IT Career JumpStart

Dec 26 2011   12:58AM GMT

Happy Holidays … and Vacation!

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

Dear Readers:

This will be my last blog post for this year (I’m off until January 2 after tonight),  so I’d like to wish everyone a terrific holiday season, and a joyous and successful New Year. We’ve been celebrating quite nicely around here at Chez Tittel with plenty of good-quality cheer for children of all ages. Gregory and I have been learning how to build and program a project for his Lego Mindstorms  today. We started with the Explorer robot project, as documented in Chapters 2-4 of Laurens Valk’s excellent The Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 Discovery Book. This is the first time I’ve built a moderately sized Lego project (around 300 parts, give or take) by picking my own parts from the general inventory that comes with this “many possible robots” kit that includes the NXT 2.0 controller, 3 electric motors, various sensors, and a boatload of Lego blocks and parts. Here’s a snapshot:

It rolls forward better than it backs up, but turns like a demon!

It rolls forward better than it backs up but turns like a demon!

There are all kinds of more ambitious projects ahead of us, but it’s already cool to see what this thing can do with either USB-cable or Bluetooth guided remote control from a PC, or “load-and-go” execution of a pretty decent robot instruction language. Should be some fun along the way to learning how this environment and the component tools and projects really work!

And once again from my family — especially my happy and excited 7-year-old son — to yours: Happy Holidays! And may we all have a brilliant 2012 ahead of us.

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