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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Invisible Player Escapes Maze, Pygame Version 1

Walkthrough of version 1 of the Invisible Player Escapes Maze game in Pygame.

Source code

Friday, December 25, 2009

Invisible Player Escapes Maze

Escape the maze. You are invisible, and so are all the obstacles unless they are close to you. Illustrates use of the ghost effect, and broadcast.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Growing Player Escapes Maze

Escape the maze before you grow too big. Illustrates use of the timer, and “if touching color.” The Scratch project is here:

Jython/Swing Game of Life Version 2

A very quick look at version 2 of our Jython implementation of Conway’s Game of Life. Source code

Monday, November 9, 2009

Carter Sande Presents PythonCard

Hello World!: Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners” Python book co-author and elementary school student Carter Sande introduces PythonCard for making a graphical user interface in Python. He shows a Fahrenheit to Celsius temperature converter and a hangman game. His dad and co-author Warren Sande appears with him.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sound Flies a Helicopter in Scratch

Sound (your voice, perhaps) controls the altitude of a helicopter which you try to keep from hitting the mountains.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Web app using Scala, Lift and Flickr to Show Pictures

Dave Briccetti shows a very simple Web application he is working on for his mom's nature photography Web site, Written in Scala, it uses the lift Web application framework, and Flickr Web Services to find her pictures. The source code is on GitHub.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Introduction to Python Classes

Using examples of an animal and a simple grid, we look at creating classes in Python, in preparation for better understanding our Game of Life program.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Jython/Swing Conway’s Game of Life

A brief overview of a Jython (Python) implementation of Conway’s Game of Life using Java's Swing for the GUI. Source code:

Friday, September 18, 2009

Interviews With Professional Programmers, Part Four

More programmer interviews: Kevin Nilson, E*TRADE (at Google for a Silicon Valley Web JUG meeting), Jorge Ortiz, LinkedIn, Michael Galpin, eBay (at LinkedIn for a Bay Area Scala Enthusiasts meeting).

A Graphical User Interface with Jython and Swing

Dave Briccetti shows how to create a simple Python program with a graphical user interface using Jython (Python running on Java) and Swing.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Adding a Feature to TalkingPuffin

This video is different from the other instructional videos in the Young Programmers Podcast, in that it doesn’t teach step-by-step how to do something. Rather, it shows a professional programmer making an improvement to a real product. The product here is TalkingPuffin, an open source Twitter client written in Scala. Dave Briccetti adds a new feature that allows filtering out tweets (messages) from people not following the user. Inexperienced programmers are not expected to understand everything shown. The point is just to see a professional programmer at work, using great tools and a great programming language.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

SuperHappyDevHouse 34 Interviews, Part Two

Interviews with programmers and hardware hackers from SuperHappyDevHouse 34, part 2 of 2.

Kevin Gadd talks about his dad bringing home computers for him to play with, and learning to program them, and his career making videogames. Drew Perttula’s dad brought home computers but no games, so Drew had to write his own. He got interested in visual effects and computer graphics. He works at DreamWorks Animation. Mike Lundy works for Nasa in Mountain View. He started programming around age 10 on a PCjr running BASIC. He works in the Intelligent Robotics Group at NASA. He hopes the software he works on will eventually run on the Moon or Mars.

SuperHappyDevHouse 34 Interviews, Part One

Interviews with programmers and hardware hackers from SuperHappyDevHouse 34.

Joel Franusic
introduces SuperHappyDevHouse and talks about how he learned programming from his dad, an embedded systems engineer. Joshua Neal shows an LED connected to an Arduino board. Jens Andersson shows a program, Colors!, for drawing on the Nintendo DS. Otavio Good shows a polar bear drawing he made using that program. Steve Okay shows an Arduino-controlled robot he built, and describes being inspired by the movie Tron to stay up all night and make a light cycle game. Ben McGraw talks about programming role playing games. Caroline Ratajski talks about how she started at age 9 with a BASIC text game, then learned web development and networking, and continued with a formal computer science education leading to her current work in communications signals analysis.

More interviews follow in part two.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Jumping Man in Pygame

Here is an explanation of a program that makes a man move left and right, and jump with the space key. It uses a formula for a parabola for determining the height of the man at every point in time of the jump. It also contains functions. Important values are stored in easy-to-change constants, for experimenting with such things as the height and duration of the jump.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Interviews with Professional Programmers, Part One

Meet some high caliber professional programmers: Dick Wall of Navigenics and The Java Posse, Bill Venners, coauthor of Programming in Scala, and Carl Quinn of Netflix and The Java Posse.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Functions in Python

This lesson shows how to use functions, to make programs shorter and more readable, better organized and easier to change, and so that we don’t repeat ourselves.

Dave Briccetti Introduces the Podcast

Dave Briccetti introduces the podcast.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Using a Python Dictionary to Give Custom Greetings

This walkthrough of teaches how to use a dictionary to store customized greetings, how to convert a string to lower case to make lookups easier, and how to see if a key is in the dictionary using in.

Mr. T Guess The Food Walkthrough

This walkthrough of Mr. T Guess The Food shows a Python 2.6 guessing game with tuples, random.choice, while, if, and raw_input.

Platform Example, Very Simple

Here is a sprite that will drop onto red platforms, and gains the ability to fly from a power-up. Scratch project file.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Cat Saves the Villager Scratch Project Walkthrough

Here’s a walkthrough of Cat Saves the Villager. It shows several characters that deliver lines and interact using broadcast. Dave Briccetti created it in 35 minutes with six students in class at DVC College for Kids.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Bob Lee Videoconference With Dave Briccetti’s College for Kids Python Class

Google’s Bob Lee talks to Dave Briccetti’s College for Kids Python class by videoconference. He tells of his role as the Android core library lead, and answers questions about languages for Android and why he likes working at Google. He shows us his office mates Jesse Wilson and Josh Bloch (working with the latter being one of the reasons he is at Google).

(Video quality is poor as we recorded from a projected image with a hand-held camera.)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tor Norbye Shows JavaFX

Tor Norbye from the Java Posse and Sun Microsystems shows JavaFX to my Python class at DVC College for Kids. He creates a scene consisting of a grid of rectangles, and shows how to animate it.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Recording Music for Computer Games

Student, cellist, guitarist and programmer Ethan Kuefner (@jazzcello on Twitter) visited my programming classes and showed how to record music and sound effects, and put them into computer games. We used Scratch, Python and Pygame, GarageBand and Audacity.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Adding a Second Sprite to SimplePygame (Challenge 4)

Adding a second sprite (a bird to chase the bee) to SimplePygame (Challenge 4).

Solutions to SimplePygame Challenges 1–3

Answers to Challenges 1–3 for SimplePygame: Setting the background color, and loading and moving a sprite.

Xturtle With Loops to Make Polygons

Explanation of program, which uses xturtle to draw polygons of any number of sides.

An Alice Object Reacts to Another

How to move an object around with the arrow keys, and have another object react to it when it gets close.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Using GIMP to Make Graphics for Scratch and Alice

Shows using the GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) to create a costume for a Scratch sprite, and a texture for Alice.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Twitter’s Doug Williams Visits My Programming Class

Twitter's Doug Williams describes how he got started programming. See Twitter’s Doug Williams Visits My Programming Class:

Random Number Problems and Python Solutions

The solutions to these problems are shown:
  1. Produce one or more random integers in the range -5,5
  2. Randomly choose from a sequence like ('Sam', 'Sue', 'Bill')
  3. Randomly choose a number between 1 and 3. Ask the user for a guess. Tell the user if the guess is right.
  4. Display the result of rolling two six-sided dice
  5. Use randint or choice to add an element of randomness to a program of your own design

Random Numbers in Python: randint and choice

How to use randint and choice from the random module.

Three Simple Python Problems and Their Solutions

Demonstrations of print, raw_input, and if/elif/else.

Power-Up and Shield

Shows how to have your character power up with a shield, which diminishes over time and can be reacquired with another power-up.

Making Scratch Graphics with Inkscape

Shows making a simple drawing with Inkscape, exporting it as a bitmap, and then importing the image into Scratch.

Overview of Scratch, Alice, Python and Pygame

Software developer and teacher Dave Briccetti demonstrates software he uses to teach programming to kids: Scratch, Alice, Python and Pygame.