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$35 Computer Hopes to Encourage Programming
lexipixel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4423125 posted 3:11 pm on Feb 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Tiny $35 Raspberry Pi computer causes big stir on launch day

The tiny $35 Raspberry Pi computer went on sale today, crashing its distributors' websites on the way to selling out within hours of launch.

Looking like little more than a credit card-sized chip of circuit board, the powerful, fully-programmable PC can plug into any TV and can power 3D graphics and Blu-ray video playback.

Its British-based designers at the Raspberry Pi Foundation hope the computer, which has been in the works for six years, will spark new interest in programming among children.

[cnn.com...]


I've been saying for a while that with all the WYSIWYG and 3rd and 4th generation languages, APIs and other tools that move the "coder" further from the code, that eventually we'd run out of programmers... Hopefully this will help.

 

engine

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4423125 posted 5:36 pm on Feb 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

That's a terrific idea, and I hope that the kids will pick this up. Imagine the potential!

The BBC has a nice video overview.
[bbc.co.uk...]

lucy24

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4423125 posted 10:16 pm on Feb 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

File under: Deja vu all over again?

Terminal took the old command-line interface and repositioned it as the newest, hottest idea.

Tablets took the old 8" monitors and repositioned them as the latest in computing.

The Raspberry took ... and so on.

I'm waiting for someone to reinvent the abacus.

graeme_p

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4423125 posted 6:56 am on Mar 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I am not sure what you mean by "Terminal took the old command-line interface and repositioned it as the newest, hottest idea", All desktops have some sort of command line?

The real reinvention of the command line are things like Quicksilver and Ubuntu Unity (and especially the new Ubuntu HUD). They add ease of use and integration into a GUI environment.

The Raspberry Pi is low powered but runs a modern OS. The main point is that its cheap enough that kids can be given one to tinker with.

lexipixel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4423125 posted 8:41 am on Mar 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

The real reinvention of the command line are things like Quicksilver and Ubuntu Unity (and especially the new Ubuntu HUD). They add ease of use and integration into a GUI environment.

I see it as the exact opposite. Kids don't need ease of use. They need to suffer through the basics of learning about electronic hardware, and how "it's all zeros and ones" that translate to electrical signal, then adding in a programming language, kids will be able to understand and feel how software controls hardware -- and how they can create software, (and/or new hardware), ...only then will they be able to innovate new technologies we haven't even dreamed of yet.

J_RaD

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4423125 posted 1:37 pm on Mar 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

uh so you like ubuntu unity?

that single change couldn't have made me run away fast enough.

graeme_p

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4423125 posted 5:15 pm on Mar 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

@lexipixel, I agree. My point was to disagree with Lucy over her choice of examples of old ideas revived.

I agree entirely that kids need to dig into the guts of computers, and think the Raspberry Pi is a brilliant idea.

@J_Rad, a matter of taste. It appeals to non-geeks, netbook users, screen space misers, and people who likes its choices (MacOS like dock and top of screen menu, text launcher. One of the many things the the Raspberry Pi will teach kids is how customisable computers can be!

enigma1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4423125 posted 12:11 pm on Mar 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

I find this about the system launch discouraging:
It had originally hoped to produce the devices in the UK - "we want to help bootstrap the UK electronics industry" the group wrote in a blog post - but that turned out not to be possible at the right price.

J_RaD

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4423125 posted 7:34 pm on Mar 2, 2012 (gmt 0)


Raspberry Pi will teach kids is how customisable computers can be!


Sad thing is, I don't think kids care about computers anymore.

lucy24

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4423125 posted 10:26 pm on Mar 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

They may not care about the thing sitting on your desk, but everything they use has a computer of some sort in it.

lexipixel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4423125 posted 10:56 pm on Mar 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Sad thing is, I don't think kids care about computers anymore.


I've got a teen -- she is "connected" 24/7 via smartphone when she's out of the house, and on her laptop when she's home. She is a typical teen. (Tumbler, Facebook, websites, etc are not as user friendly on the smartphone -- they still need the bigger screen devices).

The Rasberry Pi is small enough that some smart kid (or one of us oldsters) could figure out how to glue a small phone's touchscreen to it and build a smartphone, tablet or other small format device... If I was 15-20 years old again, I'd be taking apart one of the half dozen broken phones I have and experimenting.

There will always be kids who like to engineer / experiement / invent and play with the electronics, (I can see the Pi being a possible interface/controller for robotic projects).

When I was in high school, (in the 70's), in one tech ed / shop class we built crystal sets from a kit that cost about $3.00 -- wrapping copper wire around the cardboard tube, soldering the tuner, various diodes and an earphone jack to it and making a radio... This isn't much different. I could see teachers ordering a few dozen of these for a similar tech project in school.

I actually think it will open a market for competing devices, (e.g.- some UK or US or other company will decide they CAN build a better, cheaper, faster, smaller unit and grow a new generation of hardware engineers.

Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, etc. could all be potential sponsors pushing their own agenda's and making the devices and either giving them away or absorbing a loss as "(tax deductible) donations" to education systems...

Maybe Radio Shack will jump in and regain their once dominant position in small electronics... (Tandy Pi anyone?)

J_RaD

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4423125 posted 5:16 pm on Mar 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

I didn't say they don't use... I just said it seems they could care less how it works.


Maybe Radio Shack will jump in and regain their once dominant position in small electronics..


hahaahaha, in the mid 90's I had to go in there and show them what a ceramic resister was, tried to hire me on the spot but I was well underage. No hope for the shack. The only small devices they are interested in are ones that come with a 2 year contract.

lexipixel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4423125 posted 6:57 pm on Mar 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

In the 70's half the store was components -- and there were always a couple meters on the counter you could use to test things.

J_RaD

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4423125 posted 10:40 pm on Mar 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Now its a very small wall tucked in the back, and you better know what you are looking for cause the people that work their won't.


:-(

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