Friday, January 10, 2014

GPIO on PC

Recently I've been thinking of starting to play with electronics. Devices like the Raspberry Pi and Arduino have 'GPIO' (General Purpose Input Output) pins. You can write code on the device which sets each pin to be on or off. You then connect the pins to circuits of your creation. The simplest circuit would be something like using a GPIO pin to light an LED. I find this exciting, as it allows your code to reach out of the 'virtual world' inside the computer, and do things in the real world.

After some thought and research, I found that Numato have GPIO boards which work with PC's. You plug their GPIO USB device into your PC and then can control the pins from your choice of many different languages (you need to use an API which can write to a serial bus).

I'm excited by PC based GPIO programming because:
  • The project I'm thinking of working on does not require a tiny portable computer.
  • I get to work in Visual Studio in a Windows environment, which is what I'm used to.
  • While Raspberry Pi and Arduino are not expensive, the $20 USB device is cheaper :)
Numato has four different GPIO devices (1, 2, 3, 4). This week they have a giveaway to win the bluetooth version.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Sorting Algorithms

Here’s a great video, which visualizes different sorting algorithms.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Project Euler

Something I constantly remind my students is to keep coding all the time, and working on demos in their spare time.

If you have trouble thinking of demos to make, and want some programming challenges, you could try Project Euler.

While it's not games specific, if you just want to exercise your grey cells and practice some coding, it's a good place to start.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Your ass – please put it away

Plumbers crack, it seems, is not just for plumbers. Somewhere between the free soda, trendy low cut jeans, and tightening T-shirts, it seems that game programmers are suffering from this too.

Please, take a moment, without adjusting your clothes or how you are sitting, just reach your hand back and feel around. If you feel any exposed skin, or crack, then you need to put it away.

Suggestions

  • Don’t wear low cut jeans to work. Save them for going out.
  • Get some T-shirts which are longer in the body.
  • Wear a long shirt, sweater or jacket.
  • Get a tattoo that looks like a pair of jeans.

Thank you for making the world a better place.