Friday, November 27, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009




1. Rate each of the following out of 5:
Guest speaker: Rosemary about Timor Leste 3.5/5
Guest speak: Joel about the xo 4/5
Physics 2.5/5
SVG icon and Linux command line 4/5
Turtle Art 2/5
Other activity evaluation 1/5
Etoys 4.5/5
Scratch 5/5

Now write about
Three things that you learnt:
My experience and time using Sugar, I have learnt many things such as how to use command lines and switching images within the Sugar. I have also learnt how to manipulate and create interesting activities using eToys. In addition, Turtle Art gave me an understanding of code-scripting and taught me how to use codes/scripts properly. I have learnt a lot from Sugar, to which, have made me mature progressively in my understanding and application of computing.

Three things that you enjoyed:
I have enjoyed hacking Sugar because it was fun to do and also boosted my knowledge in that area, no matter how significant. I also enjoyed using eToys and the Physics activity because they were fun to play with. Overall Sugar can be quite fun.

Three things that you didn’t like:
I didn’t like Sugar’s UI because it wasn’t appealing and was tiresome to use. I also didn’t like listening to the guest speakers because their speeches were long and somewhat boring. Lastly, I didn’t like blogging after every single activity because it always tired me out.

Is the xo or olpc a good idea for the children of the developing world? State your opinion and give reasons.
The XO and the OLPC is a good idea for the children of the developing world because they are low on resources. The XO is a laptop that is power efficient, low-cost, shatter-proof, and extremely durable with fun educational content, which is perfect for the rugged terrain in developing countries. The OLPC is a good initiative in giving XOs to help children of the developing country who are suffering from lack of education and sadly, fun itself.


Complete a variety of labeled screenshots which illustrate the differences between these user interfaces.

Windows (WIMP – windows, icons, menus, pointers – as in MSOffice 2003)

Sugar (Frame replaces menubar, Journal replaces file system hierarchy, Community – didn’t work for us,)

Community Window.
Frame, Journal and etc.

Linux command line (similar to DOS)

Windows ( This new version does away with menus and toolbars and replaces them with new paradigms such as the Ribbon, Contextual Tabs, and Galleries)

Which user interface do you prefer. Rate them in order. Give reasons.
1. Windows (WIMP – windows, icons, menus, pointers – as in MSOffice 2003)
2. Windows (ribbons, contextual tabs, galleries – as in MSOffice 2007)
3. Sugar (Frame replaces menubar, Journal replaces file system hierarchy, Community – didn’t work for us,)
4.Linux command line (similar to DOS)

The reason that I made WIMP my first perference is because I love its layout and its simplicity, nearly anyone can use this easily. Another reason is that I grew up around WIMP and I feel comfortable using it than any other user interface.

I chose the Ribbon layout as a second preference simply because it is very similar to WIMP. Although it has areas where I like, such as the contextual tabs and galleries.

I chose the Sugar interface as my third perference because I have been using it throughout my time in my control technology class and without knowing it, I have grown quite fond of it.

Lastly, I chose the Linux command line as my last perference because it looks complicated and quite hard to use. Its interface is not appealing and I think it's more likely to be used by programmers and/or computer experts.

Have a look at this site which talks about the future of UI:
immersive cave
small screen (iphone)
ZUI zooming user interface
multi touch
digital media you can wear

What will the UI look like when you are 30 years old?

I believe in 15 years time, computers will be small enough to fit into an elastic band which, can project holographic images in front of the user. The holographic images can be felt, moved, tilted, panned, zoomed and resized. The holographic images show icons, windows, videos, music and about anything we can do today on our computers. The elastic band-like computers are portable and can be accessed just about anywhere. The computers can switch from any OS or use both at the same time depending on the user’s preference.

Here is a simple drawing of the above:

This is the last official blog I will do for this blogger account as it is the end of the school year. I've had fun writing these blogs and wish you all good luck in the future-good bye.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Comparisons: Scratch V eToys

Comparisons: Scratch V eToys

Partners: &

Asian-bruce-lee and I, decided to make two activities using the same outline but on totally different programs and different operating systems. The activity consisted of us making an object chase after another, both having different velocity and the ability to bounce off walls. Doing this, we could later compare the two programs and conclude which one gave better results.

I did the activity on Windows XP using the scratch program and asian-bruce-lee did it on the Sugar operating system using the eToys program.

Using the Scratch program, I made use of its control, motion, looks, variables and sound features. These features gave me the freedom to manipulate my objects’ shape and the ability to give them sound or appearance effects depending on my code-scripts/scripts.

I used the control function and created scripts that enabled one object to chase after the other; one object with a faster velocity. I then used both the motion and looks function to enable the objects to produce special effects when the two objects meet.
After doing so, I then created a score variable, setting that each time the objects would meet; the score variable would go up by one. I also made that the variables reset back to its default number, zero, each time the activity was restarted.

Following that I used the control function to make the objects bounce off the walls using a series of control scripts from the control function. To finish my activity, I then decided to add bonus effects in the activity to make it more entertaining to people. The bonus effects involved making the objects speak and also making them say different sentences/phrases.

eToys seemed harder than Scratch because the layout of all the scripts were very hard to find and they were named differently than they were in Scratch

For my script, I had to make one of the balls keep moving randomly and bouncing off the wall at a random angle. The other ball had to chase the first one at a slower speed. I made the second ball move forward at a slower random speed and head to the direction of the other ball it’s chasing.

For my chasing ball, I made it point to the other ball forever. Whenever the other ball was moving at a different direction, the chasing ball would follow it wherever it went.

With scripts:

Throughout the two activities on the two different programs, we found that Scratch was far easier to use and manipulate. It has an overall better and flexible layout allowing users to find scripts more efficiently. Scratch also benefits in its special effects, such as, changing an objects colour, size and adding background music.

However, eToys gives the user a variety of tools to draw and shape objects which can be used for activities or animations. It has advance scripts, which, are very detailed and can be manipulated to perform fantastic operations given by the user.

In terms of eToys and Scratch, the two programs are very adequate at performing the tasks given by the user. Taking into consideration the special effects of Scratch and the freedom of eToys drawing abilities, the two programs are quite on par with each other even though they specialise in different areas.

In conclusion, Scratch with its special effects and easy layout won against eToys. Although eToys has freedom in its drawing functions and advance scripting, it still wasn’t enough to win against Scratch. The two programs specialise in their own respective areas of scripting but even so, many people would choose Scratch over eToys due to its effects and layout.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Games Evaluation

Gcompress 'Traffic'

Ranking: 3.5/5 stars

The Traffic game is a puzzle game where the player must adjust his/her surroundings to create a path for their car to exit. The player must move the surroundings either vertically or horizontally in various and strategic ways training the player's mental problem solving skills.It is a very similar game compared to ‘RUSH,’ which is an online mathematics game. The main similarity is that both RUSH and Traffic operates the same way, as in, how the player interprets the puzzle and solves it.

A positive side to Traffic is that it incorporates its own design rather than completely plagiarising the original game, RUSH. Its design and layout is unique and has a simple feel to it. The colours involved in its design helps differentiates each surrounding and blocks from each other, making it easier for the player to identify a path for the player.

A negative side to Traffic is that it only has 5 levels and a dice button where it jumbles up the surroundings. This weighs the game down in its flexibility and the attention it gets from players due to having a small amount of levels, while RUSH has an amazing 12 levels.

Another factor is that with Traffic, all the levels have the same difficulty and even when the dice is used, the difficulty is still basically the same. However, RUSH has a progressing difficulty as the player advances towards the next level, giving the player more momentum to continue playing the game.

An interesting feature of Traffic is that it only takes up a small consumption of memory and still gives reasonable average graphics quality. It also helps players develop problem solving skills, as they play more and more.

In conclusion, the game has a very good concept and would make players enjoy playing it. Although the attention it pulls soon disperses because the game has an insufficient amount of levels and the same difficulty throughout the levels. With its features of problem solving and its skills in helping players develop their mental skills; Traffic is a perfect game for people around the age group of 10-17, the age where people need to train their mental minds the most.

A picture of Traffic:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Great Race

In the last few lessons in my control technology class, we have been learning and using the eToys program in Sugar. Throughout the few lessons we have made various script/code-ridden activities, as in, making objects move from one place to another or just to make an object follow a specified path.

As I accomplished each activity given by my teacher, my knowledge about the program and its usage grew enabling me to do a quite challenging activity called 'The Great Race,' which most of my classmates had also done. It consisted of scripts telling whether the objects could interact with another or how it could interact. Furthermore, it had a timer and a speed tracker to each car enabling us to have an accurate reading of what is going on. In addition to the timer and trackers, there are stop and start buttons just like in a game.

During the process of making 'The Great Race,' I encountered many annoying problems. The problems consisted of incorrect codes in scripts, the randomness of the car's speed makes the car react slower than usual enabling it to bypass the guide lines and many other trivial problems.

In the end, after making circle tracks, ellipse tracks and square tracks, I found that the square track gave me the best results. I ended up using the square track at a loss of the car's flexibility. It can only turn left and can no longer turn right but even with its loss, it was by far more successful than my earlier attempts.

Here is a screenshot of "The Great Race."

Here are the scripts used to make it.

The lessons spent so far on eToys have been fun and I look forward for the future lessons of this program, although some activities may be challenging, it is extremely worth the hardship for a moment of far-fetched laughter.