Easy APIs Without Authentication

by @edent | # # # # | 18 comments | Read ~63,029 times.

This is a curated list of APIs which do not require usernames, passwords, access tokens, signing, accept-headers, or anything more complicated than sticking a URL in a browser. (This is an update to my post from two years ago.) When I introduce people to the concept of using RESTful APIs, they immediately get how powerful…

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3D Printed, Arduino Powered, Educational, Open Source, Micro-Robots!

by @edent | # # # # # # | Read ~1,422 times.

Last week I was invited to attend a product launch by BQ. They're a small company based out of Spain who create some curiously innovative products - including smartphones which natively run Cyanogen. I'm particularly looking forward to reviewing their Ubuntu Tablet later in the year. The thing which really caught my eye was Zowi…

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WordPress Archive Calendar Widget

by @edent | # # # | 2 comments | Read ~774 times.

One of the most addicting aspects of Open Source software is the ability to scratch one's own itches. I've been blogging since 2004 - and while I'd never mistake longevity for expertise - I do take a certain pride in letting my readers know that I've spent over a decade bashing out words. So, I…

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Idiot's Guide To Getting Started with Raspberry Pi's GPIO Pins

by @edent | # # # # | 13 comments | Read ~37,775 times.

The idiot in question being... me! It's been ages since I did any real electronics. Most of my work involves software and pre-assembled bits of kit. I thought that it was time I reacquainted myself with the joys of electricity 🙂 Because I'm fundamentally lazy, I purchased the all-in-one Raspberry Pi 2 kit from Vilros.…

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Overlapping Animated GIFs

by @edent | # # | Read ~4,009 times.

Just a couple of silly experiments on a Sunday afternoon. I think it's beautiful to overly animated GIFs on top of one another. If the topmost GIF has a transparent background it becomes hypnotic to see the synchronisity which appears to develop - akin to listening to Dark Side of the Moon while the Wizard…

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Pair Programing At The Code Club

by @edent | # # #

Running a Code Club sometimes means thinking quickly on your feet. I recently started a new Code Club at work. We thought we had everything set up perfectly when disaster struck. We went in to our assigned room half an hour before the club started and began to set up. Of the eleven computers we…

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Wanted! Simple APIs Without Authentication

by @edent | # # # | 15 comments | Read ~22,799 times.

As some of you may know, I'm writing a series of short stories to help young people learn how to code. One of the things I wanted to do was introduce the concept of using RESTful APIs. It's so powerful to show people that they can retrieve information from the Internet and then manipulate it…

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Code Club Lessons - The Checklist

by @edent | # # # # # # # # | 1 comment | Read ~524 times.

Somehow, simultaneously, all 10 children in my CodeClub shoot their hands up. "Terence! Terence! Why doesn't this work? "Help! My bird isn't flapping!" "What do I press to set this variable?" I am run off my feet. I dash from workstation to workstation, troubleshooting the problems. In every case, my response is the same. "Did…

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Python Pals and the Letter Logjam

by @edent | # # # # | 5 comments | Read ~856 times.

This is the second of my "Python Pals" short stories. They're designed to be solve-it-yourself puzzle stories to help kids learn the basics of programming. All feedback welcome! The Python Pals Write A Wrong Poppy's mother, Ada, was not happy. "I don't care about that," she shouted down the phone, "Why am I always the…

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Time To Resurrect The Byte Brothers?

by @edent | # # # # # # | 4 comments | Read ~238 times.

I'm currently getting involved in the Coding For Kids scene. I'm setting up a workshop in my local library to teach kids programming - specifically, the MIT language Scratch. I've been left slightly dissatisfied with the unstructured nature of the Scratch teaching materials. While it's quite fun to teach a cat to dance - it…

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