Friday, August 24, 2012

FLL - Senior Solutions: Robot & Frank...

Today I saw the movie “Robot & Frank.”  It’s about a retired burglar, Frank, whose children, concerned about his mental health and living alone, gets him a humanoid robot that is programmed to improve their father’s physical and mental health.  This was a great film about one example of growing old and the problems that are associated with aging.  It touched upon a couple of the needs of seniors, specifically, the need for companionship and the need to be able to do something that they enjoy (although I wouldn’t recommend being a burglar and a shoplifter as a hobby).

This actually is a good film for this year’s FIRST LEGO League theme “Senior Solutions.”  It’s funny, it’s enlightening about senior issues, and it’s about a robot!  However, please note this is a PG-13 movie; there is some cursing in it.  Perhaps, coaches and 13 and 14 year old FLLers could see this movie together.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

FLL - Senior Solutions: Books for coaches...

    On Aug. 28, 2012 the release of the 2012 Senior Solutions Challenge will mark the start of the FIRST LEGO League Challenge 2012-13.

     For all you rookie coaches (and not so rookie coaches), don't panic!  There is help. Get your hands on these excellent books:

Just about everything you need to know about coaching an FLL team

by James Floyd Kelly & Jonathan Daudelin (No Starch Press)

 Winning Design! LEGO Mindstorms NXT Design Patterns for Fun and Competition
by James Trobaugh (Apress publishers)

Need a complete guide to NXT-G programming?
LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT-G Programming Guide 2nd ed
by James F. Kelly (No Starch Press)


Sunday, August 12, 2012

MINDSTORMS NXT-G & Firefox & Mac...


      My MINDSTORMS NXT-G software (educational & consumer versions) were working fine on my Mac (Snow Leopard) with Safari and Firefox, then recently the software stopped loading; there was now an error.  So why? Well, it turns out that recently Firefox updated its software, the new 14.0.1 causes a problem with the NXT-G trying to access the Internet, even if you don’t use Firefox as your Internet browser; Firefox installed on your computer still causes a problem.

     The solution (for now),  I uninstalled the Firefox and just use Safari.  Both versions of MINDSTORM NXT-G are working again.


Saturday, August 11, 2012