December 2015 Learn More Links

Links from the bottom of all the December 2015 articles, collected in one place for you to print, share, or bookmark.


Solder-Free Sumobot

Sumobot Instructional Video

The video does show soldering, however this can be avoided by ordering servos with solderless connectors referred to in the list of parts linked.

Sumobot Jr. Design File

Solderless 4-cell Battery Holder

Sumobot Additional Parts

Sumobot Wiring Diagram and Setup

A 3D Printing Option

Ponko Laser Cutting Service

Expect the laser cutting and shipping to come to between $10.00-$20.00 depending on the material you choose.

Low Cost Virtual Reality Headsets with Google Cardboard

Google Cardboard

Google Cardboard Apps

Invent Things with SAM Wireless Blocks

SAM Labs

We Reviewed SAM and Created a Twitter Notifier in 5 Minutes

How to Build a Computer

PC Part Picker

PC Part Picker: Where We Started

Tom’s Hardware Forums

Tom’s Hardware: Common Solutions to No Boot/Post Problems

How to Ground Yourself While Building a Computer

Motherboard (MOBO)

CPU (Central Processing Unit)

Hard Drive (HD or HDD)

Power Supply Unit (PSU)

Random Access Memory (RAM)

Video Card

The Parts section and below provide useful background information.

How to Manage Tasks and Projects

Todoist (Android) (iOS)

2Do (Android) (iOS) (Mac)

Google Keep (Android) (iOS) (Chrome) (Web)

Things (iOS) (Mac)

Simplenote (Android) (iOS) (Mac) (Kindle) (Web)

How to Create a Really Secure Password


Diceware Passwords (Mira Modi’s website)

This 11-year-old is selling cryptographically secure passwords for $3 each

Diceware passwords now need six random words to thwart hackers

Worst Passwords of 2014

Coding Schools




Learn Python the Hard Way

Learn Ruby the Hard Way

Learn C the Hard Way

Learn Regex the Hard Way

Learn SQL the Hard Way

Learn CLI (Command Line Crash Course)

Code School

Code HS



Search for the term ‘programming’ to find courses sorted by programming languages, game programming, functional programming, system programming, and so on. The also own Code School, linked above.




Handmade Hero


Learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, from General Assembly.

Try Regex


SQLZoo Tutorial

Resources to Learn Programming

How to Think Like a Computer Scientist

Erase All Kittens

Hack into levels, written in HTML and CSS (the languages of websites), in order to complete the game.

Erase All Kittens, the Foos, Tynker, and Run Marco!

Reviews of these four games which teach coding in a fun offbeat way.

Try Git

A free course from Code School, this course teaches the basics of Git to manage files created as part of programming software applications.

Zed Shaw

Programmer and creator of the Learn the Hard Way series.

al-Jazari Automatons


Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices

Elephant Clock

1001 Inventions

An award=winning science and cultural heritage organization that raises awareness of the golden age of Muslim civilization, including the creations of al-Jaziri.

The How and Why of Breadboards



LEDs with Resistors

Battery Caps

Wire strippers might come in handy in case there is not enough exposed wire.

Breadboard Jumper Wires


An array of electronics supplies for breadboards and otherwise.

SparkFun Inventor’s Kit

Arduino Starter Kit

Light-emitting Diodes

How to Use a Breadboard

Digital DNA Sculpture

Digital DNA

Digital DNA (artist page)

Wonderlane Photos on Flickr

This is the first photo in their photostream so click right arrow under this photo to see the other images.

Peter Adams Photography

How We Designed a School Robot

FIRST Robotics Competition

Bionica Team’s Instagram

Our all girl robotics team posts pictures as we design, build, and compete with our robot.

Linux Operating Systems



Linux Distributions


Most Reliable Web Hosting Services

Netcraft reports on web hosting services and includes their operating systems, usually Linux.

Usage Share of Operating Systems





Chrome OS

Gentoo Linux



Clojure for the Brave and True

Learn X in Y Minutes: Clojure

Clojure Programming

Clojure on the Curve

Clojure is Not for Geniuses

Software Transactional Memory

Java Virtual Machine

Macros (Computer Science)


Common Lisp


Polish Notation


Functional Programming

Object-oriented Programming

The Cathedral and the Bazaar

The Cathedral and The Bazaar

The Mythical Man-Month


  • Tim Slavin

    Tim is an award-winning writer and technologist who enjoys teaching tech to non-technical people. He has many years experience with web sites and applications in business, technical, and creative roles. He and his wife have two kids, now teenagers, who are mad about video games.

Also In The December 2015 Issue

The history of an egg shaped outdoor sculpture made of electronic parts in Palo Alto, California.

Use a software app to invent neat things by mixing SAM wireless blocks. No wires and no code needed.

How to Build a Computer

Building your own computer is a great way to not only save money, and get more processing power, but also to learn about the less obvious parts of software programming.

We might think robots are a modern invention. But al-Jazari created amazing automatons in the thirteenth century. Today we would call him a maker.

The Google Cardboard project is a fun way to experience virtual reality with your phone and software apps.

Sumobots smash into each other and can be a fun project to create. Free plans are online. Upload your plan to services which send you the parts.

How our all girls high school robotics team designed then built a robot to compete in FIRST competitions next year.

This key part of electronics projects turns out to be easy to understand. Learn about breadboards by building a simple LED project with a 9V battery.

Learn more than a language. Learn skills you need to use the language. Options to suit the way you learn best.

Use dice from a board game or toy store to create difficult to crack passwords and phrases that you can remember.

Learning how to make, track, and complete goals also helps with school projects and personal projects.

An essay from the 1990s explores how software can be built like a cathedral or in groups like a bazaar.

The Clojure programming language provides the simplicity of a Lisp programming language with the ability to run in the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

Beyond Microsoft Windows and Mac OSX there are many Linux operating systems used by programmers daily and built as open source.

Interesting stories about computer science, software programming, and technology found online since the last issue of the magazine.

Links from the bottom of all the December 2015 articles, collected in one place for you to print, share, or bookmark.

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