Technology

BBC Has Plans to Get Schools Coding

The British Broadcasting Company have plans to get students understanding, reading and writing code in schools. They are doing this because they are worried that the vital skills are no longer being taught in schools in the UK.

This, I feel, is a brilliant move that the BBC are making. I would have loved the opportunity to learn various programming languages at school, rather than doing on my own at home.

We are currently undergoing a project in Sixth Form where we are making a game. Most people are doing theirs for a class within the school. IT and Geography, for example. Because we weren’t taught programming in school, we had to spend the time learing Macromedia Flash 8.

We can all be grateful that the BBC will be getting some decent software in for these schools.  Having to use an outdated software is really not helpful when one is trying to build a modern game. Macromedia? This doesn’t even exist as a company anymore, and we’re still using the software that has no doubt been increased greatly b Adobe. It’s the same for almost all of the software that we have in the school.

A range of tools would be made available to give people “the skills to solve problems, tell stories and build new business in the digital world”, it added. – Rory Cellan-Jones. BBC Technology Correspondent

This project will begin in 2015.

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PC vs Mac

About one year ago, I had my first experience with using an Apple Mac. I must admit, at first I did not like it. I found the interface to be ridiculous, and overly complicated. But to be honest, this was more than likely the side effect of using Windows my whole life. I use Ubuntu on a semi-regular basis, but that’s not important. It’s an Operating System that’s hardly used, compared to the two majors*.

This post will look at the pros and cons of both using a Mac and using a PC. And, in theory, give an accurate and honest opinion on which is the best Operating System for both business and recreational use.

First, let’s look at Windows and it’s upsides and downsides:

Windows is the most used Operating System around the world, reportedly covering 82.1% percent of the marker in May 2013** This is likely to be the reason that Microsoft have been able to ‘get it right’ all these years.

Because of the simple, easy and, most importantly, user-friendly interface, Windows has been able to sustain the vast amount of users that they have. Being a popular choice for first time PC computer owns, Windows continues to grow and grow.

But, what are the pros and cons of this OS, and is it all it’s really cracked up to be?

Pros Cons
A simple and east to use interface. Most targeted Operating System for Viruses and Spyware.
Almost all software is written, or will have a version for, Windows. Poor security. Windows comes with built in Internet Explorer. And if you know anything about computers, that’s not a good thing.
If your a Gamer, this is the most supported OS for games. Very limited access to Open Source software.

That’s a fairy even list of things. With Windows, you are compromising security and access to software made by independent developers over an easy interface and software made by corporate companies. However, if you install some simple security measures, and un-install Internet Explorer and replace it with Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, a Windows machine will be a pretty powerful piece of kit.

Now we come to the Apple Mac. As I said at the start of this post, I am fairly new to the world of Macs, but I can safely say that a Mac will more than likely be my next machine of choice.

Apple is considered to be a newcomer to the field of Operating Systems, compared to Windows. But they have pretty much nailed it, they’ve had a lot of practice of course. With all of their devices pretty much running the same OS, just with some device specific tweaks, they have been able to perfect it on every device they have.

Apple have gone with the theory that less is more when designing their desktop OS. They have reduce the home bar and task pane to nothing but a small slither at the top of the screen. They have also added a fully customisable application dock at the bottom of the screen. Making it quick and easy to find what you are looking for.

What are the pros and cons of the OS that seems to have been perfected?

Pros Cons
This machine has been optimised for Content Creation. Allowing it’s users to create a whole range of products with relative ease. Much more expensive than the alternative.
More secure and stable than Windows because of the UNIX base. Less customer support compared to Windows. The user will actually have to go to Apple for any Hardware issues.
There is a huge amount of Open Source applications at you’re finger tips.
Almost no Spyware or Virus applications for the Mac OS

As you can see, the pros of using Apples’ Mac outweigh the cons. And is that really such a shock? Apple are renound for creating some of the best Hardware in the business.

So, what would I recommend? I depends on which type of user you are. Do you primarily use you’re PC to surf sites like Facebook or Twitter, and read blogs like you are now? Or do you use it for creating complex programs and websites, or use it to layout magazines or posters?

If you fall in the first option, I would strongly recommend that you opt for the Windows option. For simply checking your email and perusing Facebook, Windows has it covered. As previously mentioned, this is also the most supported OS for gaming, so if that’s you’re thing, Windows is the OS for you. By the way, if you are going to use this OS for looking around on Facebook and generally surfing the internet, get something else rather than using Internet Explorer. Although Microsoft are making a push with this browser, it is still lagging far behind the pack.

If your more the second option. I would highly recommend that you spend more and get a Mac. It is going to strongly benefit you in the long run. For example, if you’re using a program on Windows to edit a poster, you will more than likely run into an application named Adobe InDesign. You will see the vast amount of advantages of using this rather than what your currently using, but you won’t be able to get it because of the fact that your running Windows, and InDesign is Mac only.

Mac has pretty much everything that you could want from an OS. It has a simple, minimalist interface, giving you the largest amount of work space possible, it has far superior applications for those of you who want a computer for business  and, personally I think most importantly, it has one of the best security systems around.


I’ve mentioned Google Chrome a fair amount of times in this post. That’s because I think that this is one of the most effective, fast and secure browsers on the market today. Looking at it from a Web Developer angle, it supports everything. This means that you will get the very best in design from a website when using Chrome.

At the very bottom of this post, I have provided you with some useful links that you might want to look at.


Footnotes:

http://www.standingdog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/graph-2.jpg

** http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_os.asp


Useful Links:

Google Chrome – Download | 7 Really Awesome Things

Windows only Software

Mac only Software

Why Linux Sucks (And What We Can Do To Fix It)