A Calculator For Your micro:bit

You may remember that, a little over a year ago, I wrote a clock for the micro:bit (read it again here if you need a reminder).  I pondered adding alarm functionality to it but, in the event, I didn’t get around to it. In keeping with that tradition, I now offer you a calculator for the micro:bit – this one has unimplemented improvements too!

I run a computer club for the kids at the local school where we teach them how to code – free from the constraints of the National Curriculum. It’s no secret that I don’t like Scratch, and I think that one of the reasons that the British Isles produced so many great coders is because they learned Basic on the ZX Spectrum and BBC computers from an early age. Continue reading

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Object Oriented C – Encapsulation

If you haven’t read my earlier articles on Object Oriented Programming in C (Objects and Polymorphism) I suggest that you go back and read these first.  It isn’t necessary to understand these concepts in order to understand Encapsulation – but it might help give you some background into what I am attempting to achieve here.

To recap, Encapsulation is a means of preventing access to internal object data, ensuring that the data can only be accessed and modified via methods. That’s not to say the internal object data can never be manipulated directly – but one has the option to decide how best the data should be accessed. In explicitly OOP languages this is often achieved through the use of the ‘private’, ‘public’ and ‘protected’ keywords. Continue reading

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Retro Computer – Modern Internet

Like many geeks I love old technology. I also like to push my technology to new heights and, if possible, make it usable in the modern world. Nearly all of my old computers are networked and, theoretically at least, able to browse the Internet. In practice though Gopher is the most usable standard nowadays since SSL tends to render most email servers and websites unusable. Even if it didn’t, Javascript has changed almost beyond recognition from its nascent days in mid nineties – and don’t even think of rendering HTML5! Continue reading

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Object Oriented C – Polymorphism

If you haven’t yet read ‘Object Oriented C – Objects‘ Stop! Go Back! Go and read that earlier post before continuing. In this post I build on the earlier concepts, so much of this won’t make sense without it.

In my last tutorial, I demonstrated that it is possible to write Object Oriented code in C. I wrote some classes, and instantiated objects on those classes. I even made a start on sorting out C’s hopeless string handling (before giving up because others have already solved the problem). This time I’m going to extend the tutorial to cover Polymorphism. Continue reading

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Bill’s Will

I went to an excellent boarding school called Adams’ Grammar School.  It was nothing like Hogwarts – in fact, to pinch an elegant turn of phrase from Guy Ellis, it was more like a Borstall run by Liberals.  In the nicest possible way – I mean it fondly, and I think that Guy does too.

When we provoked the Masters or Prefects then one punishment that might have been handed down was ‘Bill’s Will’.  A simple enough task, all we had to do was copy out the Will of William Adams, as laid out on the boards on the walls of Big School.  Sadly, this punishment has been lost to history – a pity because it was more stimulating and educational than merely doing lines. Continue reading

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Object Oriented C – Objects

Bear with me a while. I am going to stand of the shoulders of my favourite giants (Kernighan and Ritchie, since you ask) and address an oft-made point of criticism which is levelled against my code.

The criticism? Namely that my C++ code looks suspiciously like C. There’s a good reason for this – I like C, and I’m not so keen on C++. C++ is (in my view, and with apologies to its many fans) a bad way of making C object oriented – as evidenced by the need, on occasion, to drop into plain old C in order to avoid name mangling. Objective C is object oriented C done right – but that’s a topic for another day. In the mean time, I want to address my critics by making C look like C++ – and writing an OOP program in C. Continue reading

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Innecto now ported to macOS

It’s been a struggle. It’s been a trial.  But Innecto has now been ported to macOS.  If you’ve got a Mac (any kind, as long as it’s running macOS 10.10 or newer) then you can enjoy Innecto on your desktop or laptop computer as well as on your tablet or phone. Continue reading

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45RPM Software News

There’s lots of news for 45RPM Software this month.  New releases, and a Facebook business page set up for us by our Facebook communications director, Sue deNym (I know, I know!) Check out the Facebook page (link at the bottom of the page), and like and follow us for all the latest news on 45RPM Software’s newest and greatest releases.

Speaking of which… Continue reading

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What shall we do about the UK Population?

The population of our country is too high, and getting higher every day. Our environmental impact is too large, and getting greater by the day. The two are connected. The more people we have in this country, the greater the impact on our scarce resources. Continue reading

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A Clock For Your micro:bit

I was very dismissive of the BBC micro:bit when I first read about it.  A sub-RaspberryPi computer which cost more than the RaspberryPi Zero?  Really?  And if the measure of a computer’s power is what you can achieve with it, the BBC micro:bit doesn’t even stack up very well against its venerable forebear – the 1981 vintage BBC Model B.  After all, with the Model B you could word process, do spreadsheets, communicate, play Elite or Exile and more besides.  With the micro:bit, more memory and more powerful processor notwithstanding, you can’t do anything like as much.   A bit pointless, surely? Continue reading

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