Scratch

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What is Scratch?

Scratch is an easy to use drag-and-drop development environment that allows people of all ages to grasp the core concepts of software development without having to get too bogged down in the language specific commands and syntax. Developed and made available by the MIT Media Lab, it's free for anyone to use.

Where can I get Scratch?

There are currently two versions of scratch available, 1.4 which must be downloaded and installed to use, and 2.0 which can either be used in your web browser (with nothing to download or install) or can also be downloaded as an Adobe Air application.

What can I do with Scratch?

You can create all manner of programs with scratch with nearly no programming knowledge, using drag and drop blocks you can create anything from singing cats to interactive games and applications. For some inspiration, have a look here: http://scratch.mit.edu/explore/?date=this_month.

There's loads of help, getting started guides and videos on the Scratch website too, they can be found here: http://scratch.mit.edu/help/

Making Your Scratch Instance talk to other Scratch Instances (Scratch 1.4)

One of the really cool things about Scratch is that you can get it to talk to other computers also running scratch so you can send messages and remotely trigger commands across the room or even across the world!

Before you can broadcast messages and share variables, there's a little bit of setup that you will need to do. There are two ways this can be done, either using a pre-modified image, or modifying the image yourself from scratch (excuse the pun!). I'll discuss both methods below. You will also need to ensure that the 'Server' instance has an allowance in their firewall (more on this later) or has the firewall switched off.

Before you begin, you will need to ensure you have Scratch installed, so head over to this page and download & install scratch for your operating system: http://scratch.mit.edu/scratch_1.4/

Add the Mesh Menu Options

Method 1

This method uses a pre-modified 'Squeak' image and all you need to do is copy this over the default image file ... be warned this will overwrite any changes you may have made to the image.

Windows

1. Download the modified Image Zip file here: <Link coming soon> 2. Backup your existing image file:

  • Open My Computer
  • Navigate to C:\Program Files\Scratch\ (C:\Program Files (x86)\Scratch\ on a 64-bit version of windows)
  • Rename the file 'Scratch.image' to 'Scratch.image.old'

3. Extract the contents of the zip file to the above folder (there should be a single 'Scratch.image' file in there)

Ubuntu Linux

1. Download the modified Image Zip file here: <Link coming soon> 2. Backup your existing image file:

  • Open Terminal
  • type 'sudo cp /usr/share/scratch/Scratch.image /usr/share/scratch/Scratch.image.old
  • if you get a file not found error, you may be running an older version of Scratch, try this instead: sudo cp /usr/lib/scratch/Scratch.image /usr/lib/scratch/Scratch.image.old

3. Extract the contents of the zip file to the above folder (there should be a single 'Scratch.image' file in there):

  • Replace <Username> for your Ubuntu username in the following and type sudo unzip -o /home/<Username>/Downloads/Scratch-mesh.zip -d /usr/share/scratch/

Method 2

If you would prefer to do this manually, there are instructions for this on the Scratch website: http://wiki.scratch.mit.edu/wiki/Mesh

Adjust the Firewall on the 'Server' Instance

Host the Mesh

Join the Mesh

Broadcast and Receive a Message

Share Variables

Using Scratch Cloud Variables (Scratch 2.0)

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