A frustrating time today + Python

I spent most of the morning returning my new android phone, which not only refused to connect to the App Inventor, but also stubbornly refused to connect to my router via wifi.  I obtained a replacement, which seemed to work, but after trying again to connect it to app inventor, again without result, it stopped talking to the router as well, with the same fault as the previous one – cycling between connecting, obtaining IP address and authenticating.

So it looks like that will be yet another return, and this time I would be asking for a different phone.  I find it difficult to understand why the cheap phone will connect just fine to the router, while this more expensive one, at more than 3 times the price, refuses to.

Neither phone will connect to the app inventor properly, but I believe that’s an issue about drivers.  Suddenly I find myself in an incredibly frustrating world of technical problems.

skiing game written in python

Simple skiing game

So I turned to the Hello World python book, because I’d just reached the point in the book where I’d read past the theory and was invited to type in a program to make a game, with the idea that you learn a lot just by copying code.

The theory is good: that’s how I learned a lot of my code, by typing it in.  But it’s a long program at a couple of pages in the book, there’s far too much in there that’s new to me, and I eventually gave in and looked for the example program that was provided.

It’s a simple game, with a skier skiing downhill and trying to catch the flags while avoiding the trees.  Control is via the left and right arrow keys on the keyboard.  It’s a good example of what the software can do, but I was rather disappointed at how much of the code was new, and how tough it was to type it in without errors.

I’m left both impressed by what python is able to do with a relatively short listing, and frustrated by the amount of new content that was in that listing.  I feel the book would have done much better to include more practice programs along with the theory in the previous chapters, and to have introduced the various concepts used in this game in a more gradual fashion before putting everything together.  Expecting anyone to type in many lines of code they don’t understand is asking for trouble!

In summary, I’ve had an unproductive and frustrating day, and came up hard today against the complexities of some of these systems we expect to run smoothly.  I’ll be taking another look at that listing in the book next time, and seeing if I can start to unpick it. Otherwise, I’ll be moving to a different resource.  I’ve also bought a few more books on various topics, and still have one or two more programs to introduce, before starting to go deeper into them all.

 

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About emmyleigh
Writer/editor/proofreader who loves technology

One Response to A frustrating time today + Python

  1. Pingback: Progressing with Python « ICT in Action

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