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Comment: Re:Here comes a Karma hit.... (Score 1) 107

by Binestar (#48414351) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Professionally Packaged Tools For Teaching Kids To Program?
As a rule we have limited screen time a lot (30 minutes/day is generous) and that counts TV/DS/Wii/Computer. Adding in something that will get her familiar with computers (She has the same interest in computers I had at her age) isn't a bad thing. We're not stopping those extras, this is just something else to add to the list.

Comment: Re:Here comes a Karma hit.... (Score 1) 107

by Binestar (#48414191) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Professionally Packaged Tools For Teaching Kids To Program?

We do game night every week. She's taking piano and plays the Trombone. She's in girl scouts as well doing yoga and joining ski club.

She's not isolated in any way. We engage with her every moment she wants to be engaged. I'm not asking her to go to college with these skills, I'm trying to find fun ways of challenging her even more with her current interests.

Comment: Re:Kano.me (Score 1) 107

by Binestar (#48413953) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Professionally Packaged Tools For Teaching Kids To Program?

I do believe between this post and the others saying Kano is good has helped me choose one of her Christmas gifts this year. I'm glad so many here have had good experiences with it.

I actually had something similar happen, as posted in a different response, I have a couple of minecraft servers I run for the girls. One day I went through online minecraft schematics and tossed in a few castles, homes, a roller coaster and a pyramid maze and when they found them a few days later they were amazed. Even more so when I showed them how I got them there.

Comment: Re:Program what? (Score 1) 107

by Binestar (#48413867) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Professionally Packaged Tools For Teaching Kids To Program?

In this case, anything engaging, which in general for a kid mostly means games. I've done board game design with my kids, having them design a board game that we all play on game night. That was fun, although I found is quite unfair that if you're over 20 years old you start with no rerolls and if you're a girl you get 3 extra re-rolls. The girls of course felt that was perfectly fair...

As I posted earlier in thread, my goal is to take what they enjoy doing and attempting to broaden their focus a bit into useful life skills. Non programming example: My older daughter loves cookies. We started with teaching her how to assist making cookies, moved on to her making cookies for us, and from there she's moved on to making dinner, etc. She's 12, but able to pull open a cookbook and throw together a decent 30 minute meal.

That might be a little simple of an example, but my goal with them playing minecraft is similar. Get them to mod the game they enjoy, get to them to learn the stuff that goes on behind the scenes and it lets them determine if it's something they enjoy doing.

Comment: Re: Don't teach them to "program" (Score 1) 107

by Binestar (#48413763) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Professionally Packaged Tools For Teaching Kids To Program?
See, I wouldn't say my daughter is currently interested in programming, I would say she is currently interested in MINECRAFT and I'm adding something I would consider a life skill to that interest by showing her how to mod minecraft. If I'm successful on guiding my daughter into interests that add life skills, I believe I will have succeeded as a parent. By showing her how all this stuff she is interested in runs, I hope to broaden her horizons.

Comment: Re:If she likes it, stick with it (Score 1) 107

by Binestar (#48413717) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Professionally Packaged Tools For Teaching Kids To Program?
Right now I run two private minecraft servers for the kids. They invite their friends from school and have done some nice building. The effort and thought I see them putting into their house designs and stuff is what made me think she would enjoy modding a bit and letting others see what she makes. I'm sure if this course she's taking keeps her interest I'll be setting up something so she can run a server with the mods she's writing and I'll work with her on ideas for other mods.

Comment: Re:What does *she* want to do? (Score 1) 107

by Binestar (#48413679) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Professionally Packaged Tools For Teaching Kids To Program?

Very valid question on her desires. Up until I got this course on modding minecraft what she wanted to do was "Play Minecraft". I am strongly of the opinion that my children need not only time to play, but that it's a good idea in general to make that play something that they can build on in the future. If she gets her "Play Minecraft" and I get my "She's learning a life skill at the same time" it's a valid redirection of her energy IMO.

Now Java itself may or may not be a useful skill in the future, but the thought process behind the programming at this point I believe is most important.

As for the eclipse part, the online course she's using has presented it well. In the first part of the course she's learning some about syntax, but mostly doing some art in gimp, typing in names to make things be named differently and editing code that already exists.

Comment: Re:Lego Mindstorms (Score 2) 107

by Binestar (#48413581) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Professionally Packaged Tools For Teaching Kids To Program?
My older daughter has done a 2 day GEARS program at RIT. http://www.rit.edu/kgcoe/women... and I found that quite interesting and she enjoyed it. I'm planning on sending my 9 year old next year when she's eligible for that course. The Modding course I linked to above actually has my daughter interacting with her mod and launching minecraft to see her work quite often, so when she makes changes to her sword or other, she gets to see the results quite quickly. The feedback is quite fast for her, which is nice.

Comment: Re:Excel VBA (Score 1) 107

by Binestar (#48413495) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Professionally Packaged Tools For Teaching Kids To Program?
Tongue in cheek as firmly as I see it there, I'm not sure it would keep her attention very well. I have shown her the Flight Sim Easter Egg in Excel 97 as an example of an easter egg and also had her looking some up for her Wii games. The searching for things has really opened her mind for thinking outside the box a bit. (example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... )

+ - Ask Slashdot: Professionally packaged tools for teaching kids to Program?

Submitted by Binestar
Binestar (28861) writes "I've been doing IT consulting for years, but I'm not a programmer beyond bash scripting, perl scripts to make administration easier and batch files to make Windows easier. I recently found an online course for modding minecraft that my 9 year old daughter is really enjoying (she built a custom sword that shoots lightning). Does anyone have any recommendations on online courses that would be age appropriate and worth the investment? It's been easy to get her interested in the Minecraft modding course because as any parent with young children knows, Minecraft is kinda popular...

The course she's taking now is teaching her Eclipse and Gimp, and I'm sure there are other tools installed that they haven't had her open yet. What other venders have stuff worth introducing her to? I've started looking also at things like the Kano and Learn to Mod but as a non-programmer, I'm not really sure which are most useful for introduction and which are accomplishing what they claim vs being a waste of money/time.

Anyone have experience or suggestions to help sort this out?"

+ - Website Hosting or Real Estate?->

Submitted by blogonadime
blogonadime (3888585) writes "It’s easy to take the websites we visit everyday for granted. They don’t seem to have any tangible value except for information and to purchase products, they change as fast as they appear and there are so many of them that unless it’s a site like Wikipedia or Amazon, you don’t usually return to the same one too often.

Most web users tend to think of the act of using a computer, not visiting the actual websites, as being the experience. Like visiting a friend for supper, the experience is usually a transitory one, and since websites exist in a virtual space, their “space” value is often thought of as being insignificant.

But according to InternetLiveStats.com, as I write this article there are 3 billion Internet users visiting the 180 million active websites (of the more than 1 billion registered websites). In 2013 alone, the Web grew by more than one third, from about 630 million to over 850 million sites.

Most of this growth has come since the Dot-com bubble burst in 1999, what I like to think of as a sort of Big Bang of the Internet. So what this tells us is that the Internet has only seen true growth in the last 15 years.

To put this into perspective, let’s look at the evolution of some other major technologies in history. The Wright brothers invented the first manned airplane in 1903, and it took 73 years before the Concord could carry passengers at twice the speed of sound in 1976.

Ford’s first Model T car rolled off the plant floor in 1908, but it took until the 1950s for trucks to start becoming the main means of transportation for shipping goods, and UPS only began its major distribution expansion in the 1970s.

15 Years in the Life of a Major Technological Industry is Very Short

A quick look at a website selling for $130,000 on Flippa.com is enough to tell you that the going rate of $12.99 for a domain name is a pretty good deal. Buying a website today is like buying a very cheap piece of real estate. If you do a little keyword research of what is selling on the Internet today, and add a bit of foresight about what might sell in the short and long-term, that $12.99 could go a long way.

One important facture to take into account is the legacy of a websites. The more a site operates and is maintained, the more weight it has in the eyes of search engines like Google. An example of this is how website directories become valuable assets. When your site is listed on a legacy website that has been operational for many years (remember the origins of the Internet only date back to 1991) this gives your site more importance in relation to other websites.
So buying a key domain name is not enough. You have to operate it in the sector it is aimed at and upkeep it regularly for it to be worth more later. The best way to do this is to make it a hobby and add articles and photos regularly to build its importance. Who knows what that little bit of virtual real estate you buy today will be worth 10 or 15 years down the road?

So what are you waiting for? I buy all my domain names from a hosting service that is reliable and secure, and most importantly accredited by ICAAN, which governs domain names on the Internet.

Comments are the lifeblood of blogging. What do you think about this article?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Write Less Android Software->

Submitted by Zigurd
Zigurd (3528) writes "You have a substantial budget. You have an army, perhaps a foreign mercenary army, of developers. You've got experience delivering big Web projects this way. But your Android project might as well be Afghanistan. Unexpected limitations, difficult bugs, poor performance, and bloat plague you for weeks and months. Facebook's approach to unbundling functionality makes Facebook's products more visible on mobile devices. Keeping your apps simple, relatively small, and having multiple cooperating apps isn't just smart engineering, it's better for the user and better for you commercially."
Link to Original Source

"Those who will be able to conquer software will be able to conquer the world." -- Tadahiro Sekimoto, president, NEC Corp.

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