Computer Science Teacher

# April, 2008

• #### Popfly Coin Flip Mashup Tutorial

This is a tutorial I put together to provide a hands on experience for some teachers I am doing a workshop for today. I did a copy from a Word document and paste into Windows Live Writer to see how it works as a blog post. Sorry about all the images if you are on a slow connection. I don't usually include much in the way of images.

Select Mashup from the Create Stuff menu

Drag a Timer, Calculator, LessGreaterCompareClass, and SimpleImages blocks

Timer under Tools

Calculator under Tools

LessGreaterCompareClasss under Everything else

SimpleImages under Display

(Hint – use the search feature as a shortcut)

You should have something like this:

Connect the blocks with arrows by clicking first on a blue dot on the right of the input/sending block and then on the changing color dot on the left of the receiving block.

Note: The ! signs indicate that commands must be specified for those blocks.

Set the Timer

Click on the wrench symbol to expand the block

1. Enter 0.5 for the Frequency

2. Enter 50 for the number of ticks

Set the Calculator to return a RandomWholeNumber with a maximum value of 2

Set the LessThenCompareClass block to Return coin images

1. Set the source for Item 1 to Calculator and the Value to [output integer] which is the default

2. Set the value for item2 to 1 so that the random number will be compared to see if it is equal to, less than, or greater than 1

3. Select a coin to flip from the list below and place one URL for equal and less results and the second image URL for resultIfGreater (Note: Images are from the US Mint for educational uses)

http://www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/coinCurricula/images/01centCoin_obv.jpg (penny front)

http://www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/coinCurricula/images/01centCoin_rev.jpg (penny back)

http://www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/coinCurricula/images/05centCoinNew_obv.jpg (nickel front)

http://www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/coinCurricula/images/05centCoinNew_rev.jpg (nickel back)

http://www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/coinCurricula/images/10centCoin_obv.jpg (dime front)

http://www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/coinCurricula/images/10centCoin_rev.jpg (dime back)

http://www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/coinCurricula/images/25centCoin50sq_obv.jpg (quarter front)

http://www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/coinCurricula/images/25centCoin50sqDE_rev.jpg (quarter back)

Set SimpleImages to get an imageURL from LessGreatorCompareClass

Select Preview to run your mashup

Done with pennies it should look something like this:

Or

Select Show Console to get a close look at what is going on behind the scenes

Use the Save As option at the top of the screen to save your mashup

1. Use the User Input block to let the user select the number of times to flip coins

2. Use the SimpleLight block to get randomly placed coins

Note: The original version of this mashup was by Mark Frydenberg of Bentley College http://cis.bentley.edu/mfrydenberg

Perry Lowe, a marketing professor at Bentley College and Philip DesAutels, were at the recent US Imagine Cup finals giving some presentations to the competitors. They were talking to the teams about making presentations about new ideas to venture capital companies specifically but with points that are really about all kinds of presentations to convince. Clint Rutkas interviewed them and the interview is now up at Channel 8.

I think that a lot of people, especially the young and creative, like the idea of starting their own company, getting some funding, and creating the next big thing. This interview gives one a taste of what to do and why some work and many fail. Also at this link are links to the PowerPoint decks that Perry and Philip used for their presentations.

I should mention that Philip has an amazing background with both large companies (Microsoft & IBM) and a bunch of Internet startups, the W3C and even setting up Internet operations in Uzbekistan with the Peace Corps. He knows startups and he knows presentations. Though just between you and me, I think his slides, while they have a ton of great information, have too many words on them :-)

Check out the interview and look for the link to their presentation decks.