Alice, the Turtle of the Modern Age
Many of us grew up with LOGO, the kid-friendly programming language that guided a little turtle around a screen. Yes, it was simplistic. Yes, it taught only the very basics of programming concepts, but it also inspired an entire generation of programmers. The applications you run every day were written by people who steered a digital turtle around a screen in third grade.
Alice is a project from Carnegie Mellon University that allows new programmers to use a drag-and-drop interface to create 3-D scenes and perform programmatic results without typing any code. The Alice Project has evolved through the years, and it's currently on version 3. The code is freely downloadable and is available for Linux, Mac and Windows.
(Image from http://www.alice.org)
Although the LOGO programming language allowed for some lengthy instructions for the turtle, it was limited. Alice, on the other hand, uses the animation environment to teach amazingly complex programming concepts. By utilizing an environment where syntax is dragged as opposed to typed, it takes "typos" out of the equation. It's hard to describe just how complex the programming can be with Alice, so I urge you to download it or at least visit the Alice Project at http://www.alice.org.
For doing its part in producing the next generation of programmers, while (at least in my mind) continuing the legacy of a small digital turtle from my youth, Alice gets this month's Editors' Choice Award.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide