Hosting the files for the Caps Lock Alert program on Dropbox wasn't really working. Not least because it doesn't make it easy for other people to work on the code, an important part of being open source. With that in mind, I've made a new home for it at CodePlex, a home for open source projects hosted by Microsoft. You can find it here.
For the last few months I've been getting someone else's emails. Recently I received an invitation to a party at a local pub to help fund improvements to Tilshead Village Hall. To my shame, I have never been to Tilshead.
Great news for all Raspberry Pi owners, especially those hoping to keep their children interesting in the device. The hit game Minecraft has been ported over the Pi and is available to download now at no cost from the Minecraft Pi Edition website. We gave it a quick go and were quite impressed.
Smart TVs, or internet-connected TVs as they should really be called, were supposed to make watching your favourite programmes and movies better and simpler. Thanks to the wonder of internet streaming and apps, all of the TV catch-up services and online movie rental services would be available at the press of a remote button. No longer would we have to remember to set the timer on the PVR or wait for discs to arrive in the post or pay through the nose for Sky Movies. Everything would be available in one place. Except it hasn’t worked out that way.
I've been rather pleased with the enthusiasm shown by my eldest for doing more than simply playing Club Penguin or Moshi Monsters on the computer. We had a very productive time with the visual programming tool Scratch, culminating in the brilliant win of her coming up with a way of using it that I hadn't thought of.
This weekend, she turned to me as we were playing Skylanders and said that she wanted to have a go at programming. Sounds good, I said, what do you have in mind. Oh just something like Skylanders she replied. The wonderful thing is, that this might not be so far out of reach as I first thought.
A number of pieces published in the magazine about vintage computers sparked memories for three readers.
Peter Hickman read the letter from Terry Harvey about the ICT 1301 computer he helped build and realised he too had worked on the project in two stints. "I started in 1958, in the development lab at GEC's telephone works where I was a graduate apprentice, then later on Spon Street in Coventry where the computer was manufactured and tested.
"I still have some of its printouts along with the technical specification manual. The 1301 computer required a room that was at least 24ft by 24ft and a basic installation weighed nearly one-and-three-quarter tons," said Peter.
Henry Best recalls a school visit to the electronics engineering company, Ferranti. "When I was a schoolboy, my class was taken to visit Ferranti in Holborn, London, to see a computer. It was in a very large room that was reinforced with steel around the walls.
"The first thing that impressed me was the huge amount of punched paper lying around in rolls and reels. There was a teletype keyboard and a large green monitor. The monitor wasn't in front of the keyboard but high up on the operator's left.
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