Maker Fair Event #IS492 Opportunity

Millikin’s Center for Entrepreneurship is supporting the Make, Explore, Share Fair on April 11, 2015 from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM at the University of Illinois Extension office (across from Richland Community College).  This event is open to anyone who crafts, creates, or even just tinkers with art, technology, gardening, craft beer making, printmaking, drone-flying, raspberry-pi making, you name it!!  This is an excellent ready-made performance learning opportunity.  This is certainly also open to student-run ventures which would want to exhibit.
One of the major tenants of this event is that exhibitors need to share their process of how they make things.  They are welcome to sell products too, but they must share how they create their products.  For technology folks, that doesn’t necessarily mean sharing code, but it does mean that the process used needs to be open. View the event flier for more information and register online. There is NO FEE to be an exhibitor.

Python for Windows #IS492

While students in my Tech Ventures class are getting their sea legs with Python this week on their Raspberry Pis, I thought it would be helpful to provide instructions on how to code in a Windows, Linux, or Mac OS environment. I find the IDLE environment OK for doing some simple development, but if you are going to be working on something more complex, I recommend using PyCharm. It’s a full IDE that is similar to Eclipse and NetBeans (for you Java peeps) where you can store projects, use tabbed autocomplete, etc. PyCharm has a community edition that is open source and free for use. The professional edition provides a development environment for CSS,  I’m pretty much a fan of anything other than a plain text editor. In my opinion, it cuts down on errors and gives you a more full picture of your project, especially when you are importing libraries and other modules. Below are steps to get up and going in Windows.

  1. Download the latest version of Python (most folks should select the Windows x86-64 executable installer).
  2. Install Python by running the previously downloaded file.
  3. Download the Windows version of PyCharm.
  4. Install PyCharm by running the previously downloaded file.
  5. You’re good to go! Happy Coding!