KookaSuite V1.5 & Firmware Upgrade to V1.12

This release comprises KookaSuite V1.5 for both Microsoft Windows and Macintosh operating systems, and an update to the Kookaberry firmware.

KookaSuite comprises three apps:

  • KookaTW – the Kookaberry Teacher’s Window that mirrors the Kookaberry’s display
  • KookaIDE – an Integrated Development Environment for programming the Kookaberry in MicroPython; and
  • KookaBlockly – an implementation of the GoogleBlockly programming environment for the Kookaberry
The software for both the firmware upgrade and the KookaSuite are contained in downloadable Github files at this location. The following sections provide instruction in how to download and install this software on your computer and Kookaberries.

KookaSuite V1.5

This is the first public release of AustSTEM’s integrated suite of code editing and viewing software. Unlike many other web based popular code editors such as Mu Editor and Microsoft’s MakeCode; KookaSuite is loaded onto a local computer and does not require an internet connection to operate.
KookaSuite can be installed on both Windows and Mac computers by downloading the appropriate files from their Github locations as follows
Windows computers
  • KookaSuite-1_5-Win64.exe: THIS FILE IS SAFE TO RUN. However,until we formalise the process for independently verifying this file, this is what you will need to do
    • start downloading the file into a temporary folder (Note: the Kookaberry installer programme will assist you find an appropriate location for the final programme).
    • Warnings will now appear suggesting
      • you discard the file or keep it (click on menu arrow and select Keep);
      • a Windows Defender message warning that running this app might put your PC at risk (select and click on More info)
      • click on Run anyway in next Defender screen
    • the KookaIDE executable file will finally appear in the temporary folder you selected. Click on it to start it running.
    • A Kookaberry Installer Setup window will now appear – follow the prompts.
      • First window – Click Next
      • Second window – Select download destination. Unless you have other reasons we suggest you accept the destination recommended. IMPORTANT: Make a note of this location as this is where you will need to go to create a shortcut to the various KookaSuite elements
      • Third window – All the KookaSuite elements will be ticked – Click Next
      • Fourth window – Shortcut destination – Click Next if this location is OK
      • Fifth window – Install – click Next
      • Sixth window – Elements are installing – Click Next
      • Seventh window – Finish installing – Click Finish
  • Go to the location where you installed the KookaSuite software and you will see a folder called 1.5. Open it and you find three folders for the three elements plus other files required for KookaSuite operation.
    • KookaIDE: Click on the KookaIDE folder and you will find the KookaIDE.exe file.
      • Double click the KookaIDE.exe file to run.
      • Right click to open a menu from which you can create a shortcut file which appears in the same folder
      • Right click the shortcut file and select Pin to Start and/or Pin to task bar for easy access.
    • KookaTW (Teachers’ Window): Click on the KookaTW folder and you will find the KookaTW.exe executable file.
      • Double click the KookaTW file to run.
      • Right click to open a menu from which you can create a shortcut file which appears in the same folder
      • Right click the shortcut file and select Pin to Start and/or Pin to task bar for easy access.
    • KookaBlockly: Click on the KookaBlockly folder and locate the KookaBlockly.exe file.
      • Double click the KookBlockly file to run.
      • Right click to open a menu from which you can create a shortcut file which appears in the same folder
      • Right click the shortcut file and select Pin to Start and/or Pin to task bar for easy access.
Mac computers
  • KookaSuite-1.5-macOS.zip: This normally goes in the user’s Downloads folder.  Double click on the zip file and it will unpack into a Kookaberry-1.5 folder.  Drag this folder into the user’s Applications directory.  Within that folder are the three apps.  As these are not from a verified Apple developer the Mac’s systems security won’t allow these to be run.
  • The following procedure is necessary for the first time only, as the Mac will remember they were authorised by the user. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202491   There are various procedures depending on the user’s security settings and the MacOS version.  We have tested on MacOS High-Sierra and Catalina.
    The script locations and behaviour is the same as Windows – in the user’s Home folder (path MacintsosHDD/Users/username/)
Saving your programmes

On first run, if not already present, the KookaIDE/KookaBlockly app will create a KookaScripts folder in the users home directory (path c:/users/username/) within which it creates a KookaIDE/KookaBlockly folder.

The app’s quick access “Scripts” and initial Load/Save dialogues will point to this location.  Sub-folders such as My Programmes can be created within which scripts can be stored and accessed.  Sub-folders need to be created using File Explorer and will only be detected when the app restarts and only if they have scripts in them.

Firmware V1.12 upgrade

This upgrade takes the Kookaberry to V1.12 of Micropython, and includes all recent upgrades to accommodate improvements as required by the development of more sophisticated apps and to run KookaSuite 1.5..

Download the KookaFirmware-1_5.zip folder to a folder on your PC. This folder is just the halfway house to loading them onto the Kookaberry. There are three files in the folder

  • f103.bin — firmware for the F103
  • f091.bin — firmware for the F091
  • nrf5.bin — firmware for the nRF51

Install these files on your Kookaberry as follows

  1. Connect a Kookaberry to your computer. Its USB memory will appear in your file explorer window with two folders (app and lib) and two or more files in its “root” directory. ie stored under the memory drive and not in any folders.
  2. Drag-and-drop all three bin files to the root directory in the Kookaberry’s USB memory.
  3. Once loaded, the blue light will blink rapidly for some seconds as the upgrade is installed.
  4. When the blue light stops, unplug the Kookaberry and then plug it back in again. This resets the Kookaberry and removes the bin files from the USB memory.
  5. That’s all there is to it! Your Kookaberry is upgraded to the the V.12 firmware.

To determine if your Kookaberry has been upgraded, open the KookaIDE  whilst the Kookaberry is still connected and you will see a string of letters and numbers at the top of the left hand widow (the REPL window). The new V1.12 version is shown as v1.12-295-g6642e8900 on 2020-02-14