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jreast
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Working with aging school computers

Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:40 am

Since we've started back this term I've had a few challenges with the school library computers, they are showing their age and I've lost a fair bit of session time getting everyone working, some PCs don't have working sound from one week to the next, and the flash plugin has been temperamental so we've had to use Scratch 3 which means (for now) saving to the students' network location and they can't then continue at home or show their parents. I've already lost one student who said it was 'boring' as a result of the problems. So I ordered a 10 pack of USB keys and created bootable Debian Raspberry Pi Desktop images, these have breathed new life into the old machines, they are so much easier to get up and running, and come with Scratch 2 pre-installed. I've not sorted internet access yet so we are saving to the USB keys but it's made my life so much easier and improved the experience for the students, my last session I had lots of happier faces :) :) !

Debian Raspberry Pi Desktop image can be downloaded from raspberrypi.org https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/r ... i-desktop/
and burned to USB keys using https://www.balena.io/etcher/ or to DVD directly from Windows Explorer on a PC.

Hopefully as we go forward we'll get onto the SonicPi and Sense HAT projects (all of which have emulators in the desktop image). The only shame is that the image doesn't include the Minecraft Pi edition, but hopefully I can talk the school into picking up some education licences, or better still some Pis!
Last edited by jreast on Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

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mahjongg
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Re: Old School Computers

Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:15 pm

Moved thread, and changed instances of "raspbian" to debian

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Old School Computers

Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:27 pm

jreast wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:40 am
Since we've started back this term I've had a few challenges with the school library computers, they are showing their age and I've lost a fair bit of session time getting everyone working, some PCs don't have working sound from one week to the next, and the flash plugin has been temperamental so we've had to use Scratch 3 which means (for now) saving to the students' network location and they can't then continue at home or show their parents. I've already lost one student who said it was 'boring' as a result of the problems. So I ordered a 10 pack of USB keys and created bootable Debian desktop images, these have breathed new life into the old machines, they are so much easier to get up and running, and come with Scratch 2 pre-installed. I've not sorted internet access yet so we are saving to the USB keys but it's made my life so much easier and improved the experience for the students, my last session I had lots of happier faces :) :) !

Debian desktop image can be downloaded from raspberrypi.org https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/r ... i-desktop/
and burned to USB keys using https://www.balena.io/etcher/ or to DVD directly from Windows Explorer on a PC.

Hopefully as we go forward we'll get onto the SonicPi and Sense HAT projects (all of which have emulators in the desktop image). The only shame is that the image doesn't include the Minecraft Pi edition, but hopefully I can talk the school into picking up some education licences, or better still some Pis!


The Minecraft-Pi Edition was compiled to run on the ARM Architecture of the RPi SBC running Raspbian Operating System, it will not natively run on x86 CPU Architecture machines:

https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Pi_Edition
adieu

Asus CS10 Chromebit / HP Envy 4500 Wireless Printer / Raspberry Pi Model 2B v1.1 / RealVNC Software...

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PeterO
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Re: Old School Computers

Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:29 pm

mahjongg wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:15 pm
Moved thread, and changed instances of "raspbian" to debian
Why was this moved from CodeClub forum ? It is about using older PC in a CodeClub setting.

PeterO
Discoverer of the PI2 XENON DEATH FLASH!
Interests: C,Python,PIC,Electronics,Ham Radio (G0DZB),1960s British Computers.
"The primary requirement (as we've always seen in your examples) is that the code is readable. " Dougie Lawson

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mahjongg
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Re: Old (x86) School Computers

Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:16 pm

Because I wanted to avoid confusion, I thought it was better to move it to the "use with a PC section" of this forum.
But okay, moved it back to CodeClub, if it is used in a CodeClub setting. I changed the subject line to make clear we are talking about (x86) PC's here, not Raspberry PI's.

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bensimmo
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Re: Old (x86) School Computers

Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:29 pm

See if you can get a few PiZero's, once you get you head around talking to them when plugged into the RaspberryPi Desktop x86
If you set that up in the background at the start,
You can then talk to the Zero and turn on LEDs, buzzers and do some physical computing still from the PCs and cheaper than a lot of Pi3's
An over view here https://bennuttall.com/raspberry-pi-zero-gpio-expander/

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Old (x86) School Computers

Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:47 pm

bensimmo wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:29 pm
See if you can get a few PiZero's, once you get you head around talking to them when plugged into the RaspberryPi Desktop x86 'raspbian' (calling it debian without all the rest has made it more confusing to me, I was confused at first as that doesn't come with scratch etc until I read all the malarky later :-().

If you set that up in the background at the start,
You can then talk to the Zero and turn on LEDs, buzzers and do some physical computing still from the PCs and cheaper than a lot of Pi3's
An over view here https://bennuttall.com/raspberry-pi-zero-gpio-expander/

Scratch 1.4 (NuScratch) & 2 are included with the latest release of Debian Stretch x86 with Raspberry Pi Desktop, whilst Chromium Browser has Flash ...
adieu

Asus CS10 Chromebit / HP Envy 4500 Wireless Printer / Raspberry Pi Model 2B v1.1 / RealVNC Software...

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Old (x86) School Computers

Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:49 pm

bensimmo wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:29 pm
See if you can get a few PiZero's, once you get you head around talking to them when plugged into the RaspberryPi Desktop x86 'raspbian' (calling it debian without all the rest has made it more confusing to me, I was confused at first as that doesn't come with scratch etc until I read all the malarky later :-().

If you set that up in the background at the start,
You can then talk to the Zero and turn on LEDs, buzzers and do some physical computing still from the PCs and cheaper than a lot of Pi3's
An over view here https://bennuttall.com/raspberry-pi-zero-gpio-expander/

viewtopic.php?f=116&t=217203
adieu

Asus CS10 Chromebit / HP Envy 4500 Wireless Printer / Raspberry Pi Model 2B v1.1 / RealVNC Software...

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bensimmo
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Re: Old (x86) School Computers

Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:12 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:47 pm
bensimmo wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:29 pm
See if you can get a few PiZero's, once you get you head around talking to them when plugged into the RaspberryPi Desktop x86 'raspbian' (calling it debian without all the rest has made it more confusing to me, I was confused at first as that doesn't come with scratch etc until I read all the malarky later :-().

If you set that up in the background at the start,
You can then talk to the Zero and turn on LEDs, buzzers and do some physical computing still from the PCs and cheaper than a lot of Pi3's
An over view here https://bennuttall.com/raspberry-pi-zero-gpio-expander/

Scratch 1.4 (NuScratch) & 2 are included with the latest release of Debian Stretch x86 with Raspberry Pi Desktop, whilst Chromium Browser has Flash ...
I know that, you know that, jreast knows that, but unfortunately in the post it now says Debian desktop.
That does not, only if you eventually get to the RDP x86 link you you find it is not Debian desktop.

Hopefully this can all be cleared up by the CodeClub mods and sorted so other CodeClub users don't get confused and see a load of messy replies to the post.

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bensimmo
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Re: Old (x86) School Computers

Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:18 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:49 pm
bensimmo wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:29 pm
See if you can get a few PiZero's, once you get you head around talking to them when plugged into the RaspberryPi Desktop x86 'raspbian' (calling it debian without all the rest has made it more confusing to me, I was confused at first as that doesn't come with scratch etc until I read all the malarky later :-().

If you set that up in the background at the start,
You can then talk to the Zero and turn on LEDs, buzzers and do some physical computing still from the PCs and cheaper than a lot of Pi3's
An over view here https://bennuttall.com/raspberry-pi-zero-gpio-expander/

viewtopic.php?f=116&t=217203
I know, I was being cheeky hence the ' ' bits ;-)

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Old (x86) School Computers

Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:59 pm

jreast wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:40 am
Since we've started back this term I've had a few challenges with the school library computers, they are showing their age and I've lost a fair bit of session time getting everyone working, some PCs don't have working sound from one week to the next, and the flash plugin has been temperamental so we've had to use Scratch 3 which means (for now) saving to the students' network location and they can't then continue at home or show their parents. I've already lost one student who said it was 'boring' as a result of the problems. So I ordered a 10 pack of USB keys and created bootable Debian desktop images, these have breathed new life into the old machines, they are so much easier to get up and running, and come with Scratch 2 pre-installed. I've not sorted internet access yet so we are saving to the USB keys but it's made my life so much easier and improved the experience for the students, my last session I had lots of happier faces :) :) !

Debian desktop image can be downloaded from raspberrypi.org https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/r ... i-desktop/
and burned to USB keys using https://www.balena.io/etcher/ or to DVD directly from Windows Explorer on a PC.

Hopefully as we go forward we'll get onto the SonicPi and Sense HAT projects (all of which have emulators in the desktop image). The only shame is that the image doesn't include the Minecraft Pi edition, but hopefully I can talk the school into picking up some education licences, or better still some Pis!

https://projects.raspberrypi.org/en/pro ... pi-desktop
adieu

Asus CS10 Chromebit / HP Envy 4500 Wireless Printer / Raspberry Pi Model 2B v1.1 / RealVNC Software...

code_exec
Posts: 271
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Re: Old (x86) School Computers

Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:21 pm

If you want to use Python with Minecraft PC Edition, then check out this Bukkit plugin:

https://dev.bukkit.org/projects/raspberryjuice
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS desktop images for the Raspberry Pi 3.

https://github.com/CodeExecution/Ubuntu-ARM64-RPi

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jreast
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Re: Old (x86) School Computers

Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:47 am

code_exec wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:21 pm
If you want to use Python with Minecraft PC Edition, then check out this Bukkit plugin:

https://dev.bukkit.org/projects/raspberryjuice
Thanks, yes had my eye on that one for use at home with the little ones.

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jreast
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Re: Old (x86) School Computers

Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:49 am

fruitoftheloom wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:59 pm
jreast wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:40 am
Since we've started back this term I've had a few challenges with the school library computers, they are showing their age and I've lost a fair bit of session time getting everyone working, some PCs don't have working sound from one week to the next, and the flash plugin has been temperamental so we've had to use Scratch 3 which means (for now) saving to the students' network location and they can't then continue at home or show their parents. I've already lost one student who said it was 'boring' as a result of the problems. So I ordered a 10 pack of USB keys and created bootable Debian desktop images, these have breathed new life into the old machines, they are so much easier to get up and running, and come with Scratch 2 pre-installed. I've not sorted internet access yet so we are saving to the USB keys but it's made my life so much easier and improved the experience for the students, my last session I had lots of happier faces :) :) !

Debian desktop image can be downloaded from raspberrypi.org https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/r ... i-desktop/
and burned to USB keys using https://www.balena.io/etcher/ or to DVD directly from Windows Explorer on a PC.

Hopefully as we go forward we'll get onto the SonicPi and Sense HAT projects (all of which have emulators in the desktop image). The only shame is that the image doesn't include the Minecraft Pi edition, but hopefully I can talk the school into picking up some education licences, or better still some Pis!

https://projects.raspberrypi.org/en/pro ... pi-desktop
If you're using school computers actually installing it isn't an option, which is why I didn't provide that link. I'm using Run with persistence so the USB keys store all the changes and the school machines are intact and can boot back to Windows after a restart without the USB key inserted.

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jreast
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Re: Working with aging school computers

Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:55 am

I changed the title because x86 wasn't really important. By 'Old' I meant the computers were old, it had no bearing on their processor architecture.
I've also added Raspberry Pi Desktop to the Debian references to alleviate some confusion. At this point this thread is such a mess it may as well be deleted rather than cause confusion for latecomers to it.

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PeterO
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Re: Working with aging school computers

Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:02 am

Actually x86 IS relevant. If you don't specify the architecture you are talking about the normal assumption is that you are talking about ARM based PIs.
PeterO
Discoverer of the PI2 XENON DEATH FLASH!
Interests: C,Python,PIC,Electronics,Ham Radio (G0DZB),1960s British Computers.
"The primary requirement (as we've always seen in your examples) is that the code is readable. " Dougie Lawson

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jreast
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Re: Working with aging school computers

Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:07 am

PeterO wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:02 am
Actually x86 IS relevant. If you don't specify the architecture you are talking about the normal assumption is that you are talking about ARM based PIs.
PeterO
Well I've posted in the Code Club forum, which is not a Pi specific forum, and x86 was not relevant to the point I was making in my original post - that Code Club volunteers should know there are options if they are struggling, like I did, with old hardware. Also how would anyone read a title like Old School Computers and assume I am talking about an ARM based Pi? How about Working with aging school computers. The areas of confusion in my original post were already addressed so what are you arguing?

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PeterO
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Re: Working with aging school computers

Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:17 am

jreast wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:07 am
PeterO wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:02 am
Actually x86 IS relevant. If you don't specify the architecture you are talking about the normal assumption is that you are talking about ARM based PIs.
PeterO
Well I've posted in the Code Club forum, which is not a Pi specific forum, and x86 was not relevant to the point I was making in my original post - that Code Club volunteers should know there are options if they are struggling, like I did, with old hardware. Also how would anyone read a title like Old School Computers and assume I am talking about an ARM based Pi? How about Working with aging school computers. The areas of confusion in my original post were already addressed so what are you arguing?
Don't argue with me, I'm trying to help ! I've been here a while, trust me it's best to be explicit about these things. Oh, and it was me that got the thread moved back into CodeClub from "off topic" or where ever it got moved to...

PeterO
Discoverer of the PI2 XENON DEATH FLASH!
Interests: C,Python,PIC,Electronics,Ham Radio (G0DZB),1960s British Computers.
"The primary requirement (as we've always seen in your examples) is that the code is readable. " Dougie Lawson

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jreast
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Re: Working with aging school computers

Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:22 am

PeterO wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:17 am
jreast wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:07 am
PeterO wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:02 am
Actually x86 IS relevant. If you don't specify the architecture you are talking about the normal assumption is that you are talking about ARM based PIs.
PeterO
Well I've posted in the Code Club forum, which is not a Pi specific forum, and x86 was not relevant to the point I was making in my original post - that Code Club volunteers should know there are options if they are struggling, like I did, with old hardware. Also how would anyone read a title like Old School Computers and assume I am talking about an ARM based Pi? How about Working with aging school computers. The areas of confusion in my original post were already addressed so what are you arguing?
Don't argue with me, I'm trying to help ! I've been here a while, trust me it's best to be explicit about these things. Oh, and it was me that got the thread moved back into CodeClub from "off topic" or where ever it got moved to...

PeterO
Thanks Peter, I'm grateful that you intervened, to get the post moved back. But I'm struggling to understand how Janice from Risborough High School is going to know what x86 is and so won't bother clicking on a post that might have been useful to her. I agree x86 was relevant when my post was bounced to the other forum to help those browsing thread titles, but dispute its relevance to Code Club volunteers, or relevance to the actual topic of my post.

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jreast
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Re: Working with aging school computers

Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:29 am

fruitoftheloom wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:17 am
jreast wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:07 am
PeterO wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:02 am
Actually x86 IS relevant. If you don't specify the architecture you are talking about the normal assumption is that you are talking about ARM based PIs.
PeterO
Well I've posted in the Code Club forum, which is not a Pi specific forum, and x86 was not relevant to the point I was making in my original post - that Code Club volunteers should know there are options if they are struggling, like I did, with old hardware. Also how would anyone read a title like Old School Computers and assume I am talking about an ARM based Pi? How about Working with aging school computers. The areas of confusion in my original post were already addressed so what are you arguing?

The Post became a mess because you did not research prior to posting and the MODS had to make an educated guess.


It is important to differentiate between x86 Debian and ARMHF Raspbian, as the software offered is different, both Operating System and available software.


Point of note it is 2 years since the BLOG about releasing x86 Debian was released so most of your points are already well documented:

https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/pixel-pc-mac/

viewforum.php?f=116
That's great, but the Code Club forum is only 2 months old, and this kind of post was quite welcome on the old Google Group. A Code Club volunteer who joined last month working in an underfunded library with aging PCs might welcome the pointer towards how to get a better environment for her Code Club students, I'm sure she can just read the 268 posts in that other forum. I thought I was doing people a favour.

My only mistake was confusing Rasbian and Debian with Raspberry Pi Desktop, which you immediately corrected without any courtesy. A simple ask and I could have corrected my post.

katharine_childs
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Re: Working with aging school computers

Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:01 pm

Hi all

It looks to me like the OP has made a useful suggestion on how to run a club on aging school PCs which could help other Code Clubs.

I haven't seen the changes to the title and the moves of the post around the forum so can't comment on that. but I do know we welcome all volunteers having an exchange of tips and ideas here in a cooperative and constructive way. We'll take a look at how / what we can do with this thread to keep the valuable information within it.
__________
Katharine Childs
Programme Coordinator, Code Club
Raspberry Pi Foundation

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jreast
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Re: Working with aging school computers

Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:21 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:10 pm
katharine_childs wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:01 pm
Hi all

It looks to me like the OP has made a useful suggestion on how to run a club on aging school PCs which could help other Code Clubs.

I haven't seen the changes to the title and the moves of the post around the forum so can't comment on that. but I do know we welcome all volunteers having an exchange of tips and ideas here in a cooperative and constructive way. We'll take a look at how / what we can do with this thread to keep the valuable information within it.

The essence of the original post is already out there on the WWW in other Blogs / Tutorials and Debian with RPD is well documented, the OP needs to understand the x86 Debain is not the same as ARMHF Raspbian.

It has been requested a new name for the x86 Linux Distro should be given to stop this hassle. At least SL has removed a lot of the Raspbian references in x86 Debain with RPD ;)
The essence of my post is that a Code Club volunteer can breath new life into older computers and get up and running very easily, I never attempted to write a tutorial on the finer details of making it work.

katharine_childs
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Re: Working with aging school computers

Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:44 pm

I'll request this thread is closed and as I said before, we will work out the useful information from it.

I don't expect to see any more discussion on nomenclature now, the explanation has been made and there seems to be nothing else constructive to add.
__________
Katharine Childs
Programme Coordinator, Code Club
Raspberry Pi Foundation

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