This week is going to be another busy week. The first reason is that the week back to work is usually pretty busy and I still have a few loose ends to tie up for the semester – mostly a few final pieces of work to mark and preparing things for the exam boards and external examiners. Then I’ll be making sure everything is ready for next week when we will be hosting schools with a Raspberry Pi event. I’ll be doing my learning python with minecraft stuff and Rob will be following up with some cool IO demonstrations. At least that’s how the plan looks now – things might change. I’ll also be spending at least one day on a fun and extremely exciting adventure – but more about that next week!

Minecraft Life Simulation by Jason Milldrum

Minecraft Life Simulation by Jason Milldrum

Towards the end of the week I’m hoping to get some time to look at optimizing the code from Jason Milldrum’s Game of Life Simulation. I was looking this code over myself as I’m hoping to use the same concept for TeenTech next month (so many thanks and much kudos to Jason!), and I have identified a number of places for optimization. I’m by no means an expert in Python – but I know enough to get by, and enough other languages to be able to say “in such and such you can do this – can I do this in Python?”, and I know how to use Google reasonably effectively 🙂 Then I thought to myself that this might be a good exercise for students. Reading and understanding other people’s code is a good skill to have, and one we maybe don’t practice as much as we would like. Students have a habit of settling for something that works, but concentrating on something that works fast can completely change your algorithm. Anyway, I thought I might extend this challenge to our students (or anyone) with a Raspberry-pi. I hope Jason doesn’t mind, and I’ll be sure to send him a message when I’m done, which will hopefully be at the end of the week.

My last, but by no means least point of business in this post is to remind any of the last three thing game participants to thing about entering them into the side competition that was organised by Windows 8 Game Ambassadors John and Josh. After a week away I’m not sure whether our team’s offering will make it, but rumour has it that David Parker has been working away on our “Electric Maze . . . in Space!” game so there is still hope yet!

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