I found myself repeating the same set of actions multiple times. One of the things computers are supposed to be good at is repetitive tasks so I decided to find a way to automate this process. I tried several programs but the majority of them had issues that I didn’t want to deal with either being overly complicated or trialware or buggy.
Then I stumbled across a program called TinyTask. It did everything I wanted and nothing that I didn’t. It was also simple to use.
I decided to host a version of the software here for a couple of reasons: I don’t trust download sites and I might want this program at school but most download sites are blocked there while my website is not.
I’ve wanted to look at Scratch for a while but haven’t really had a need. And without a need it’s hard to justify the time. However, Jennifer and I decided Brady’s present from Santa this year is going to be the new Lego Boost set. I think he’s ready for it, but the coding aspect of it makes me a little hesitant.
Today I thought I would see if Brady was interested in coding. I know he’s naturally curious but I’m scared of overwhelming him. So I decided to go at this in very small steps.
The first thing I asked him to do was to draw me a picture using crayons. He decided upon a couple of flowers. Once he was done with the picture I asked if he thought he could recreate it on the computer.
At first we tried the built in editor in Scratch but he didn’t have the dexterity for that so I installed Tuxpaint. This worked perfectly. I saved the background image and then asked him if there were any animals which liked flowers. He said that bee’s love flowers. I asked if he was interested in trying to draw a bee. He was. And did. I saved this bee as a separate image.
I had to spend a couple of minutes getting the image sizes right and adding a transparency to the bee but once that was done I asked him if he could help me write our first program. He decided that he wanted to be able to make the bee fly around the screen. A couple of minutes later we had come up with the following:
The end result:
His face lit up when he figured out how to control his bee. (This requires Flash.)