Should I learn Python?

As an experienced programmer (mainly Java & C#) and having taught computer programming (C#, C, ActionScript**)  to high school students, I’m now considering learning Python, so I have listed my reasons as to why I’m going to learn Python;

  1. In the way of research I found Python & Java : A Side-by-Side Comparison which has now redirects to Python Conquers The Universe. This series of articles provides excellent explanations of why Python is better than Java and the author gives some good examples as well.
  2. It’s used in Blender, the 3D animation tool I use.
  3. There is Jython: Python for the Java Platform, which translates as “from Python source code to Java Bytecode” *
  4. “Python makes it very easy to just Get Things Done.” * . This I suspect would make it easier from a teaching perspective for a class to learn the fundamentals of programming.
  5. There is PyGame, android-python27, python-for-android, and android-scripting. All of which allow the creation of programs on mobile devices (ie phones, tablets, etc)

Useful resources for Python;

All of the above been said Java is still useful to know;

  1. As it is a building block or stepping stone to learning C/C++. Mainly because it is part of the same family of languages.
  2. It is used with the cross platform mobile development tool Libgdx.
  3. Java can be translated into Python with java2python. Read:Automated Translation of Java to Python

There is also C#;

  • “Python vs C# decision has all the same points as the Python vs Java decision.” *
  • “there is a reason C# is popular: it is pretty much Java for C++’ers.” *

* Quotes from After C++ – Python or Java? [closed]

** Note: I know some programmers think at Flash’s ActionScript is not a real programming language, but it does meet the definition.

Overall, I will invest some of my free time from the next 6 months in learning this and trying to testing the reasons I have given above. This article is really just an abbreviated PMI (Plus-Minus-Interesting see this or this) to outline my own thinking and wither I should do this. Some of the things I have no listed include prior experience with programming which means I don’t need to learn the basics again, or that the time might be better spent elsewhere.

Review of Blender for 3D Printing

Having a keen interest in 3D Printing and teaching Blender in a high school for my day job, I couldn’t resist getting the DVD, Blender for 3D Printing. In fact I downloaded it immediately instead of waiting for the physical DVD to arrive. With most of these tutorial or training DVDs, I tend to be disappointed with the presentation style of watching someone work through a single project in real time without a break, which I find very boring and frustrating because I want to skip a head, but on the other hand I’m worried I’ll miss something useful.

So with this in mind, I found that best bit of this DVD was the style of presentation. The presenter, Dolf (Macouno) Veenvliet, provided concise explanations and easy examples of how to apply that idea. This allows me to view a section to understand the content or review it to reinforce an idea. Also where most training DVDs are purely screen capture this combined that with a view of Macouno working, in which he would turn to the camera and discuss a concept, before using Blender to demonstrate it.

The section on Checks and Fixes provides an excellent overview of the new 3D printing tools in Blender 2.67 and it makes the DVD worth purchasing on it’s own. The previous section on Colouring Models is also high quality and informative. The final section on Making Sintel Printable gives you a summary of the process followed without the many hours the how it was done video, and the final version is available on shapeways.

Overall, I think that this would not suit an absolute beginner, but someone with a little experience in using the software and wanting to gain knowledge for entry into the 3D printing market or just to make some cool stuff, because the focus is 3D Printing and he simply high-lights effective tools and techniques in that direction. For example; in the Using Modifier’s section he does gives a brief outline of the four types of modifiers and then focuses on the two or three that are useful in 3D Printing.

Pirates find the Star League Base

November 2nd, 3043

It’s the fifth pirate raid in as many months and they seam to be searching the planet for something.


On the edge of an abandoned city set on low rolling hills.


  • COM-2D Commando
  • JR7-D Jenner
  • HER-2S Hermes II
  • LCT-3V Locust

Pirate Scouts

The first wave of the attacking for is composed of the following mechs;

  • Assassin
  • Panther
  • Jenner
  • Clint

A lull in the battle

The Clint parks outside the door to the concealed base, and the pilot enters through a service hatch. After finishing off the opposition the mech warriors enter the underground complex. They are met with a luck escape from an Anti Personnel mine, rusted gangways to fall off, some derelict battlemechs and a working computer.


After the botched raid the players capture a number of pilots, including Aran Kale. They also notice that the Jenner is the one that they have sold to fund the modification of the Quickdraw. The discovered Star League base offers slim pickings and is quickly claimed by the local authorities.

Twin Dragons

The Mercenary Unit that the PCs are part of, and you can guess which lance is theirs.

Unit Roster

Command Lance

  • DRG-1N Dragon
  • DRG-1N Dragon
  • SHD-2D Shadow Hawk
  • OSR-2C Ostroc

Striker Lance

  • GRF-1N Griffin
  • BJ-1 Blackjack
  • HBK-4J Hunchback
  • LCXT-1v Locust

The Left-over Lance

  • COM-2D Commando
  • JR7-D Jenner
  • HER-2S Hermes II
  • LCT-3V Locust

Protecting Paulinus (First Contract)

April 15th, 3043

The first contract for the PC after they have joined the Twin Dragons is garrison duty protecting the planet of Paulinus in the Lothian League for a period of two years. The job promises to boring, but as the first raid touches down the truth hits home.

Location: On flat open plains with a little tree cover.


  • COM-2D Commando
  • JR7-D Jenner
  • HER-2S Hermes II
  • LCT-3V Locust

Raiding Party

  • WSP-1A Wasp
  • LCT-3V Locust
  • STG-3R Stinger
  • COM-2D Commando


This battle saw a clean sweep to the defending lance. The Wasp went down to a lucky head shot and the Stinger & Locust where gutted by explosions. The Commando become salvage and used to repair the team’s Commando.

Aran Kale


Aran was born into a Scandinavian family in 3024 on the world of Harvest before the formation of the Free Rasalhague Republic his family was urban poor, so he spent much of his time growing up on the streets under the rule of the Draconis Combine. When the world was captured by the Lyran Commonwealth, Aran’s parents signed him up for a scholarship with the Tamar War College, which he won for his phenomenal Fitness. Although it meant traveling the Tamar to start his training. While at the Tamar college, Aran met Jacob Rann and the two rapidly became enemies. After a particularly bad incident involving honey and a dozens ducks in the barracks, Jacob forced Aran’s transfer to Martial Academy of Bolan, on the other side of Lyran controlled space.

On route to Bolan, he befriended the jumpship captain, Lucas Keal shipping cargoes and passengers. It took another three long and harsh years at the Bolan Academy before the basic training was complete. During this time he officially became a citizen of the Free Rasalhague Republic with it’s creation. With the help of Jacob Rann the Lyran bureaucracy finial realized Aran’s status as not one of us, so he lost the remaining 3 months of his scholarship. Lacking the financial means to continue his studies or even support himself. He looked elsewhere, and as luck would have it Lucas was on Bolan and offered a way off world in exchange for helping out as crew.

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Swedish


  • Enemy: Jacob Rann
  • Connection: Lucas Keal
  • Fit
  • Toughness

Special Item

To be added later!