Archives for : December2018

Countdown 2019

Quick post about numbers. Back in 2017, @aap03102 asked me if I could write a program to insert basic operators into a string of numbers, e.g.

1 + 2 – 3 + 4 ÷ 5 …

We were trying to find 10,958, which is the only ‘gap’ between 0 and 11111 if worked out this way (work of Inder Taneja - see this link). The closest we got was 1.2 + ((3/4) ^ (5 – (6 x 7 x (8/9))) = 10958.052439016.

I remembered this today when I saw 2019 countdowns, so started up the Discombobulator and Number Tokenizer (couldn’t think of a good name) and found this – plus 1930 other results (there’s a bit of overlap with redundant brackets that I couldn’t be bothered filtering out).


Anyway, download link for the program is here: discombobulator

Source code (Visual Studio project): discombob_source

Makey Makey Featured Guide: Walk-on Maze

I’ve always felt interactive programmable floor mazes were just too… static. So why not make one you can take with you?! Actually, I just use multiple classrooms, so it was easiest to make a roll-up portable version that could be moved between rooms when we were working on it.

I’m pretty chuffed that my maze remix is featured and has been taken as the #CSEdWeek Hour of Code Challenge Day 3 by Makey Makey – and they made blog post about it.


This is a take on the Makey Makey Journey, whereby two people walk along a conductive path – holding hands – to control a computer game. We made our own version with tinfoil tape (becoming one of my favourites) and plastic outdoor sheeting.


One path is wired to the Earth terminal, and the other to Space. The connection was a bit ropey at first, but we managed to find where it was dropping off and added some booster wires.

We used Scratch to make a circus game with a tightrope-walker and big top music. The featured guide is on Labz and Twitter, and explains it best. This includes a (hopefully funny) video.

Now, I’m away to frame my maze and stick it on a (large) wall in my parents’ house.