Coding, iOS 10 Beta 2, & Faux Chromebook

I’ve been busy.

Coding: Many years ago I taught myself the BASIC programming language to the point that I successfully wrote a gymnastics scoring application. The application was used by only one person and for only one season. Well, I thought it was successful. Since then I’ve learned to create applications in dBase (xBase programming language) and macros (however roughly) in Quattro Pro and Excel. It’s time I learned to code in the modern high-level language. I chose Python and have been at it for about two weeks. The hardest part so far was learning how to set it up to write in interactive mode and scripts. Firstly, I tried installing and using the text editor Sublime Text, the choice of most professionals I’m told. I had already downloaded and installed Python 3.5.2. To get started with the Sublime Text installation process, I downloaded Cygwin, a tool to make Windows function like Linux. Then I installed curl, git, and opens within Cygwin (having no idea why). The installation of git automatically installed an older version of Python (2.7.12) but I didn’t notice it until after I downloaded and installed Sublime Text, the next step. I was then able to use Sublime as a text editor and write simple executable scripts for execution in Python. The problem was it was doing so in Python 2.7.12 and I wanted to learn to use the newer 3.5.2 version. For the life of me, I could not make Cygwin use 3.5.2. Frustration!!!! While messing around with Python I noticed that along with 3.5.2 an application titled IDLE (Python) which is an Integrated Development and Learning Environment for Python. And it’s been around sometime during version 1. Duh! So that’s where I’m at present and progressing slowly.

iOS 10 Beta 2: Downloaded and installed on iPhone 5. No problems and seems to work without glitches but I haven’t pushed it hard or played around with new features yet. The new Home tab doesn’t really interest me so I moved it into my Apple Apps (that I don’t need) folder. Then I tried to download and install it on my iPad 2 (I know, old). No trouble downloading it but every time I attempted to install (Settings>General>Software Update) the following appeared: “iOS 9.3.2 Your software is up to date”. After spending a couple of hours trying every trick I could find online to correct this apparently common issue, I gave up. My old iPad will just have to wait for the release version.

Faux Chromebook: Chromebooks have surpassed iPads as the go-to device for education 1:1 programs. Consequently, I thought I would try working with one. I fully understand the concept and the advantages and disadvantages of Chromebooks versus iPads but do you really know unless you try? I didn’t want to shell a couple hundred dollars for a “real” Chromebook. I have a couple of older laptops laying around so I went the CloudReady (from Neverware) route and installed the CloudReady Chromium OS in dual boot mode on a Windows 10 HP laptop. The installation was laborious and lengthy, requiring preparation of an 8+ Gb USB drive. I prepared the USB drive on a different laptop than the one on which I performed the install. Detailed instructions can be found here. The first time I booted into CloudReady, everything seemed to work well. I set a few things up then later tried viewing a Youtube video embedded in an article. Nothing. Spent another three hours researching and attempting resolution without any luck. Has something to do with Java and HTML5. Still, can’t play online videos. Not good. During my attempts to resolve the issue, it was necessary to reboot a number of times. Each occurrence of selecting the CloudReady option during reboot required shutting down and restarting at least twice before it booted up correctly. So I haven’t had much opportunity to mess around the Chromebook way but it seems pretty simple. All executables must be online and files can be saved on the local computer, space permitting, or online. Now I need to find a way to remove the partitions to return my computer to pure Windows.