rarely updates as it is not used much in comparison to Bpermissions. For many, it is great. But maybe not so for those just starting.

What if I could do better?

I asked Jokaydia, 9bear and Punk rocker and they seemed interested. They said I should have a try!

Code-Skulptor is a free tool for the python course I am using. It’s online, cloud based and has the simple-gui plugin. Perfect for what I need! After around 5 hours of typing, testing and bugfixing, I created this.
Note: the 132.py stands for how many saves I did to create it. My internet crashes a lot…

http://www.codeskulptor.org/#user15_RVHxaVulcT_132.py

The updated link will always be at the bottom.

Instructions to use:
1. Have a rough read-through on how to install bpermissions and some basic understanding what terms like inheritance means.

Falcon did a post on setting up a server, check it out!:

http://minecraftinschool.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/setting-up-a-server/
While you’re at it, why not check out one of my alpha testers, Nattbott!
http://natbott97.wordpress.com/

2. When you click the link http://www.codeskulptor.org/#user15_RVHxaVulcT_132.py . Click the Blue arrow in the top left. This runs the program.

The updated link will always be at the bottom.

3. To enter a box, click the box. Type the info. Press enter. It will only work if you press enter.

Press enter.

2013-05-29_12474. If you are a developer/want to share the permissions. Click print data.
At the top of the screen (around line 4) there is a line that says data = []
replace data = [] with data = [info, info, info, info]. This will import it.

5. To create a new rank press the —> arrow (and add the appropriate info) and to look back press <—-.

9999 ranks can be stored. Also where is says Current Rank is <>, it will then add the name of the rank you are looking at!

6. Press print permissions! You are done!

This prints in the console (the thing right to all that nice code) your formatted and ready to paste permissions.

Thanks to all the alpha testers which helped me make this! I would love to see some constructive feedback in the comments.😀

[Note: The updated version will always be here: http://www.codeskulptor.org/#user15_FUjY8oJBRq_6.py%5D

About Making More Posts…

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Hi Everyone,

About making more posts and videos, I will get back to that! For the last few weeks it’s basically been snow and a new start to school. Now though I’m settling in. Also, I’m currently learning on codeacadamy and making a website. At the moment it’s mostly secret to non friends and family.

Also, Scratch 2.0 came out!!!!
I decided to make a fake letter to Mitchel Resnick (sorry if I spelt that wrong) to celebrate my favorite features (and how I would use them).

 

Dear Mitchel Resnick,

Thank you for launching Scratch Beta 2.0, it’s really awesome!

First of all, cloning was added (in script form)!:

1. You could use cloning to make fast landscapes, with scroll x and y.

2. Or, you could use it to split and object into indervidal pixels, which allows you to zoom in and out with great detail (like a magnifying glass could be added).

3. Or you could recreate bacteria and watch it evolve with an AI…

(or you could develop on my game of life to make it super vast and awesome and fast?…)

 

Then they added cloud variables and lists:

1. You could generate pi (π) with thousands/millions of users. :O

2. I’m not sure if they update live, but something people probably haven’t noticed yet is that you could make a live multiplayer game (such as a car game). If variables and lists don’t update live, they should (I haven’t done bug testing yet)😀

3. Or we could just map the entire observable universe (also using clone tool)…

(or you could recreate python in Scratch?…)

 

The possibility’s are endless.

In conclusion I cannot wait for a downloadable version of this and all!

Aj.

 

Happy Christmas

Friday, December 21st, 2012

I really want to do more posts, but I think I’ll be doing some videos and more online contribution for 2013🙂

For the meantime, I’m making some blocks and modifying Scratch:

Screen Shot 2012-12-21 at 16.59.36

Screen Shot 2012-12-21 at 16.59.40

Merry Christmas (and by the way, the world didn’t end if you were curious past version of myself)!

Screen Shot 2012-12-21 at 16.59.31

or…

Screen Shot 2012-12-21 at 17.07.43

#note-on-the-new-block Yes…the if, else block does already exist, but I’ve just started.

Do you want to help for the next video

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Hi everyone,

I’ll be doing a time lapse video for the next video. I will need ideas for a complex project, which I will then record making.

Do you have any ideas?

Comment Or Tweet (@Ajnin123)🙂

This is Probably a good post, mabye 50%, mabye 16.66666667%?

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

Scratch Project

By the way, holding shift and clicking the green flag (in flash player) will make the maths run twice as fast (It should say turbo mode, tested in IE and Firefox)!
Scratch Project

To Go to the projects, click above!

 

You know how at school you flipped a coin with your class mates, and after 500 repeats or so, the odds of either became 50/50. This does that, but shows the live stats including graphs, percentages and raw data.

The graph/percentage works like this:

  • Say I roll a heads H:100% T:0%
  • Say I now roll a tails H:50% T:50%
  • Now I roll a heads H:75% T:25%

You can customize the amount of time’s you flip to make the 2 percentages insanely close (I’ve done up to 24 million).

 

Also, if you’re into python, here’s some code to try which gives you some raw data as well!

import random

#allows python to be random
Heads=0
Tails=0
n=0

#sets the variables to 0

for x in range (1,100000000):

#100 million can be replaced with any number, 1 million takes about 20 seconds.
    n=random.randint(1,2)
    if n==1:
        Heads=Heads+1
    else:
        Tails=Tails+1

#Make a random number which is 1 or 2. If 1, set heads, if 2, set tails.
print “Themount of tails is”, Tails
print “The amount of heads is”, Heads

#Say “The amount of tails/heads is (number).

 

Dice Roll:

I’ve also done one for a dice roll. 6 variables, yeah…nevertheless, makes a downward curve graph which is cool.

The result should become 16.66666….7%

I’ve rounded the figures as there is too much data for the screen!

 

Please feedback belloooooww!

 

 

Scratch Tutorial (Don’t worry, it’s easy!!!)

Monday, November 5th, 2012

To do this tutorial:

You must install Scratch of their website:

http://scratch.mit.edu/

And be clear(ish) on how to use it’s interface, the picture below may help (done by me).

There are more feature which you can explore, by the features below are the only ones you need.

By the way, all blocks are colour coded.

Also, to connect 2 blocks, drag a block below another one until a white line shows, then let go of the mouse and they should connect.

Making a Binary To Decimal Convertor In Scratch (I might show how to do in Minecraft):

BTEOTLIWBA (By the end of this lesson I will be able to), is what any boring teacher would say.

But as this is a aj lesson, we can forget all that pointless intro stuff😀

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_numeral_system as this isn’t 100% clear

First of all, what is binary.

Well, in terms of numbers, this is how binary works.

You may of seen people say a sequence of 0’s and 1’s. 1 byte is 8 bites.

01000000 is 64. To convert a sequence of 0’s and 1’s into decimal use the table/example below,

Method (As This Is Obviously This Is A Cooking Lesson):

You will need:

1. We want the program to respond to the green flag, and then ask the user to enter the input (binary).

2. If the first digit of the binary is 1, then we add 128…

e.c.t 10000000 = 128 Seriously, http://acc6.its.brooklyn.cuny.edu/~gurwitz/core5/nav2tool.html

To create a variable go to variable and click make new variable.

3. Then we just copy and paste, and adjust according to digit.

(So for example, the 4th digit of binary “scans” if it is a 1, if it is, then it will add 16 to the decimal output)

Right click a script to copy and paste!

You’re not scanning the letters in the word ‘world’ right? So just replace world with the variable answer.

4. Then we just add a friendly rresponse to the input, which is the output. So something like “00010001 in decimal is 17”

(Remember to add the spaces so it’s readable)

In this case we’re joining (answer/binary input) – in – decimal – is – (decimal output).

5. Now we make it resettable, so each time the output is reset as 0.

(look below the green-flag to see where I’ve added the new script.)

Testing:

Press the Green-Flag, full screen and start testing!

I Hope you have Enjoyed and hopefully I will make more if you give feedback!

 

Link to Project:

http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/Ajnin2008/2886786

How I WOULD make the Game of life in Minecraft

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

These 8 Levers Represent the 8 sides of the Game Of Life.

Just a recap of the Game Of Life:

4+sides on = dead

3 sides on = alive

2 = nothing changes

1/0 = dead

Using AND Gates, these 8 input link to make 1 output (dead or alive). This mechanism checks if there are 8 neighbors.

 

If there are 8 neighbors, deactivate the other sensors which check if there are 7,6,5,4,3,2,1 or 0 neighbors. Else, allow the current to continue to flow.