Teaching your kids to program

March 8, 2010

About a couple of days ago I came across Microsoft’s SmallBasic (on Scott Hanselman’s blog). It looked like a great way to introduce my 10-year-old to the world of programming. She’s been bugging me for a while to teach her how to code and I’ve always struggled how I would do that using the languages I normally use (i.e. C#, Ruby, JS, etc.) Those languages aren’t really good for a 10-year-old.

SmallBasic’s simplicity and the speed with which a kid can get something up and running is impressive. I sat down with her today to play with it for the first time and the results were nothing short of awesome 🙂 She had never written a line of code in her life and in less than 2 hours she (with my help, but she did all the typing) built a command line calculator. We then spent another hour in which she designed (purely in code) a calculator UI.

She’s really excited to keep going and is already thinking of a slew of features she wants to add to her calculator. Once we’re done with that, I think we’ll move on to building a simple game 🙂

I was so proud of how quickly she picked this stuff up!

If programming is your passion and you have a kid between 10 and 16 years of age that want to learn to program… I would definitely recommend that you take SmallBasic for a test drive. You can also “graduate” your program to Visual Studio (only support VB upgrade) so that you can help them take their coding to the next level 🙂

Happy coding!


Startup Drinks Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa – Sep 30th, 2009

September 25, 2009

Our friends in Toronto and Montreal are also holding Startup Drinks (the last Wed of every month). The info is up for this month, and here’s where you find it:


Update: Startup Drinks is on in Ottawa as well:


And don’t forget about Starup Drinks Waterloo taking place on Oct 6th. Info can be found below:

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=138061698885

For those without a Facebook account: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/442739245


July 11, 2008

A very big hazzah and congratulations to the AideRSS team. They have launched PostRank.com today. What is PostRank.com you might ask. Well, in their own words:

“PostRank is a scoring system developed by AideRSS to rank online content, such as RSS feed items, blog posts, articles, or news stories. This scoring system is based on social engagement, which refers to how interesting or relevant people have found an item or category to be.”

For all the details, go check out PostRank’s site. Oh, and make sure to play the video… you just might recognize the voice 🙂

Oh, and if you’re not using the AideRSS Firefox plug in for Google Reader… give it a try, you’ll love it!

Check out the original blog post.

The little robot that twitters!!!

June 22, 2008

Thanks to ScotchNeat.ca I am now following a little robot on Mars (better known as Phoenix). And I just found out that we found WATER ICE on Mars. How cool is that?!?!?!

You can follow Phoenix on twitter too: http://twitter.com/MarsPhoenix

A social camera

June 17, 2008

I was catching up on my RSS feed and came across this post by Fred Wilson (love his blog). It got me thinking. Why don’t, say… Canon and Flickr get together and put out a camera that will allow me to post my picture to my flickr account with the push or a button? I’d buy that.

Oh and what if through the use of a fancy touch screen display, the camera would allow me to tag my pictures as soon as I take them? I’d buy that too.

Because we just don’t have enough stuff that Interweb enabled

The Hybrid Tech Worker

May 16, 2008

Melle, just had her latest article published. You can find it here.

And yours truly, got quoted in the article 🙂

Now… where did I put that conversation?

April 30, 2008

Ever have the feeling like you’ve had a conversation online with someone recently but can’t quite remember where or when or better yet, on what platform? I find myself chatting with people through email, gTalk, MSN, Facebook, Facebook Chat, LinkedIn messaging, twitter, and maybe a couple more that I’m forgetting about.

I miss the days of just using email and having a record of what was said. I really wish I could just have one client that will allow me to chat using whatever medium but just one interface. I think I saw something like that somewhere, sometime… Now… if I can only find it again.

Any ideas?