Computer Science Teacher
Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

December, 2007

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Popfly Goes to School


    Popfly is a very easy to use and yet powerful mashup tool for non-professional developers. It's really a lot of fun to use and lets amateurs create some really interesting combinations of data and displays.

    Professor Mark Frydenberg of Bentley College teaches technology to business students. One of the things he does very effectively is to use technology to teach technology. This year he has added Popfly projects to the mix. Recently Bob Familiar who is an architect evangelist for Microsoft interviewed Professor Frydenberg about how this all fits into the curriculum.

    Bob introduces the interview here but the interview itself is here on Channel 9.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Robotics and .NET Fundamentals Series


    Sometimes it really pays to have smart friends and let them figure things out for you even if you don't really plan it that way. Early this week a received a brand new robot in the mail. I've been waiting for it for a while. The problem of course is that it came at a bad time. My schedule this week was full. I had some travel and a bunch of meetings that took me out of the office just about every day and filled the time in the office with other things. So the robot stayed in the box. A very sad thing.

    Fortunately for me one of my friends and co-workers also received an identical robot this week. Now I don't know if he had more time or if his wife had a shorter list of things to do after work then mine did or if he just goes without sleeping. But long story short Dan had time to setup and experiment with his robot.

    But it gets better and this is what is going to make my life easier. Dan Waters has created a series of videos of his initial setup and experience that I think are very well done. I've been watching them to prepare before  I setup and experiment with my own robot. The index for the series (they're all in nice short manageable chunks of time) may be found here. Hopefully I'll have some things to report about my own stuff shortly.

    BTW If you haven't already you may want to check out and install Microsoft Robotics Studio and Visual C# Express (both free downloads) for use with Dan's projects.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Tandy Trower on Microsoft and Robotics


    Tandy Trower is the General Manager of the Microsoft Robotics Group. A 26-year veteran of the company Tandy was hand picked by Bill Gates to get Microsoft serious about robotics. His is the team that created the Microsoft Robotics Studio.

    Recently Tandy was interviewed by the Laboratory of Intelligent System in Switzerland.

    In this interview, Tandy Trower tells us why Microsoft is interested in robotics, if we'll ever see anything close to open source and if we are really going towards a robot in every home.

    There is a lot of interesting things in this interview including a brief explanation of the recent past and near future of robotics. The podcast home page is here. The MP3 download of the interview is here.

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