Why did you get the GameShell?

The GameShell can obviously be used for playing games in a portable shell (hence the name), but it is much more versatile than that. I’m curious what the community will be doing with their GameShell’s. If you happen to be using it to make a game, I also have a topic about that here.

I’m personally going to be using it for game development and possibly using it as a portable console/controller of some sort for my other Rasperry Pi projects. I’m also planning on getting into robotics, so I might use the keypad bit of the GameShell for controlling it.

What about the rest of you?

I remember when I was in middle school, I crafted a boxcar called The Rabid Chihuahua for a camp I did at my church. One of the aesthetic panels I installed on which I had painted some wicked dog teeth fell off mid competition and started creating some drag. That cost me a few precious milliseconds of time, but I still won second place. The camper who won first acquired his bearings from a grocery store shopping cart, since he knew someone who worked corporate at a grocery store. I dunno; there’s just something really exciting about being involved in the details.

I’ve already queued up a Python class. I really liked that little potato card game, but my programming knowledge exceeds that level of understanding. I found it interesting that Python uses an interpreter instead of a compiler. I don’t know if it’s like Java where the language is sort of a hybrid, where you have to install a runtime environment that enables universality of the language, decompilation and active interpretation on the client end.

I love to learn, and this is basically a toy for me.

Dragonwings! - This was one of the very first books I ever read. I was still in elementary school. I read this alongside The Bronze Bow and The Golden Goblet , ancient lore for me. It’s an oldy but a goodie. I highly recommend this book as an explanation for my interest in this project.

P.S. Those boxcars were pretty dangerous. Luckily, I never fell! They didn’t have any braking system, and the steering controls allowed the rider to actually flip the car if the rider applied too much pressure to the axel. There definitely weren’t any re-casting controls!

I’ve been a programmer for about 15 years now, so I might be able to help clear some things up with Python. For any program you need something that knows how to run it. For C, the development process is writing code and then it compile down to a binary that most machines know how to run. For Java, the process is writing code and then the Java compiler converts it creates “bytecode”, which essentially is a binary for a virtual machine (in our case the Java Virtual Machine, aka JVM) and requires the user to have the JVM to run it (here virtual machine is just a program that gives the program the same environment on any computer it’s on). This is why Java is a hybrid, it doesn’t output a binary for the machine to run, but it is not intrepreted either, it is a mix of both.

With this in mind, Python is an interpreted language, so it doesn’t get compiled by is meant to always be run by the Python interpreter. Unlike C or Java were the program can be executed without the compiler being there, Python code must be run by it’s interpreter. A way to think about it is a compiler take code and provides a program to be run, but an interpreter just runs the code as is.

While an interpreter makes the developing process quicker because there’s no compilation step, the code for Python is a bit slower since part of what a compiler does is optimizing the code to run faster. So what you gain in development speed, you lose in run time speed.

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