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  • Blog Post: Visual Studio 2010 Now Available

    Well it is official – the final release of Visual Studio 2010 is not available. If your school has an MSDN AA account you can download it from ELMS now. If you don’t have MSDN AA, why not? Also for students who are part of the DreamSpark program you can download Visual Studio 2010 from there as well...
  • Blog Post: What Does It Take to Make Change in CS Education?

    This started out as a comment on Mark Guzdial’s blog post What changes CS Education? which you of course must read. No really. I’ll even wait. Back? OK a key summary jumped out at me: My first pass analysis suggests that, to make change in CS, invent a language or tool at a well-known institution. ...
  • Blog Post: Making a List, Checking it Twice

    A while back the College Board dropped one of the Advanced Placement Computer Science exams – the so-called AB exam. (About 14 months ago and I wrote about dropping the APCS AB exam here ) Ever since then there has been a lot of discussion about the AP computer science curriculum in specific and the...
  • Blog Post: Interesting links Twittered May 25 2009

    Well a little late in the day but here is my latest collection of links Twittered that I hope you will find interesting and/or useful . As always I welcome followers on Twitter @ alfredtwo . From my friend jean-Luc David (@ jldavid ) This article on Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer being optimistic about...
  • Blog Post: No You Can’t Use That Feature

    I am actually old enough to remember when Edsger Dijkstra 's letter Go To Statement Considered Harmful was a key influencer in the move to structured programming. My professors all taught that the Go To statement was bad and it was effectively banned from use in our course work. That was a lesson I carried...
  • Blog Post: Interesting Links Twittered and Otherwise May 11th 2009

    I’ve decided I really like to do weekly wrap ups of interesting links. Initially it started as a way of sharing with people who don’t follow me on Twitter as well as to give some additional “link love” to some sites I really appreciate. Now it also helps me stay organized and since there is no 140 character...
  • Blog Post: Programming Languages Side By Side

    I’ve been thinking about a parallel programming language textbook for a while now. Not for parallel programming but I’m not sure how to phrase it. What? OK let me explain. One of the popular Bible study tools is a parallel Bible where several translations are printed side by side with each other. That...
  • Blog Post: When Is A Short Circuit a Good Thing?

    I get inspiration for blog posts from a number of places. Sometimes from Twitter (see yesterday’s post) and sometimes for other blogs. Actually other blogs are a constant and regular source of inspirations. Today’s post was inspired by a Programming Pop Quiz posted by Rob Miles. The sample code he uses...
  • Blog Post: The Future Of Programming Languages

    I have to confess that I am a programming language geek. I’m always looking at new languages and trying to understand how they solve different problems. And so this Panel: The Future of Programming Languages was very interesting to me. I think that it may be a useful video for computer science students...
  • Blog Post: What Does This Code Do?

    “What does this code do?” is often a bit of a gotcha sort of question. OK sometimes it is a simple thing to make sure a student understands the syntax but many times it is really asking if the student understands some underlying concepts of either the programming language or how computers work. Rob Miles...
  • Blog Post: A Whole Pile of Programming Competition Questions

    I was looking through the web site for the HP Code Wars competition the other day and came across the page where they list the questions they have used in this annual high school programming competition since 1999. (The previous years questions – including 2008 – are here .) It looks like they have...
  • Blog Post: Class Programming Project Ideas

    It is often interesting what one finds by reviewing referral links (the information that shows how people get to a blog or web site). One of the sites I found last week was Vince Huston’s “ Teaching Programming ” page. Besides having a number of useful links (including one to my blog – thanks!) is a...
  • Blog Post: A Stopwatch Object in .NET

    Did you know that there was a Stopwatch object in .NET? Me either. Apparently it was added in the .NET Framework in version 2.0 and no one told me. Imagine that. Seriously though I have often had to add some code in various projects to understand how long an algorithm was taking to execute. Generally...
  • Blog Post: Top December Posts

    Well I must confess that I am struggling to get back into the whole "doing work" thing after taking the last 10 or so days off. It's a good thing I had posted some posts to appear during the break or some of your would wonder if I'd fallen off the face of the earth. Well I hope you'd notice. :-) I...
  • Blog Post: Insert Cute Little Cartoon Mascot Here

    A long long time ago in a place far far away I was an operating system developer. OK it wasn't a place far far away in that it was here in New Hampshire where I still live but for many of you that is a far far away place in some ways. This was almost 25 years ago and that is a long long time ago in computer...
  • Blog Post: My Ideal First Programming Language

    Long before I ran into graphical/drag and drop programming languages for kids like Scratch and Alice I was thinking about some thing similar. What I wanted was a tool that allowed a beginner to write their own programs without syntax and syntax errors getting in the way. I wanted something that would...
  • Blog Post: Irrelevant Programming Languages

    Mark Hendrickson from O'Reilly has an interesting review of the market for computer books in a four part series. The fourth part examines the programming language book market. I have no doubt that it is a valuable discussion for people who are thinking about what sort of programming language book to...
  • Blog Post: Programming Proverbs 4: Beware other approaches

    This is the fourth of a series of posts based on the book Programming Proverbs by Henry Ledgard . The index for the series is an earlier post and discussion of the list as a whole is taking place in the comments there . Comments on this "proverb" are of course very welcome here. I'm not so sure I...
  • Blog Post: Visual Studio or VS Express Editions for the School Computer Lab?

    Teaching computer programming requires good software development software. The Visual Studio family of products is the most modern state of the art tools available today. They are used by top professionals and yet are approachable to students and hobbyists as well. In this day of tight school budgets...
  • Blog Post: Visual Studio Keyboard Shortcut Posters

    Are you a keyboard shortcut sort of person? Do you like to keep your hands on the keyboard and bypass the menus? I admit that I am one of those people. So when I saw that Microsoft has made available some reference posters for Visual Studio keyboard shortcuts I knew this was something I needed to share...
  • Blog Post: Picking Programming Languages for High School - Never Ending Story

    I see that Susan Canaga is bringing her school's discussion on programming languages looking for industry opinions. This is a topic I have addressed a number of times before (most recently here ) but one which never seems to be settled. In any case if you an opinionated individual and want to put in...
  • Blog Post: Create Robot from iRobot

    Looks like the people at iRobot have noticed the demand for computers by hobbyists and education. There were was supported to program the standard Roomba vacuum robot but that was actually pretty limited. Today at the Consumer Electronics Show they announced a new robot just for people who want to build...
  • Blog Post: Attention Canadian Secondary School Programming Students

    There is an online community site for Canadian students and programming enthusiasts at Compsci.ca . They have discussion forums (discussing languages including C, C++, Java, PHP, Ruby, Turing, and Visual Basic), a wiki and a blog . That site is also involved with the DWITE Online Computer Programming...
  • Blog Post: The Problem with Programming

    In a recent interview , Bjarne Stroustrup , probably best known for inventing C++ and currently a professor of Computer Science at Texas A&M University, talks about some of the big issues of program development, C++ and his legacy and other related matters. The interview is full and important and...
  • Blog Post: Recursion - See Recursion

    It's nice to see Dave Jacobus blogging about his programming courses again. Looks like all of his classes (IB CS, AP CS and Visual Basic) are all learning about recursion lately. Recursion is a really cool concept. I have to admit though that it took me a while to get the hang of. That may be because...
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