Easy APIs Without Authentication


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 […] Read More

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


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 […] Read More

WordPress Archive Calendar Widget


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 […] Read More

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


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. […] Read More

Overlapping Animated GIFs


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 […] Read More

Pair Programing At The Code Club


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 […] Read More

Wanted! Simple APIs Without Authentication


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 […] Read More

Code Club Lessons - The Checklist


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 […] Read More

Python Pals and the Letter Logjam


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 […] Read More