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Arduino Programming for Beginners – Part 0: Overview

Arduino Programming for Beginners – Part 0: Overview
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This article just presents the entire content overview of the mini course “Arduino Programming for Beginners” which I wrote for my nephews Bram and Max.

Originally I had placed the full overview with each chapter, but since that list became rather long, I decided to only show an overview of a given chapter with that give chapter.

So on this page an overview of all chapters and paragraphs of the “course”.

Arduino Programming for Beginners – Part 5: Going in Loops

Arduino Programming for Beginners – Part 5: Going in Loops
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In this article we will talk about loops. Loops are used for going through programming instructions for a defined or undefined number of times, so that we do not have to write the same statement over and over again. We will look at “for”-loops, “while”-loops and “do … while …”-loops.

This is the fifth part of a series of articles I’ve written to get beginners started with Arduino Programming in the programming language C, which I’ve written with the intend to teach my 13 year old nephew (Bram) to get started with the Arduino. After all, he wants to build a robot, but without some basic knowledge about programming, he won’t get far ….

Besides an introduction into the language C, the default language used for Arduino Programming, “Arduino Programming for Beginners” will also touch topics like how to setup an Arduino, get a developers environment running, and look at a few basic electronic parts which we connect to our Arduino.

Arduino Programming for Beginners – Part 4: Decisions

Arduino Programming for Beginners – Part 4: Decisions
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In this article we will talk about making decisions (if … then … or switch … case …). Decisions are very important in our program to react to changing data or events, or to go through a list (loop) of data or events. We call that Control Flow – meaning code is being executed in a different order based on conditions.

This is the fourth part of a series of articles I’ve written to get beginners started with Arduino Programming in the programming language C, which I’ve written with the intend to teach my 13 year old nephew (Bram) to get started with the Arduino. After all, he wants to build a robot, but without some basic knowledge about programming, he won’t get far ….

Besides an introduction into the language C, the default language used for Arduino Programming, “Arduino Programming for Beginners” will also touch topics like how to setup an Arduino, get a developers environment running, and look at a few basic electronic parts which we connect to our Arduino.

Arduino Programming for Beginners – Part 3: Working with Data

Arduino Programming for Beginners – Part 3: Working with Data
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In this article we will talk about “data”, after all, a computer can do pretty much only one thing: handle data in a way we dictate. For this we need what is called “data types”, “variables” and “constants”.

This is the third part of a series of articles I’ve written to get beginners started with Arduino Programming in the programming language C, which I’ve written with the intend to teach my 13 year old nephew (Bram) to get started with the Arduino. After all, he wants to build a robot, but without some basic knowledge about programming, he won’t get far ….

Besides an introduction into the language C, the default language used for Arduino Programming, “Arduino Programming for Beginners” will also touch topics like how to setup an Arduino, get a developers environment running, and look at a few basic electronic parts which we connect to our Arduino.

Arduino Programming for Beginners – Part 2: Output

Arduino Programming for Beginners – Part 2: Output
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In this article we will go a little deeper into Arduino Programming, by exploring the developer tools, also knows as the Arduino IDE and how we can output information of the Arduino to our computer.

This is the second part of a series of articles I’ve written to get beginners started with Arduino Programming in the programming language C, which I’ve written with the intend to teach my 13 year old nephew (Bram) to get started with the Arduino. After all, he wants to build a robot, but without some basic knowledge about programming, he won’t get far ….

Besides an introduction into the language C, the default language used for Arduino Programming, “Arduino Programming for Beginners” will also touch topics like how to setup an Arduino, get a developers environment running, and look at a few basic electronic parts which we connect to our Arduino.

Arduino Programming for Beginners – Part 1: Setup

Arduino Programming for Beginners – Part 1: Setup
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This is the first part of a series of articles I’ve written to get beginners started with Arduino Programming in the programming language C, which I’ve written with the intend to teach my 13 year old nephew Bram Knuit (and his 10 year old brother Max Knuit) to get started with the Arduino. After all, he wants to build a robot, but without some basic knowledge about programming, he won’t get very far ….

In this article we will show you how to get started with our little Arduino Programming course, by selecting an Arduino and setup the developer tools so we can actually try some of the examples that will be discussing in the next chapters.

Besides an introduction into the language C, the default language used for Arduino Programming, “Arduino Programming for Beginners” will also touch topics like how to setup an Arduino, get a developers environment running, and look at a few basic electronic parts which we connect to our Arduino. The lack of basic knowledge should hopefully not be a problem … so I’ll be trying to keep everyone in mind.

WordPress – Preserve Backslash in Posts

WordPress – Preserve Backslash in Posts
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Preserve backslashes in WordPress brings us to one of the annoying features of WordPress: it strips backslashes.
It has it’s place an reason of course, but it can be a PITA when you’re trying to post code examples.

In this very short article, I’ll show you how to preserve your backslashes with a very small function which replaces each backslash with an HTML entity, which should make it safe to work with in your database and not loose the backslash. Even my code highlighter does not seem to be bothered by it and displays the code correctly (ie. not showing the HTML entity, but rather show the desired backslash).

Note that manually entering the HTML entity in the HTML code of your article (Text view) works only once! When loaded again in the tinyMCE editor, the HTML entity will be converted to a backslash again and posting an update would remove that backslash again. This function prevents the loss of the backslash by doing it’s work each time you save your work.

Retrieve Google and AWIS Alexa Page Rank for WordPress

Retrieve Google and AWIS Alexa Page Rank for WordPress
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For whatever reason you can think of, for the fun of it, or to show off how well your website is doing; displaying the Google pagerank and/or the Alexa ranking of your website is kind-a nice to have. This article is an updated version of a previous article I wrote, but since the Alexa link no longer works, the official (free up to 1,000 queries a month) Amazon AWIS API needs to be used and we won’t be exceeding the 1,000 free queries per month with this method.

I have seen several useful PHP scripts that can help with that, but they all kind-a rely on the fact that a page is being loaded, and while loading the Google Rank and Alexa Rank are begin retrieved, over an over again. This is not only causing an unneeded load on the Google and Alexa servers, but it’s also slowing down the loading of your website (even though it might not be noticeable by the end-user).

Both Google Rank and Alexa do not refresh multiple times per day, so a once a day refresh would be good enough.
In this article I’ll show you how I have implemented this in WordPress.

P.s. for those who’d like to see this as a video training, Webucator was kind enough to make this article available as a video as well, you can find it at the end of this article.

WordPress – Mod_security problems with posts and comments fixed

WordPress – Mod_security problems with posts and comments fixed
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In the world of WordPress, this situation does not seem uncommon;

A user posts a comment, and instead of actually posting the comment, gets redirected to the main page of your website. Not just annoying for webmasters, but a very unpleasant experience for visitors that like to actively contribute.

Quite often, with WordPress, this is caused by a false-positive being triggered by mod_security.

In this short article, I’ll show you what might be causing this issue, how to identify it, and how we can fix it.

WordPress – Auto Chapter Anchors and Overview

WordPress – Auto Chapter Anchors and Overview
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This is one of those funny little things you run into when writing a longer post or article.
You’d like to present an overview in the beginning of that particular WordPress post, so users have the ability to see at a glance what to expect and, if needed, quickly jump to the location where they’d like to be.

Things get even crazier when you have a topic, say a course of some sorts, that covers multiple posts, where you would still like to show the user where to find what in a content overview of the entire “course” or group of articles. I’ve grouped them in this case in a dedicated category …

If you’ve ran into something like this before, then you’ll know the cumbersome experience of keeping everything correct and nicely ordered.

Since this seems a good task for a computer to solve, I figured; why not write some code that does this for me (yes, I know there re plugins that do something similar, but not quite to my licking). Before I knew it, this got quite out of hand and I created some code for using a WordPress shortcode in my posts for just this purpose.

MovieScanner v1.4 released …

MovieScanner v1.4 released …
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Even though “MovieScanner” isn’t the most awesome program out there, I still use it every now and then.

In this minor update I’ve added drag and drop capability, for files and/or folders, so the scan will be limited to what you’ve dropped on the application. For Linux users, a small snag with the SQLite library should be resolved in this version as well.

This version is available for Windows, MacOS X and Linux (for Linux: only 64 bit version).

For more information, check out the original MovieScanner article.

The last Boblight Config Maker …

The last Boblight Config Maker …
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After many iterations of Boblight Config Maker, I’ve decided to finally release v2 … keep in mind that I have the feeling it’s not quite finished yet, so it’s released as a beta, by request of many v1 users.

V2 has been rebuild complete from scratch, and (in my opinion) is not been quite perfect yet, but some will see benefit in this version as it adds a lot of new features.

Since building and maintaining this application is simply taking way too much time, this will, unfortunately, most likely be the last version as well. As with many free or open source projects, this project is taking just too much time, and unfortunately, I do have to make a living as well.

Note that for now the source will not be made public.

UPDATE: For Windows and MacOS X I have fixed several bugs, a new version (beta 3) is available.

AVI FourCC Fix v1.2 available …

AVI FourCC Fix v1.2 available …
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We found a few minor bug in v1.1, so here a new version of AVI FourCC Fix!

The two bugs are the “You didn’t add files” message, even though files were added, and handling special characters (especially under Windows). Additionally error messages have been added for when I file could not be opened, and after patching a summary will be displayed showing you how many files actually have been patched.

Read the “FourCC Changer” and the “Playback or Conversion of QNAP Surveillance Video Recordings” articles for more details and download. Of course: You can find the file(s) also on the Downloads Page.

Softorino YouTube Converter – Download Videos or Music for Free!

Softorino YouTube Converter – Download Videos or Music for Free!
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Softorino has recently released a new tool, and they have outdone themselves again, this time with a YouTube Converter.

You might have read my Windows or MacOS X review on Softorino’s WALTR. In my humble opinion, their WALTR tool is the ultimate tool to transfer and/or convert video, music and ringtones to your iOS device (iPad, iPhone) almost instantly. So this kind-a gives you an idea of what I expect of a Softorino product …

I have not been disappointed … The new app, Softorino YouTube Converter, works super easy and super smooth. I’ve played with other tools, and online services, to save YouTube content in the past, and I never really liked any of them. Softorino YouTube Converter however is a whole different animal … in short: it’s awesome and I highly recommend it. It’s easy, very fast, and skips the annoying ads,… and best of all: it’s FREE!

Since there is so ridiculous much content available on YouTube, this could definitely become and great resource for free music and videos. Either for your iOS device, your Mac OS X computer, or your Windows PC.

So in this article I’ll show you this new application from Softorino, which Josh promised will remain free and is available for MacOS X and Windows (Windows version will be released once it’s out of beta).

XBMC – Install Kodi on Amazon Fire TV (FireStarter)

XBMC – Install Kodi on Amazon Fire TV (FireStarter)
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I have written a pretty extensive article before, on “How to install Kodi on Amazon Fire TV“. It’s still an article worth reading, but a better “trick” has become available.

In the previous article, we used an application called IkonoTV as a “front” for Kodi/XBMC. This method works well, but has it’s limitations. The new method is easier to install, doesn’t need an application like IkonoTV and … the home button on the remote brings you to a screen that just works easier.

Another important feature is that this new method is supposed to work with the newer Amazon Fire TV models – unfortunately, I do not own the newer model, so I could not test and confirm that.

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