This glossary serves to define some of the more technical terms used on the microbit.org website
|BLE||Bluetooth Low Energy is a simple way to communicate wirelessly over short distances.
As the name suggests, it uses relatively little power and has in built security, so makes an ideal addition to the BBC micro:bit,
allowing it to communicate with other BLE enabled devices
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth is a standard for wireless communication over short distances.
In the case of the micro:bit, it is used to mean the same as BLE.
|Chromebook||A Chromebook is a laptop or notebook device that runs on Google's Chrome OS.
Chromebooks can be used with micro:bit as our editors are available online in the Chrome browser.
||Compiling translates code from high level programming languages to low level machine code that the micro:bit can interpret. When you download a file from one of the editors, it is compiled in the browser and downloaded as a .HEX file.
|Earthing, Earth||Earthing in the case of the micro:bit refers to creating a physical connection between yourself and the earth/ground before you handle the micro:bit.
Sometimes our bodies build up a static electrical charge, just by doing things like walking on carpet (or rubbing your hair with a balloon!).
Earthing lets us discharge this static and ensures that the micro:bit doesn't get damaged by it.
Touching a metal object before touching the micro:bit will Earth you!
|Ecosystem||All the interconected elements that make up the work of the Foundation.
This includes but isn’t limited to hardware, editors, learning materials and projects, reseller network, peripherals, communities and literature.
Most importantly, the Ecosystem is the people that constitute it - You!
|Firmware||Firmware is like software in that it is changeable. It's somewhere between software and hardware - it is stored inside flash memory inside the device, and can be user updated if needed. The Firmware on the micro:bit is stored inside a separate interface chip called the KL26, which is the small chip on the top right of the circuit board at the back. It is the responsibility of this firmware to connect to the USB port, and allow you to drag and drop .hex files that then get programmed into the application processor.|
|GATT||The Generic Attribute profile is a general specification for sending and receiving short pieces of data known as "attributes" over a BLE link. All current Low Energy application profiles are based on GATT.|
|Hardware||The BBC Micro:bit device itself and all the bits that make it up including the board, processors, sensors, pins, power supply and display|
|HEX file||When you write a program in the editor and click download, a file gets assembled into binary with a .hex suffix, that be loaded into the micro:bit. The binary file contains the 1’s and 0’s that make up the machine language commands control the inner workings of the micro:bit|
|LED||Light Emitting Diode. An electrical component that lights up when activated. The micro:bit has 25 individually-programmable, red LEDs, allowing you to display text, numbers, and images.|
|Linux||A series of operating systems built around the Linux kernel (a program that runs all the operating system instructions). The micro:bit can be programmed using Linux and the Raspberry Pi makes use of a Linux Operating System|
|micro USB||A small and thin USB connecter that is used to power the micro:bit from your computer. Mobile devices often use this connector, but make sure that the micro USB lead you are using is able to transfer data as well as power.|
|Micropython||An implementation of the Python programming language that is optimised to be used on microcontrollers like the BBC micro:bit
|Open Source||A licensing model and way of developing technology that makes the source code available with a license that allows the community to study, change, and distribute the technology to anyone and for any purpose. Much of the micro:bit Ecosystem is Open Source; our editors, translations and tech site, encouraging input from the community.|
|Programming, Programmable||This is the process of writing instructions for the micro:bit to carry out. Programs for the micro:bit can be written in the Editors and in python or C++|
|PXT||Another name for Makecode used by the Microsoft developers|
|Raspberry Pi||A small , affordable computer that you can use to program the micro:bit|
|Scratch||An online editor that lets you program your own interactive stories, games, and animations and use these with the BBC micro:bit|
|SS||SuperSpeed. Found on USB ports to advertise they are capable of faster speeds. It is advised not to use these ports with the BBC micro:bit|
|Tech Site||The website at tech.microbit.org that contatins information for developers and those interested in the technology behind the micro:bit|
|USB||Universal Serial Bus. A standard means of powering and transfering data to the BBC micro:bit from your computer via a USB cable.|
|USB disk||A small storage device that conects to your computer via the USB port. The firmware on the BBC micro:bit, enables it to appear on your computer as a USB drive so you can flash a program to it|