Explanations of some technical terms ...

when programming, this is what the errors in the program are called. The term has been used for a long time for malfunctions. Today's use of the word probably goes back to the developer Grace Hopper, who found a moth in a computer in the mid-1940s and made a nice note about it - with the moth glued on!
Debugging" is the process of trying to find and fix the bug in the program.

means programming. Programming is the activity of trying to solve a particular problem with a programming language. To do this, commands and instructions are arranged so that your Calliope mini (or another computer) can execute them.

In general, default values are those values that are accepted by default if no special changes are made. The Calliope mini is equipped with programs by default, which are included in the delivery until you transfer another program to the mini.

is a display, a screen. The Calliope mini has a 5x5 LED matrix.

is a program for the production and treatment of files. The Calliope mini is also known as the programming environment. The Calliope mini can currently be programmed with the following editors: MakeCode, OpenRoberta Lab and Calliope mini editor.

means to change something yourself in such a way that it corresponds better to your own needs. When working with the computer, this is a process in which a programming language is used to solve a problem in a creative way and to connect different components. Hacking is also commonly referred to as intrusion into a closed system (in fact, it's called cracking, but it's rarely used for that purpose).

is a point of contact. The Calliope mini has four touch sensitive pins (0-3): the golden rings on the outside of the mini.

means power. With the mini, this is the energy it needs to run. The mini gets its power from the batteries in the battery holder or via the USB cable from the laptop or PC.

means reset. For the mini, this means that if you press the reset button, the mini resets everything and starts the program from the beginning.

is usually a text (manuscript), in which the most important contents of a fact are (briefly) held. In computer technology it is a list of commands executed by a certain program.

means changing something to repair or enhance it. We use the word often because we are always taking things apart to improve them in some way. It doesn't always work, but it's fun anyway!


Actuators convert electrical signals into mechanical motion or other physical quantities.

A series of defined steps to solve a problem. Algorithms can be used to create reusable problem solutions.

A value that can only be either "true" and "false", or simply "1" and "0".

Brightness sensor
The ambient light is measured and can be evaluated accordingly.

The buttons on the Calliope mini are labeled A, B and Reset. They can be used as input.

Writing code is telling a computer – or your Calliope mini – what to do.

An instruction is a formulated single instruction that is to be executed during the execution of the created program.

Computational thinking
Describes the ability to divide tasks into small subsets and then process them "sequentially and in parallel".

If a program part is only executed under a certain condition, a branch determines which part is to be executed depending on a certain condition.

An electrical conductor is a medium through which charged particles can be transported.

Data type
A range of values that a variable can have. There are defined operations for each data type.

Testing and troubleshooting the created program.

The display or screen for visualizing information.

Electric circuit
An electric circuit is the flow of electric current in a closed system of conductors. In order for electric current to flow, energy must be supplied to the system, which is then transported in the circuit as electric energy and finally converted back into another form of energy. No electricity flows in an open circuit.

Is Japanese and means "picture characters" – they are pictorial pictograms. They are used especially in messages and chats on mobile devices.

Programming events can be user inputs or system events (time, data change, sensor value, ...).

A program construct with which the program code can be structured so that parts can be reused.

Gyroscopes are used as navigation instruments, as well as for attitude control. The origin consists of a rotating, symmetrical gyro, which rotates in mobile position.

Icons are mostly reduced, abstract characters that serve as visual descriptions.

A branch determines which section is executed, depending on conditions.

The first step in data processing, as input buttons, keys or the mouse are used.

Insulators are substances with a very low and therefore negligible electrical conductivity.

The user interface is used for communication, it is the interface between man and machine.

Is a light-emitting diode, if electric current flows in forward direction through the diode it emits light, infrared radiation or ultraviolet radiation.

In programming, a loop is a control structure. It repeats an instruction block, some loops run forever (endless loop) other loops are repeated as long as a certain condition is met.

MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical-System) microphones, like the one on the Calliope mini, have analog-to-digital converters built into the same chip. Thus the chip is a digital microphone. A membrane forms a capacitance with the base plate. Sound waves cause capacity changes which are processed further. The small hole at the top is the sound opening.

The thousandth part of a second.

Motion sensor
A motion sensor is a sensor that returns a change in position as a value.

The output function is used to display information.

An argument passed to a program or subroutine. By parameterization, programs can be made more flexible in their application.

Input and output for electrical signals.

Position sensor
A position sensor is any device that permits position measurement. It can either be an absolute position sensor or a relative one (displacement sensor). Position sensors can be linear, angular, or multi-axis.

The heart of the computer that contains the entire control unit.

A sequence of specific instructions to solve one or more problems or tasks.

A randomly selected number within a defined number range.

Restoring the initial state.

A light-emitting diode that can mix red, green and blue to display millions of colors. The RGB color space is an additive color space that reproduces color perceptions by additive mixing of the three basic colors.

A component that can record physical or chemical properties or material properties.

A sequence is a series of statements in a particular run. Individual steps of a sequence are executed one after the other.

A transducer that converts an electrical signal into vibrations that can be perceived as sound.

A type that stores a series of letters, punctuation marks, or special characters. Character strings are enclosed in quotation marks.

Temperature sensor
The temperature sensor measures the ambient temperature and transmits a value.

The golden, touch-sensitive contacts. On your Calliope mini they are marked from P0 to P3 and "+/-".

Touch-sensitive screen.

A named container that stores a value. The value can change over time.