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01/28/07 | by [mail] | Categories: computer/tech, family/personal

Emma and I have been doing some programming together using Scratch, a visual programming language created at MIT. The image above shows the code blocks that you drag and drop to create your scripts. It's very easy to get started. You can have the basics of your idea working in a matter of seconds. I think Emma is actually understanding some of the building blocks of computer programming like conditional statements, loops and variables. She's able to come up with an idea, then I tell her what code blocks to drag in and she can run the first lines of code and see the images moving around the screen. Not bad for a five-year-old. I'm probably having even more fun than she is, though. Together Emma and I made two games: Turtle Hatchling and Man Finding His Dog. Scratch is available for free for Windows and Mac. Once you've installed it you should be able to open up our games and try them.

Emma has been saying that she wants a robot. We've talked about saving up for a Robosapien 2 or saving up even longer for a Lego Mindstorms NXT. I'm more interested in the latter. I've told her that first she needs to know how to read, do some math and some programming. So she's on her way to being a robotisist.



Dude, that is so cool. I think it’s rather amusing that both Emma and myself are learning how to program right now. I dont’ know if you had this stuff but when I was a lad I learned some programming basics on Apple machines with LOGO and Hypercard. I remember writing lines and lines of commands in Logo just for a simple drawing. Hypercard was basically a precursor to Flash. I made a hypercard stack that was about George Lucas. It featured a Star Wars style scrolling introduction complete with music, a movie database complete with video clips, and an interactive quiz game. Needless to say, I got the highest grade in the class. I wish I still had it though. It wouldn’t fit on a disk because of the video clips so it’s probably still on a hard drive somewhere at my old high school.

[Member]  http://brendoman.com01/28/07 @ 13:49

Well I think Emma deserves a robot. So save those pennies. By the time you can afford the one your saving for there will be one even better. Of course by the time she can do a little math and programming she will just build one and blow you away. For now can’t you just teach her to dance the robot?

Fenton Ferguson [Visitor]  04/06/07 @ 21:24

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