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spreadsheetProgramming
webProgramming
laptopAppProgramming
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Contents

Computers are useful in many areas. If you don't program them yourself, you'll likely work with someone who does.
The easiest & fastest way to
get a hands-on grasp of the
core concepts in coding,
and "think computer".
Why Basic Moves Now

Contents

Computers Everywhere
Information World
Patterns of Thought
Interactive Documentary
Home & School
Try It Free

Computers Everywhere     Top of Page

Computers pervade our world today. Most Americans will use a computer at some point during a typical day. They're in our phones, TVs, cars, and more, adding tremendous flexibility to our automation.

Knowing how computers "think" empowers us to customize computers for our own goals. This can be programming our entertainment devices, or automating small computer tasks at work with scripts ("macros"), or even getting seriously into programming. And when others are handling the computers, it helps us be more effective team members.

All this flexibility has also brought complexity that can sometimes be confusing. Understanding how the computers around us "think" helps us work with them.

And learning how software works, how it's designed and developed, is an excellent, cost-effective way to get acquainted with the logical thinking, detailed thinking, and systematic thinking used in all areas of technology, and areas beyond.

Information World     Top of Page

It's an information world today. All the software around us - whether used in

    science
        engineering
            business
                medicine
                    law
                        games
                            music
                                movies
                                    graphic arts

is made of these basic information moves. So it makes sense to be acquainted with how our information tools work. Understanding our surroundings helps us see our world more clearly and be more comfortable in it.

You may be involved in planning new software, perhaps as a user, or as a manager helping specify what a new program will do. Knowing the basic moves in software will help you think realistically and accurately about your new program. If you need to talk with programmers, the information in Basic Moves will help your communications.

For example, a great many businesses benefit from having database software tailored to their business. This is because they have some unique aspect to their business they want to track.

Spreadsheets are commonly used for modeling business scenarios, science scenarios, and engineering scenarios. The flexibility and power of such scenarios multiplies when you add logic with programming. Basic Moves will quickly and easily get you started with a solid foundation. The free Excel exercises will transition you gently into adding custom, complex operations to your spreadsheets.

Or, you can start experimenting with our free animation exercises in PowerPoint. These show how a few simple events are animated, including simple "life-like" movements.

Perhaps you're a website designer, comfortable with HTML, but not yet into browser scripting (e.g. JavaScript, Flash ActionScript) or server programming (e.g. PHP). Basic Moves will give you a solid knowledge of the core concepts shared by all these languages, and how they are combined to do useful and interesting things.

If you're a budding game programmer, or engineer, or scientist, then Basic Moves will give you a quick and solid foundation for writing brand new programs. Games are computer models of imaginary worlds. Engineers create computer models of new devices they are designing, and often include software in the new devices. Scientists create computer models of natural phenomena they are investigating, in everything from physics to ecology, and create custom software for analyzing evidence.

Or if you'd like to work in a music studio, or on film animation, you'll master their computer technologies easier knowing the basic moves in software.

We also provide web links to free programming tools for experimenting, in case you don't have Excel or PowerPoint.

Basic Moves is a bit like the movie in Driver Ed class on how a car works. Even if you don't become a mechanic, it's helpful when you need to talk with a mechanic.

Patterns of Thought     Top of Page

If you simply use computers frequently and are curious about how they "think" and do the myriad things they do, Basic Moves is your simplest way to get an inside view of the software in the machine. And once you see how it works, you may find your own thinking expanding.

This is because the patterns of software are useful patterns of human thought, distilled for the machine. Even if you never go near a machine, having seen these thought patterns can help you handle similar information structures and moves in the situations you encounter.

Coding software involves writing, but it is not like writing an email or an essay for a human reader. It is assembling instructions for a machine. It is like building machinery. All the parts must be in the right places, and their actions must work together.

For students, writing scripts or programs is an excellent way of exercising logical thinking, detailed thinking, and systematic thinking. These thinking skills are essential in all areas of technology, and widely useful in our modern world.

Basic Moves also includes basic planning strategies. Dividing a project into parts is emphasized as a central strategy for planning, designing, and building software, as well as for projects of all sorts, from business to the arts.

Basic Moves will acquaint you quickly and easily with these and other thought patterns while walking you through software's basic moves.

Interactive Documentary     Top of Page

Basic Moves uses an interactive documentary format. It's a documentary with a hands-on, apprentice approach embedded in the information-rich documentary. You become an apprentice programmer in the documentary. You write and run many minitature demonstration programs, with guidance at every step. Explanations are entwined with the demonstrations, including animations for key concepts. Text is chunked in meaningful phrases to assist reading comprehension.

You completely eliminate the delays and frustrations of "debugging". Beginners naturally experience difficulty spotting bugs. And the frustrating delays cause many of them to drop out. That frustration is eliminated here. And when you go on to create your own software you will be better prepared to spot bugs, since you'll have seen and written a lot of correct code.

You also eliminate simultaneously learning a programming application. Learning to use a programming app, along with debugging methods, will come next. This simplification lets you focus on the most important part of developing software, the basic information moves, and how these are assembled with programming languages.

Dividing up the learning task this way eliminates the common arduous and slow initial experience in learning programming. Instead, you begin by learning the language fundamentals easily, enjoyably, and efficiently.

And you'll see key parallel examples in the Basic, C++, and Java languages. These show how underlying core structures remain constant across three of the most widely used programming languages today.

High school students surveyed found Basic Moves to be "easy" and "enjoyable", and it improved their "understanding of how computers think", and their "comfort with software in general". These results were statistically significant by scientific standards. See the Features page for other design features and teacher comments.

Once you're comfortable with software fundamentals, you may want to continue with our programming exercises on animation in PowerPoint, or what-if modeling in Excel (or both), included in the package. These are two of the most widely used workplace apps on the planet, so this experience could be handy.

You may have a particular area of interest you'd like to delve into. See the Next Steps page for guidance on numerous options.

Home & School     Top of Page

Basic Moves in Software is self-contained and tailored for individual study. It's ideal for anyone who wants to learn on their own at work or home, from home school students to business professionals. It's designed for the cognitive adult, about age 12 and up.

Basic Moves' standalone design lets it be inserted effortlessly into an existing course. Teachers can use Basic Moves comfortably with no special training, and know their students will also be comfortable using it. The Teacher's Guide provides specific steps for turnkey use.

Basic Moves fits well at the end of a basic computer literacy course, after students have experienced a few point-and-click applications. And it fits equally well at the beginning of a computer science course, where it can help students get quickly to the fun stuff of creating their own designs.

Basic Moves is an efficient bridge from point-and-click applications, such as Alice or Scratch, to coding your own creations. You re-visit the core principles, and more, but now in actual code. And you get hands-on experience in two languages, using the most widely used strategies and notation styles.

Since Basic Moves runs on your local personal computer rather than on a distant website machine, it uses none of your home or school's internet bandwidth. And it has none of the internet's waits, giving you seamless, smooth interactions with a more realistic learning experience. A machine that is hundreds of miles away, and that you are sharing with other people, cannot match the physical responsiveness of a machine that is dedicated to you and only a few inches away.

Try It Free     Top of Page

We're not in a "one size fits all" world. But if you're looking for the learning app that is the easiest, most efficient, most stress-free, with solid coverage of the basics, and key advanced perspectives to open further doors, then Basic Moves is designed for you.

Plus our labs quickly and easily give you useful real-world programming experience in major office applications.

We invite your comparison with the alternatives. You'll likely be delighted with how much you learn in a short time.

If you think knowledge of the basic moves in software could be useful to you, make a big move with a small investment in yourself. And with our 30-day money-back guarantee you can't lose.

If you'd like to experience the ease of our unique design first, try our demo free.

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