September Week 1
Saturday, 10 September 2022

This is an extended version of the newsletter emailed to subscribers every Wednesday. As well as listing the week's news items, it also includes the week's Book Review, additions to Book Watch and latest news from the I Programmer Library. Top of the list come Getting Started with the BBC micro:bit and, from our History section, the story of Gene Amdahl.

To receive this digest automatically by email, sign up for our weekly newsletter. 


September 1 - 7, 2022 

Featured Articles  

Micro:bit Getting Started With C/C++
Harry Fairhead
article thumbnail

Anyone who wants to use the BBC micro:bit to its full potential as an IoT device needs to look outside the coding environments provided by its own website. As an mbed device, the micro:bit  is capable of being programmed in C/C++ and this is the easy way to get started. 

Gene Amdahl
Harry Fairhead
article thumbnail

For computer people of a certain age Gene Amdahl is a legend and a hero who made logic design cool and out did IBM in building advanced computers. IBM may have had the 360 and the 370, but Amdahl built the 470 - clearly a case of turn the volume up to 11. 


Programming News and Views   


GitHub Copilot Provides Productivity Boost
07 Sep | Sue Gee
article thumbnail

GitHub set out to discover the impact its new AI-based tool, Copilot is having on developers' productivity. The results seem pretty conclusive - 88% of developers surveyed reported they were more productive and an empirical study revealed developers were 55% faster coding with Copilot that without it. 

Richard Stallman Announces C Reference
07 Sep | Harry Fairhead
article thumbnail

Richard Stallman (RMS) is a controversial figure - you either like or dislike him - but you have to assume he knows his C. So an announcement that he has a book on the subject is interesting.

Learn To Protect Your APIs By Hacking Them
06 Sep | Nikos Vaggalis
article thumbnail

A free course from security expert Corey Ball will teach you all the techniques necessary to hack your APIs.The ultimate goal is to learn how to protect them by first identifying any undiscovered vulnerabilities.

CodeSee Launches Enterprise Code Mapping Tool
06 Sep | Kay Ewbank
article thumbnail

CodeSee has launched a code visibility platform aimed at enterprise customers. The company claims that CodeSee Enterprise allows developers to create a Google Maps-like experience for their code workflow".

Microsoft Goes All Out On Java
05 Sep | Nikos Vaggalis
article thumbnail

Microsoft has released an update to VSCode that has support for Spring-based applications. At the same time there's a new Microsoft website, a dedicated to Java.

Apple Moves WebKit To GitHub
05 Sep | Kay Ewbank
article thumbnail

Apple has announced that it is moving the development of WebKit onto GitHub, which is of course now owned by Microsoft.

Code On Coin Cracked By 14 Year Old!
04 Sep | Sue Gee
article thumbnail

A 14-year-old boy was the first to crack four levels of encryption in code imprinted on a commemorative coin released by the Australian Signals Directorate, the country's foreign intelligence cybersecurity agency. Decryption took him just over an hour.

IEEE Spectrum Ranks Languages
02 Sep | Mike James
article thumbnail

IEEE Spectrum has repeated its annual exercise to rank programming languages in terms of their popularity and once again it is Python that emerges as the front runner in its rankings. However, Python is relegated to third place in terms of Jobs behind SQL and JavaScript.

Google Funds Computer Science Education In USA
02 Sep | Sue Gee
article thumbnail

Google is pledging a further $20 million to expand computer science education among "underrepresented" communities. These funds are expected to to improve educational access for more than 11 million American students. 

Heroku Announces End Of Free Services
01 Sep | Kay Ewbank
article thumbnail


Heroku, the Platform-as-a-Service company, has announced that from December it will no longer offer free product plans.

TypeScript 4.8 Improves Intersection Reduction
01 Sep | Ian Elliot
article thumbnail

TypeScript 4.8 has been released with a number of correctness and consistency improvements that affect how intersection and union types work. The changes are used by TypeScript to narrow types.


Books of the Week

If you want to purchase, or to know more about, any of the titles listed below from Amazon, click on the book jackets at the top of the right sidebar. If you do make Amazon purchases after this, we may earn a few cents through the Amazon Associates program which is a small source of revenue that helps us to continue posting.

Full Review 


Added to Book Watch 

More recently published books can be found in Book Watch Archive.

From the I Programmer Library

Latest publications: 


This month sees the publication of the revised second edition of Programmer's Python: Everything Is An Object in which Mike James reveals how Python has a unique and unifying approach with regards to class and objects. This is the first of a set of titles at intermediate level for the programmer who wants to understand what makes Python special and sets it apart from other programming languages, hence the strap line "Something Completely Different - which is, of course, a reference to the Monty Python TV and film brand that inspired Guido Van Rossum to name his new language. The subject is roughly speaking everything to do with the way Python implements objects. That is, in order of sophistication, metaclass; class; object; attribute; and all of the other facilities such as functions, methods and the many “magic methods” that Python uses to make it all work.  


This is the second of that Something Completely Different titles and explores the way that data is treated in a distinctly Pythonic way. What we have in Python are data objects that are very usable and very extensible. From the unlimited precision integers, referred to as bignums, through the choice of a list to play the role of the array, to the availability of the dictionary as a built-in data type, Python behaves differently to other languages and this book is what you need to help you make the most of these special features. There are also complete chapters on Boolean logic, dates and times, regular expressions and bit manipulation.

MIke James is now working on the third book in the series, Programmer's Python: Async which not only covers the latest asyncio in depth, but has all you need to know about the many approaches to async that Python provides - threads, processes,futures,tasks, schedulers. This is the book you need to understand all the options, trade-offs and gotchas. 

These books aren’t for the complete beginner and some familiarity with both object-oriented programming and Python is assumed, with the first chapter providing a quick recap. They also share an Appendix on using Visual Studio Code from Python. 


Programmers think differently from non-programmers, they see and solve problems in a way that the rest of the world doesn't. In this book Mike James takes programming concepts and explains what the skill involves and how a programmer goes about it. In each case, Mike looks at how we convert a dynamic process into a static text that can be understood by other programmers and put into action by a computer. If you're a programmer, his intent is to give you a clearer understanding of what you do so you value it even more.  

Last Updated ( Saturday, 10 September 2022 )