The Magic of Turtles
One of the most profound moments of enlightenment I had as a young programmer was interacting with actual graphics on the screen. I could make a hot air balloon shoot across the sky, or a mouse scurry in search of some cheese, or a smiley face bounce around like a hyperactive rubber ball. Yet that meant sitting down with graph paper and carefully plotting colors and translating that graph into long lines that looked something like:
1000 DATA 255, 255, 0, 255, 255, 0, 255, 255
Then one day I discovered Logo. You start with a turtle instead of a blank screen, and you give this turtle commands. He (or she) moves around the screen at your command, and he (or she) can draw pictures. There's no graph paper and no transliteration of filled blocks into long
DATA commands, just the staggering immediacy of visual feedback. That's you, telling a cute little turtle exactly what to do.
We borrowed this idea for ClubCompy. There's a little turtle hidden in our programming language. If you go to ClubCompy right now, click on "Start Your Compy", and then click the little heart icon on the left side, you can work through four tutorials we've written to explain the very basics of programming using our turtle.
There's far more to ClubCompy than simple geometry exercises programming a virtual turtle, but we've walked all sorts of people through these tutorials: children, parents, spouses, grandparents. In only a few minutes people have demystified programming for themselves, have discovered that they really can begin to understand programming, can really enjoy it.
It's always a pleasure to see that moment of enlightenment, when someone realizes "Hey, I just did that!"
You've watched our videos. You've reminisced about all the fun you had in the early 80s with your Commodore or your Atari or your Apple ][ or your Sinclair or ... whatever. Want to recreate that magic for yourself or with your child or niece or nephew or grandchild or students?
Try ClubCompy and our turtle tutorials for yourself, then help us make them available to children of all ages everywhere.
pledged of $25,000 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on December 29, 2010.
Nov 29, 2010 - Dec 29, 2010 (30 days)
Pledge $2 or more
The tip jar! If you support us and like what we're doing, please pop $2 in the hopper for us. When we're successful with our Kickstarter campaign, we'll send you a thank you email.
Pledge $13 or more
A 1-issue, three month subscription to the ClubCompy Magazine. Perfect if you are taking ClubCompy for a trial run! :D (Please see $50 for more details.)
Pledge $25 or more
A 2-issue, six month subscription to the ClubCompy Magazine. (Please see $50 for more details.)
Pledge $50 or more
A 4-issue, one year subscription to the ClubCompy Magazine. Each issue will be jam-packed with fun computer programming activities! Also, a one year subscription makes a great holiday gift, especially since you'll automatically own subscription renewal dibs next year! ;) The magazine subscription is a must as it entitles the magazine holder to save his or her work to disk at ClubCompy.com.
Pledge $62 or more
If you would like us to ship outside the United States, please pledge to this reward. This is a 4 issue, one year subscription (the 50 dollar reward) with $3 added per issue to cover worldwide shipping costs.
Pledge $100 or more
We're going to create an "easter egg" in the ClubCompy shell, where, if the kid types in a special secret code, all of our $100 donors will get a credit in the list of names we print there. This is an eternal 'thank you' for sponsoring us and believing in us when we were just fledgling in our Kickstarter campaign. All $100 donors will also receive a 4-issue, 1 year subscription to the ClubCompy Magazine! (A $50 value, yours absolutely free!)
Pledge $250 or more
With your $250 donation, you receive everything the $100 donors get, *plus* you are entered into a contest, where 10 lucky winners will get to permanently name a color on the ClubCompy color chart. You can name it anything you want: after your school mascot, or favorite gelato flavor, perhaps? (Nothing too wordy or obscene, of course.) Additionally, we wanted programmers out there looking for some retro street creds to have an opportunity to reserve a slot on the ClubCompy marquee (found on the homepage.) If you are a programmer and pledge $250, we will take one program submission from you and add it to the marquee for up to a year. The marquee will display your program's title as well as your name when it starts to maximize your bragging rights. (Note: your program will only run in the marquee for 30 seconds, so keep it short, and it must not crash on IE to be accepted. ;)
Pledge $500 or more
With your $500 donation, you receive everything the $250 donor gets, *plus* we're going to make a color promotional ClubCompy poster and we'll send you a signed copy of it when it's done. -or- if you don't like posters ... We'll write you a custom vanity ClubCompy program for your website or facebook so you can brag about how stylin' and retro you are! The restriction here is: whatever you want done has got to be something we estimate will take us less than 10 man-hours to build, soup-to-nuts. Obviously, we aim to please and we'll try to get it right for you, but we might have to haggle a bit in order to keep things manageable.
Pledge $1,000 or more
With your $1000 donation, you receive everything the $500 donors get, *PLUS* we list you amongst the rare aficionados of kid computing in the forthcoming Official ClubCompy Programmer's Guide - the book that all serious kids will ultimately get to enhance their ClubCompy mojo. Surely those little ones will read your name someday and think, "this person had real foresight and/or moxie!"
Pledge $5,000 or more
So this reward is a special one for the bigtime philanthropists out there (I'm lookin' at you BillG!) We know that ClubCompy could be a very useful tool for teachers, and we want to produce sets of custom lesson plans (called teaching "units") for them to sweeten their math or science lessons. You can give us a huge boost towards that lofty goal. If you pledge $5000, we will work with a professional educator and produce a custom unit for an introduction to computer programming with ClubCompy. It will be targetted at a grade range of your choosing (4th-5th grade, for example). We will deliver the those materials, as well as ten, one-year ClubCompy Magazine subscriptions to the school of your choice.