Today you are going to learn how to program! There are many programming tools out there; perhaps you have heard of some: Java, Pascal, C++, Pizza, Perl, Logo,... A programming language lets you talk with the computer. In many ways it is just like sending an e-mail to one of your friends. In an e-mail, you type your message in a language (perhaps english or spanish) that both you and your friend understand. When you talk with the computer, you need to use a language that the computer can understand.
Logo is a great programming language to introduce you to the wonderful world of programming! In the Logo world you will direct a turtle to move as you wish. Click on the turtle icon on your desktop to start the Logo application. Then follow the instructions found at the tutorial.
Here are two great sites where you can go to learn more about Logo.
The first site: Logo (http://library.thinkquest.org/18446/) allows you to program in Logo online. It also has a more complete tutorial and lots of procedures that other students have written. It's a little old, though, so some of the links don't work. In case you want to use the procedures that we've written for you, we've put a link to them right here.
The second site: StarLogo (http://education.mit.edu/starlogo/) is about a program that allows you to control as many turtles as you want all at once. This site is really up to date. If you have a computer at home, you can go ahead and download the program so you can run it at home whenever you want. To use StarLogo first click on the Download link to download the application, then click on the Getting Started link and follow the instructions to learn how to make your turtles move. StarLogo is much more powerful than Logo but it also has a slightly different syntax and rules that you will have to learn. As a bonus, there are lots of already written programs that you can run from the StarLogo application.
We've spent all this time on software, now it's time to take a
look at the computer itself.
Virtual tour of a modern day computer. (http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~deppeler/eyh/f04/Hardware)
Please send us any Logo procedures that you write so we can post them here. Send an email to mulhern (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your procedure and an explanation of what it does and she'll go ahead and post it.
Also, we plan to update the Logo Application that you ran today, so that the bugs are fixed and so that you can download it and run it at home. Alas, we're all kind of busy, so that's not going to happen too soon.
Tell your friends about this site so that they can check out Logo as well.