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March 2016 Raspi 3B announced.

March 2018 Raspi 3B+ announced.

June 24th, 2019 Raspi 4B announced.

At Code2Create.Club, we have been eagerly working / playing / learning in activities of coding or physical computing around Raspberry Pi + Scratch + Python since Raspberry Pi 3B, for about three years. Five years ago we started with PCs for Scratch because Raspberry Pi 1 / 2 were lack of power to satisfy the free ideas or imagination of our kids at that time .

We've got about 200 units of Raspi 3B. 3B+ was not so powerful comparing to 3B and it has hardware compatibilities with 3B, so we ignored it for a whole year. Then we started to test the 3B+ because Raspi 4 seemed to available in 2020 at the soonest. Surprised!! Raspi 4B has announced on June 24th, 2019.

Raspberry Pi 4 Model B

  • 4-core processor unchanged
  • clock speed at 1.5GHz (3B+ : 1.4GHz, 3B : 1.2GHz)
  • Ethernet (wired LAN) at 1Gbps (3B+ : 300Mbps, 3B : 100Mbps)
  • RAM storage in three styles of 1GByte / 2GByte / 4GByte (was 1GByte)
  • LPDDR4 RAM (LPDDR2 in 3B/3B+)
  • USB 3.0 x 2, USB 2.0 x 2 (was USB 2.0 x 4)
  • Power plug: USB Type-C (was micro USB)
  • micro HDMI x 2, 4K / 60Hz (was HDMI x 1, full-HD: 1920 x 1080 / 60Hz)
  • Raspbian OS:Buster(3B debuted with Jessie, updated to Stretch one year later)
    The source of Raspbian, Debian will release the Buster in coming July 6th, 2019. Yes, Raspbian Buster is a kind of jumping the gun for two weeks!

I'm really happy with USB 3.0 and 4GByte storage. Clock speed? It depends on how you can make it cool anyway.

It's all about how we can use Scratch 1.4 / 2.0 / 3.0 and Chromium browser without problem or stress.

In Japan, we will have to wait for few months to get ones because of its certificates and conformity in Radio Act. I will check it and update as soon as I get one.

Raspberry Pi has scrot command installed from first and you can take snapshots by hitting the PrintScreen key.

But you will get a black window if you try to take a snapshot of Minecraft screen, very sadly.

raspi2png is very good to make it. But unfortunately, you cannot install it by apt-get. Let's install it and assign the PrintScreen key to launch it. Look at here.

You can pass the Step 1 if you already have raspi2png, please check it. Type raspi2 in the black window of LXTerminal, then press the tab key. It should be auto-completed to raspi2png if you have the command installed.

Step 1.  Install the raspi2png

Copy the 6 lines below and paste them into LXTerminal, then press enter key twice to finish.  Downloading, expanding, compiling, and relocation would be automatically done.

Step 2. Assign PrintScreen key to launch the command

Same as Step1, copy the 6 lines below and paste them into LXTerminal, then press enter key twice to finish. It creates a script file to launch the raspi2png and assign PrintScreen key to launch the script file instead of scrot command. Snapshots will be stored in the Pictures folder with names like snapshot-20180114-193128.png. It's snapshot-YearMonthDate-HourMinuteSecond.png.

You can view the snapshots by /Menu/Accessories/Image Viewer.

I did some coding in Scratch to draw a tree and to let it snow in Minecraft world. Remix it and create your own snow world! (You need a Raspberry Pi with Scratch2MCPI installation.)

 

  1. drawCircle : Draw a circle using Sin and Cos functions.
  2. tree : Trigger drawCircle several times in a row while increasing radius of the circle.
  3. star : Put the topper star.
  4. snow : Let it snow!  It is using the API getHeight to know the y-coordinate (+1) of the highest block at the location (x, z).

 

On 2017-8-12, finally, 20million users. It's about registered users with Scratch website/community. Congratulations!!
It went more than 10 million users on February last year, and has been growing by 500 to 600 thousands a month,  then it's twice now. Increasing by 10 to 20 thousands a day, amazing, isn't it?  (Scratch Statistics)

You can code on Scratch by just snapping blocks. It's too simple to start coding on Scratch 2.0 if you visit the site. You can even use cloud storage to hold your projects with your account registered.  Yes, many users are using it without their accounts.  We have to say "it's at least 20 million" because there are still many Scratch 1.4 users, too.

It is often said that Scratch is for young kids by its look and feel, but don't judge a book by its cover.  I believe it has good feel and sense as a programming language. Scratch team says "low floors, high ceilings, and wide walls". You can deeply learn from entry to basic level enough.  The huge community has been formed from age 4 to 80 with the peak at 2.10 mil of age 12, 1.92 mil of age 11, and 1.89 mil of age 13.

We can name many reasons why Scratch is good for entry level learners, the community is obviously the big one. Wide range of ages group of 20 million registered users and growing rapidly, 24 million shared projects, and 123 million comments on projects.

Talking about Japan, I'm asking kids in my classes, "Now it has this many users at the website, guess how many Japanese there are."  It can be a very good quiz actually, it's too low in number.  The answer had been always "it's less than 1%, let's get on board!" for a long time.

Congratulations!!  Just got to the 1%!  We have a TV program named "Why!? Programming" for one year and a half,  and I believe it is a great booster.

I always say to my class "if you make it in English, your audience will be increased by 100 times."  Hey, let's get on board first!

Electric Automated Soap Bubble System by Johannes Matsson. It has  a nameplate of "International Bubble Machines", oh, IBM…

I could watch this all day long even if I have no time to spare.

 

But wait, it's not the real McCoy.

...continue reading "Electric Automated Soap Bubble System"