Introduction to Scratch for .Net video

The v1.2 Scratch firmware for the BrainPad went out today, along with v1.0.0.28 of the gateway program. Here’s a walk-through video showing how to install and use Scratch with the BrainPad.

[Edit: Updated video link to a copy with fewer editing screw-ups]


Wow I am loving what I am seeing. 5 star and a hundred +1 for what you have done. Can’t wait to try it and show my kids.

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Why isn’t this awesome video on your website?

Love it!!! My BrainPads showed up Fri and I can’t wait to try this out. However, I didn’t order the Click boards… @ Gus, how soon until you get it figured out to use the main USB port? Am I going to have to order the Click boards? Any reason a Gadgeteer USB-Serial Module wired to it wouldn’t work as well?

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@ ianlee74 - you can wire any sort of serial connection, including the gadgeteer module. The pins are clearly marked on the board.

I didn’t expect any problems. However, its going to be so much better when you only have to plug the one USB cable in :wink:

Very cool - my kids will love it ;D

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Because I finished it at 2am. I plead delirium and exhaustion. I will create a videos section on the web site and there will be more content as more boards and more tutorials get finished.

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Before I had a Click module, I used a Gadgeteer USB client module, 5cm cable, and breakout to create the adapter in the attached image. Don’t wire up 5v or 3v3 - just RX, TX and GND.

USB <-> Gadgeteer

P4(RX) <-> E12(TX)
P5(TX) <-> E11(RX)
GND <-> E16(GND)

If you order the Click module, get the Click USB UART module (USB UART click - Breakout board for FT232RL chip), not the FTDI module like I did the first time (expensive mistake). ::slight_smile:

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@ mcalsyn - that looks exactly like the setup I had in mind :slight_smile:

This is all kinds of awesome

I really want my 9 year old to try this. He loves scratch but this would take him to the next level.

We have massive layoffs looming next week. If I survive, then I think I will place an order finally!

I am also excited for the promised GUI api, to draw lines, rectangles etc on the display. :smiley: He would really like that.

Yup - display support, Cerbuino and Gadgeteer are coming next, though I suspect it will be at least a couple weeks as I am clearing a backlog in other projects and getting caught up on life in general.

[Excess detail on the display: The display is a bit of a challenge, because Scratch runs like an immediate-mode graphics program - that is, it runs the program in a continuous loop, so if you put display statements in your program, they would get executed repeatedly and as fast as the loop can run. Updating the display is slow, so that would dramatically slow down the rest of your program, and the display runs like a retained-mode graphics display (whatever you write to it, stays visible). So either the programmer needs to bracket their output with control statements so that it only gets written once (probably too much to ask of new programmers), or the Scratch gateway has to maintain a memory-resident image of the display and then only update changed pixels, thus acting as an immediate-mode to retained-mode translator, and vastly improving performance. Anyway, enabling the display is easy. Making it usable and appropriate for the Scratch programming model is not so easy, which is why I didn’t hold up the release.]


@ mcalsyn - Thanks for the Excess detail. I am leaning quite a bit by reading your posts.

@ mcalsyn - Any chance you have experimented with running this on a VM? I’ve had good luck with almost all of the GHI hardware on VMs to date, and am wondering if your gateway or scratch might throw a (known) wrench into the mix.

If your VM can remote USB and serial, you are good to go. Other than the need to punch through to the hardware with USB and serial, there’s nothing else in there that should cause problems with VMs.

I have used this on a VMWare machine. I have not tried it with HyperV yet (serial should work for sure, but I’m not so sure about deployment. If you can deploy from VS within HyperV, then deployment from Scratch will work too).

[Edit: In other words, anywhere the GHI SDK has worked, this will work too]

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Finally had some time get Scratch on my BrainPad working.

Awesome work @ mcalsyn!

@ GHI - give that guy some bonus points.

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ETA on N18 support?

…you give an inch and they take a mile, I know…I just know that will be the first thing my son tries.

In fact, he’d be a great beta tester (hint)

BTW, I survived yesterday’s layoffs, although 11 others from our engineering group did not :frowning:

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I think on or before 8/21 for the display support.

I am also working on a 2.0 version of the gateway program that adds support for Gadgeteer boards, including the Cerbuino boards, Spider and a few others. The biggest change there is support for a minimalist Gadgeteer configuration UI. That work will come out in early September as an early-adopter download, and will become the main download sometime toward the end of Sept.

Obviously, I also need to devote some time to the web site and to building tutorials. I’m a plumber, not a painter, and that really shows in the web site, so if anyone has some aesthetic sense plus ASP and/or bootstrap skills, your contributions would be warmly welcomed.

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How goes the display support for the brainpad?

Do plumbers need shims?

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