The BBC Micro bit an ARM-based embedded system designed by the BBC for use in computer education in the UK. The device has been given away free […] [to every 11 years old pupil] in the UK, and is also available for purchase by anyone.
The micro:bit is plug and play: when you connect it on a PC USB, a magic drive will appear. Simply copy your “hex” code on it and…no other steps are needed!
Comparing with an Arduino uno:
No C language knowledge required.
Install nothing and get ready in seconds.
Very easy upload procedure (is a simple drive copy!)
A lot more RAM then arduino (16Ks vs 2kBs)
3-more pin on the bottom and +3V and GND to attach extra leds/sensor and so on
Low power: only 3Volt needed for operation (Arduino needs at least double as far as I know, anyway can work in a wider range and can output 3.xV and 5V).
Quite aggressive price.
Very difficult to download an off-line editor. The online editors use a custom format to save your code. In general the platform seems a bit too close for “ordinary” people. Arduino is much more open. Anyway the micropython is open source and only need a free account on ARM web site (mbed.org). Also my attempt to build the python editor was unsuccessful. The python editor lacks compilation checks anyway.
I was able to build Micropython with a bit of work on MacOSX
Very very tiny. For a 6/7 years old child is only “small”, for an adult is “tiny”.
To access the smaller pins like I2C you need additional stuff and/or precise soldering
Anyway I was very impressed. Every Europe school should get one.
Biblio Wolf (Bwolf for firends) is a webapp app for managing a book collection. BWolf is written in python using the Django web framework, and it is born from a Customer request. BWolf is open source, and you can get a full description here including links to downloads. I will mantain a blog of all the work I will do. In the last two months I set up a Subversion Repository and played a little with Django.
After some testing I opted for the SQLite3 DB in this first phase. SQLite is a database featuring quite full support of SQL92. SQLite lacks of some capabilities for manipulating tables (alter table can be used only to add columns) but has transaction, and is embedded. SQLite consume very little resource.
Because the database is self-contained in a binary-indipendent file is quite fast to syncronize my developement environment with the test (and in the future, the production).