How my students taught me to code
Sep23

How my students taught me to code

“Hello, I’m Miss Jess, and my students taught me how to code.” When I say this to new students, they often think I misspoke. But it’s true. Coding always interested me, but it seemed inaccessible. Then my students taught me to code a video game during a few lunch breaks. Their encouraging advice and suggestions helped me create my first video game using Scratch. The game was simple. It was about a monkey...

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Linux on Lenovo, jdk transition to Git, and more industry trends
Sep23

Linux on Lenovo, jdk transition to Git, and more industry trends

As part of my role as a principal communication strategist at an enterprise software company with an open source development model, I publish a regular update about open source community, market, and industry trends. Here are some of my and their favorite articles from that update. read more Powered by...

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Run Linux apps on your Chromebook
Sep22

Run Linux apps on your Chromebook

Chromebooks have been a game-changer for PreK-12 school systems, enabling them to purchase low-cost laptop computers for students, teachers, and administrators to use. While Chromebooks have always been powered by a Linux-based operating system (Chrome OS), until recently, there was no way to run most Linux apps on one. read more Powered by...

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Create transparency in your game graphics with GIMP
Sep22

Create transparency in your game graphics with GIMP

Whether you’re programming a game or an app with Python or Lua, you’re probably using PNG graphics for your game assets. An advantage of the PNG format, which is not available in a JPEG, is the ability to store an alpha channel. Alpha is, essentially, the “color” of invisibility or transparency. Alpha is the part of an image you don’t see. read more Powered by...

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Teach Python with the Mu editor
Sep21

Teach Python with the Mu editor

Teaching kids to code is very popular in schools. Many years ago, in the days of the Apple II and Logo programming, I learned about turtle graphics. I enjoyed learning how to program the virtual turtle and later helping students to do the same. read more Powered by...

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Use this Python script to simulate Babbage’s Difference Engine
Sep21

Use this Python script to simulate Babbage’s Difference Engine

Charles Babbage (1791–1871) was an avid mathematician with very wide interests. He is well-known for envisioning the idea of computers and single-handedly developed what he called a Difference Engine to make serial calculations. It was a mechanical machine with a series of axles and gears to make calculations, with the output being a printed table. read more Powered by...

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