May Meeting Notes

The main topic for the meeting was a Scratch Workshop. An additional item of interest was information about the annual Photography Day, organised for us by Dick Brown.

Photography Day

This will take place as an event on Saturday May 19 and in following days Dick will await people's best 3 photos and then there will be judging before a final presentation of all the entries and the winners at the next Monthly Meeting.

Participants are asked to meet at 10.00 am at the main entrance to the Geelong Botanical Gardens. Dick has advised us that within the gardens, and the surrounding area, there are many settings that should provide really good opportunities for people to create a photograph that will best capture the spirit of the Gardens. Such photos can be 'doctored' however participants wish before submission to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Scratch Day

BMUG was one of hundreds of thousands of groups that 'Scratched' last week somewhere around the world.

Scratch is an incredibly powerful computer language that, like English, can be used in a simple way or for very sophisticated work.

BMUGers were, on this occasion, beginners using Scratch but it seemed to be fun. One spin off is, for many people, being introduced to something their grandchildren are likely to use at school. Another is that grown-ups can have rare fun with Scratch, programming animations, robots, interactive tools such as automatic chicken feeders, or even something a bit basic but useful as recording themselves reading a book that their grandchildren can listen to in their absence.

Literally millions of children around the world build things and then share them as can be seen on the website they use to share and copy from - yes - learning to do things often involves copying and using what someone else has done.

Respectful copying is cleverly encouraged on the website - you make a program and share it, I download it and improve it, and share what I did, and someone else moves it still further on...and the system records who did what.

This gives a new meaning to 'cheating' and is very seriously recommended as a way of learning for all of us - copying but recognising and respecting who first did what we are now using.

The website for Scratch is http://scratch.mit.edu Developing Scratch is a project that has been running at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for more than 45 years. Scratch is free and use of the website, downloading the software, etc., is safe because the MIT group respect your security and privacy.

Scratch runs on all devices - it can be used online but we decided to recommend the versions that run offline - note that projects can still be posted to the international website for sharing and programs on the website can be seen online and downloaded for use.

So, the suggestion is:

For Apple computers:

 * you will also need an ADOBE product to use Scratch offline - go to https://scratch.mit.edu/download

For iPads:

 * you can get ScratchJ from https://www.scratchjr.org/

or you can get a version of Scratch for the iPad that looks like the original Scratch (it will soon be available for the pads from MIT) - for now try http://www.softumeya.com/pyonkee/en/