Google Coder: Programming with Raspberry Pi #GoogleCoder #RaspberryPi

Coder is a free, open source project that turns a Raspberry Pi into a simple platform that educators and parents can use to teach the basics of building for the web. New coders can craft small projects in HTML, CSS, and Javascript, right from the web browser.

Arduino: Using the Chrome serial API with Arduino

Renaun, evangelist at Adobe, explains how to interface your Arduino with Chrome using the serial API. You can find links to the Chrome Extension and Arduino Sketch Example Files, Chrome Serial API Page and the Brackets Open Source Web Editor at Renaun’s website.

Arduino IDE 1.0.5 is released!

We’re happy to announce the release of a new version of the Arduino software, version 1.0.5. Barring any unexpected bugfixes, this is the final planned release of the 1.0 series of the IDE. Future releases will be from the 1.5 branch that has been in beta since last summer.

With that excitement out of the way, let’s get to the new features :

  •  New library import functionality to install libraries directly from a .zip file in the IDE. You can see more information about this on the installing 3rd party libraries page.
  • A Windows installer, which will hopefully streamline the process of setting up the IDE and drivers.
  • Windows signed drivers. This means Windows 8 will no longer prevent you from installing Arduino drivers.
  • The application is signed for OSX 10.8 (this was part of 1.0.4, but we thought it was so nice it deserved another mention).
  • Updated WiFi library with UDP support.
  • Support for the Arduino Robot and TFT screen. The TFT library is based on a number of Adafruit libraries, and the Robot library relies on many 3rd party libraries.
  • Various bugfixes and optimizations, look at the release notes for a complete description.

Special thanks to everyone who contributed on this release. You rock.

Future releases of the IDE will support multiple architectures (like the ARM used in the Due). There is also a new library and 3rd party board implementation being introduced. You can read more about these on the 1.5 library specification and 3rd party hardware support pages


uCtools: Open Source Firmware Development

oshwEric Evenchick at is developing templates to make firmware development easier for the open source community. It’s definately something worth looking into. You can find the original story at Hackaday here. The project files are on Github here.

Most microcontroller manufacturers give you some kind of free development toolchain or IDE with their silicon products. Often it’s crippled, closed source, and a large download. This is pretty inconvenient when you want to have firmware that’s easy to build and distribute. I’ve found many of these toolchains to be annoying to use, and requiring closed source software to build open source firmware seems less than desirable.
It’s possible to build code for most microcontrollers using command line tools. You’ll need a compiler, the device manufacturer’s libraries and header files, and some method of flashing the device. A lot of these tools are open source, which lets you have an open source toolchain that builds your project.
Setting up these tools can be a bit tricky, so I’m building a set of templates to make it easier. Each template has instructions on setting up the toolchain, a Makefile to build the firmware, and sample code to get up and running quickly. It’s all public domain, so you can use it for whatever you’d like.
Currently there’s support for AVR, MSP430, Stellaris ARM, and STM32L1. More devices are in the works, and suggestions are welcome. Hopefully this helps people get started building firmware that’s easy to build and distribute with projects.

Learn to program at Codecademy


Codecademy offers free interactive programming courses with an emphasis on web based programming. As you carry on through the courses, you will be programming in their browser based IDE and earning points and badges as rewards for completing lessons and exercises.

I went ahead and completed a lesson in Java Script and my first impression is that the interactive style was very well done. Given I do have some experience programming, but not a lot, I thought the pace of the first lesson was perfect. As you move through the course you use the same methods from start to finish adding more as you advanced. If you did something wrong you get immediate guidance on the issue and hints are available to help you along.  This website has promise and it’s my understanding that they are continuing to add more programming languages down the road. If you’re looking for an engaging way to learn how to program I definitely recommend taking a look at this site.

As of this posting these are the courses they have listed.

  • Web Fundamentals 
  • PHP
  • jQuery
  • JavaScript
  • Projects
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • APIs