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psergiu
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Re: How many here actually *care* about the goals of the project?

Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:23 pm


Processor: Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz
Memory: 512MB
Hard Drive: 80GB
Optical Drive 1: DVD
All this for 105 bucks shipped.


Add windows & office license costs. Then the antivirus and the salary of the IT guy to reinstall everything every 2 weeks. All computers capable of running Windows in a school, WILL run windows. If the teachers are smart enough to install Linux, the management (after having lunch with the MS sales guy) will force them to install windows. One of RPi's quality is the "0% Windows Compatibility" - it will force the people to think, to learn new things.

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johnbeetem
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Re: How many here actually *care* about the goals of the project?

Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:34 pm

I applaud the goals of the RasPi project and hope that they succeed. A well-educated person should understand what computers do at a basic level, otherwise they're too easily bamboozled by people who want to separate them from their money and freedoms. It's similar to science. While I don't expect every student who takes science classes to become a professional scientist, they all need to know enough not be bamboozled by people who are willing to destroy the planet so they can make a few billion more today.

I also hope that success of RasPi in the classroom/home translates into improvements to computing in general, in particular expanding the use of GNU/Linux on the desktop. For example, RasPi could really help improve the prospects for FLOSS laptops, such as a reasonably powerful ARM-based laptop with a decent size screen and extremely long battery life, something I can't buy today even though the technology to implement it has been around for years.

radu
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Re: How many here actually *care* about the goals of the project?

Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:39 pm

Quote from psergiu on December 2, 2011, 21:23
Add windows & office license costs. Then the antivirus and the salary of the IT guy to reinstall everything every 2 weeks. All computers capable of running Windows in a school, WILL run windows. If the teachers are smart enough to install Linux, the management (after having lunch with the MS sales guy) will force them to install windows. One of RPi's quality is the "0% Windows Compatibility" - it will force the people to think, to learn new things.

It comes with Windows XP, so no licensing cost.
The rest of the message is just trolling, so I won't bother to reply. But it is interesting to see how some Linux people think that choice is a bad thing.

LinuxLady
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Re: How many here actually *care* about the goals of the project?

Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:31 pm

Quote from radu on December 2, 2011, 21:22
In 'first world' countries, cost for computers in universities is usually not an issue. They would look for other criteria first, such as: How versatile is it? Does it have tech support? Can our teachers use them, without having to spend time and money to go to courses and stuff?

Agreed, but that's why I think that in the UK, the R-Pi will be such a hit - it's TCO should be very low and that's a big win in education.

However the R-Pi also hits another sweet price point and that is the "as a parent I don't mind buying one even if it's not going to be used that much" price point - it's cheap enough for parents and pupils and students to take a gamble on buying it. A £100 tablet isn't.


In poor countries, the cost can be the first criteria, but if I were a school IT guy in a poor country, responsible for buying computers, I would go for netbooks. Why? Because they can do MORE.
If many of the students don't have a computer at home, you don't want to teach them only about programming. You also should teach them a bit about Windows (which happens to be the most used OS), maybe some office programs (does LibreOffice even run on the RPI?), and so on. And video chatting capabilities wouldn't hurt either.


Even in developing countries I don't think it's as much cost as value and that will depend very much on the situation -I've helped spec teaching facilities in the developing world for a number of charities and yes one of the main criteria is cost, but as equally important is robustness/reliability. In some situations, because of the battery, netbooks will be better, but I can also see situations where the simplicity of an R-Pi might be more robust although that can't obviously be really tested at this point :-). And as I said earlier the range of software needed in teaching (and I'm not just talking programming here) is quite a constrained set and at a simple level is quite likely to be things that the R-Pi can do.

PS Actually Windows, Linux or Mac OS don't even come close in the most popular OS stakes - the winner of that is actually Symbian by quite a long margin (5 billion mobile phones, the vast majority of which are still feature phones Vs 1-2 billion PCs)

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scep
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Re: How many here actually *care* about the goals of the project?

Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:01 pm

I wouldn't worry about it too much tufty - because you forgot the fact that the Raspberry Pi is a goddamnripoffvapourwarescamz!!! Those PCB pics are clearly 'Shopped from the insides of an old Game & Watch Popeye.

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abishur
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Re: How many here actually *care* about the goals of the project?

Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:30 pm

Hi radu, you're making some nice and respectful points. As a moderator I *really* appreciate the fact that you're actually listening and responding intelligently rather than blindly going "nuh-uh!"

I just wanted to something nice before I completely disagreed with you :P :D

Well.... mostly disagreeing with you.

Let me preface my statement by saying I've worked as the IT department for a Jr. High School (grades 7-9, ages 13-15ish) in the US, I really know how *US* schools work (I make no claims for other countries ;) )

The r-pi would be unlikely to be used as the main backbone for teachers and whatnot as it's not windows. Windows makes the government (in the US at least) run and that's unlikely to change.

Moreover, because of the direction standardized testing has gone, teachers have turned to teaching answers over teaching content and as such, there's a ton of software teachers have come to rely on that's windows dependent. Plus it can be really, really, *REALLY* difficult to get a new vendor approved.

So I don't think the r-pi will completely replace the MS/Dell environment. All that said, there are some very important way the r-pi *can* be brought into the school environment. Specifically, IT classes. It can be a trail to get them in place, but once it's approved then it becomes a tool that the kids can freely take home to do their homework.

Which is awesome, while it would be cool for the r-pi to take over education, that's not really needed. All it needs is to change the way ITC (BCIS where I went to school) operates. Which it has a real chance to do. The r-pi creates an opportunity to provide students with a means to actually program as a homework assignment rather than taking a a piece of paper with code on it home and try to "find the errors".

Plus in a high school environment, it creates the opportunity for advanced electives such as as accessing GPIO (controlling motors, servos, leds, relays, etc) amazingly buying an r-pi will cost almost as much as my breadboard did!

Oh, and one last tid bit, wifi in an school environment is worthless. Teachers don't want them to have access to wifi. They tolerate it because the students have to log in to the machine, but they really wish they didn't have it. Wifi and indeed networking on the whole, isn't needed if the r-pi is given out on a student by student basis ;)
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scep
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Re: How many here actually *care* about the goals of the project?

Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:39 pm

OT - abishur: so is Dell the main edu hardware supplier in the US? Does it shape what goes into schools, what software is used etc. Does it have a similar power that school boards have over text books there?

Josh
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Re: How many here actually *care* about the goals of the project?

Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:54 pm

Quote from piglet on December 2, 2011, 13:41
I care. I'm a governor at my local junior school and have just been given responsibility for working with the staff on ict....

ICT seems to consist of "using office apps". No logic. No computing as I understand it.

You are so true.

Right now in Year 11, my GCSE consists of:
- making a letter in Word and documenting it.
- making a Powerpoint and documenting it.
- making a s***ty website in Dreamweaver and documenting it.
- making a basic animation in Flash... and documenting it.
- oh, and plenty of filing.

Cannot wait to get to Sixth Form were we actually do computer things, not office tasks.

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liz
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Re: How many here actually *care* about the goals of the project?

Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:04 am

I was at a dinner tonight with the great and good, talking about Raspberry Pi in the moments when we weren't discussing how great Christopher Wren dining room we were sitting in was. I was sitting next to a guy who runs the exam board that's piloting the GCSE in Computing (as distinct from ICT). I think we're getting some traction. Can't say much more than that right now, but you can imagine me as a giant, human-shaped Magic 8 Ball, bellowing ALL SIGNS POINT TO YES.
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max1zzz
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Re: How many here actually *care* about the goals of the project?

Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:37 am

Quote from Josh on December 2, 2011, 23:54
Quote from piglet on December 2, 2011, 13:41
I care. I'm a governor at my local junior school and have just been given responsibility for working with the staff on ict....

ICT seems to consist of "using office apps". No logic. No computing as I understand it.

You are so true.

Right now in Year 11, my GCSE consists of:
- making a letter in Word and documenting it.
- making a Powerpoint and documenting it.
- making a s***ty website in Dreamweaver and documenting it.
- making a basic animation in Flash... and documenting it.
- oh, and plenty of filing.

Cannot wait to get to Sixth Form were we actually do computer things, not office tasks.

Tell me about it, I'm in Year 10, we are doing BTEC level 2, or in plain English, the most pointless course ever devised. Unit 1 has nothing to do with IT, it's all english (and guess what, there's a lesson called.... english for that).

Personally, I think it would be a better use of money to give each pupil a rasberry pi with some educational software and some examples of how that can be used.

As a kind of side note that doesn't fit in anywhere else, if you wan't to get kids into progrmming / scripting / 3d design etc. the best way to do it is with a simple game engine, start with simple placement of objects graphicaly and it'll all lead off from there (i found this with HEK, i never intended to get into the scripting / 3d design element of it, but i get dragged into it :) )

radu
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Re: How many here actually *care* about the goals of the project?

Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:11 am

abishur, that's kind of what I said.
I don't see it being used in schools as a general purpose computer, but I can see it used for specific purposes, such as robotics, electronics and similar stuff.
And I think this should be what the project should aim at. Forget the general computing part, because it simply is not up to the task. Even the B model, with 256 RAM, is not good enough for general computing tasks. Web browsers nowadays can take over 512 MB of RAM.
In poor countries, many schools and families don't have TVs (or have TVs incompatible with the RPI). So if they have to buy TVs/Monitors, then the RPI is less attractive than some netbooks or cheap tablets.

But for robotics and electronics in general, the RPI is the best choice possible. It's the cheapest of all the dev Linux boards, and it is at about the same price as a PIC or Arduino entry level kit, but far more powerful. So the choice would be obvious.

BlackAdder
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Re: How many here actually *care* about the goals of the project?

Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:21 am

I work in a US Aerospace company who hires college computer science students during the summer. The last student we hired was going to be a senior and was to write a program to change the scaling of data flowing through the computer. I completely lost him when I mentioned 'masking off some bits'. I ended up showing him the bit patterns from 0 to 'F', and wrote out truth tables showing AND, OR and NOT functions. He could probably run a Microsoft Application wizard like a professional, but had no real understanding under the hood.
I do care for the foundations goals, but I'm not too hopeful that the situation will change anytime soon. In the mean time I'll be the one enjoying making home projects with a low cost/low power capable device. I wish them all the best.

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abishur
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Re: How many here actually *care* about the goals of the project?

Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:01 am

Quote from scep on December 2, 2011, 23:39
OT - abishur: so is Dell the main edu hardware supplier in the US? Does it shape what goes into schools, what software is used etc. Does it have a similar power that school boards have over text books there?

Hmm... pretty much as far as I've seen, we also had the token Mac in there, but it was never touched, *ever*. Honestly dells are all I see out at water and power plants to....

I don't think it technically has power over shaping what goes into schools. It more that dell puts out a range of low, mid, and high range products then the school purchase whichever model fits their needs (well they try to at least). They definitely don't dictate software though. I've never found any software consensus from district to district or even school to school in some cases. There's certainly some overlap but by far in large each school does their best to fit that no child left behind..er-hem, standard (if you could hear me say it you'd have sworn I just said standard as if it was a pejorative )

@radu, to be fair, web-browsers and OSes on the whole have become over inflated bloatware specifically because of bad programming, but there are in fact many modern browsers that would run modern websites without taxing even the 128 MB restrictions. I guess the point of my post was while I suppose I agree with your overall premise, I disagree with the logic behind your premise. :P
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Blars
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Re: How many here actually *care* about the goals of the project?

Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:14 am

While I'll admit to being interested mainly for my own projects, I think you are underestimating the usefulness of linux and hardware geeks hacking on them. As a Debian Developer, I'm more interested in the DFSG (Debian Free Software Guidlines) than what RMS thinks. (Debian considers GFDL non-free.)

willlim
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Re: How many here actually *care* about the goals of the project?

Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:30 am

I agree with the question on ideal for robotics and eletronics.
A observation point about Brazi is that the minimum wage is about 300,00 USD and a large % of the families live with that income. The largest number on TV are compatible with R-PI but the extra is the troble(keyboard, power source,mouse). because the taxes in here even a china 100,00 USD net book cost about 200,00USD to the final consumer, the exception is if you buy direct from China or get someone who is wiling to do that, and the majority the population dont have the knolage to do that(dont speek english or knows that this option exists).
A device with non-profits porpouse, with low taxes is the way of many families have access to Internet or a computer.
And if you repair the memory and processor in the rpi is about the same in one cheap China tablet(even better than the cheaper ex: http://www.dealextreme.com/p/g.....4gb-105427 and http://www.dealextreme.com/p/7.....mhz-107155) and this can access the web, what stop the R-pi with a linux and web browser optimized from to do that?
Like i said before if a kit fit in about 80,00 USD at least i n Brazil could work.
Another observation is that excluding the realy remote areas the power source in Brazil is stable and well distributed.
And the best part is that the government supports the open-source even exist a lower taxes for computers with only open-source software that for the computer with windows and others proprietary software.

ejamie
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Re: How many here actually *care* about the goals of the project?

Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:06 am

I believe in the RPi project goals and feel they are worthwhile.

I grew my interest in computing via Apple ][, LOGO, BASIC, DOS, etc during elementary school, thanks to efforts of just one or two teachers. This year, however, I told my child NOT to take a computer class at his middle school, because all he would learn is PowerPoint and Excel. PowerPoint does not teach you problem solving and critical thinking.

Instead, I will be using RPi to impart these skills to my kids. Each parent or teacher who acts in this same way understands the difference RPi will make for their pupils. My son--he can pick up PowerPoint, Excel (or OpenOffice) anytime, but preferably much later.

jgree21
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Re: How many here actually *care* about the goals of the project?

Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:17 am

Definitely came in with a hacker/tinkerer mindset, but after reading the FAQ's, forum, and what the foundation's aims are, I'm definitely on board. I was reminded of how I got into programming in the first place (home PC, great teachers, and BASIC), and how that allowed me to find what it was I wanted to do with my life.

Given that an early introduction to programming has enabled me to do what I love for a living, I can't NOT be excited about what Raspi's trying to accomplish, and try to do whatever I can to help.

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scep
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Re: How many here actually *care* about the goals of the project?

Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:16 am

Quote from Bacan on December 2, 2011, 17:53
It is a pebble in the pond, causing a ripple....Mmmm... Raspberry Ripple :)

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Burngate
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Re: How many here actually *care* about the goals of the project?

Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:59 am

I'm going to go slightly off-topic, here, and raise a point which is not really to do with the Foundation's goals, but more to do with why I think they're important (and here I'm possibly talking BS)
Where I worked (TV studio) we had lots of electronic gubbinses, a large percentage computer controlled. So f'rinstance a mixer, 24 inputs, 3MEs, a dozen auxes - large control desk, with the works in a backroom. The works ran on - whatever the manufacturer chose. But the desk ran windows. As far as I can see they chose windows 'cos the customer was comfortable with it, not 'cos it was best.
Also, I've just been reading (New Scientist, 3 Dec, P25) about problems in infrastructure (water, power, etc.) with hacking and so on. You may remember a short while ago the malware Stuxnet attacking Iranian nuclear power station SCADAs.
I don't know if Siemens' SCADAs run windows. I would hope not but wouldn't be surprised.
There seems to be two problems. One is the virtual monoculture of windows, allowing nasty stuff to proliferate. The other is the lack of knowledge among supposedly proffessional people, about what can go wrong and how to counteract that, and about other ways to skin the cat.
If Pi takes off as we hope, then the next generation of users (not just programmers) will have a larger comfort zone - they'll be more willing to accept different solutions to any given problem. They'll maybe know enough to avoid simple security loopholes. And there'll be less of a monoculture for bad stuff to live in.

yabba
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Re: How many here actually *care* about the goals of the project?

Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:00 am

impact as in "this could positively change the lives of a whole generation in the same way that the first home computers did". I really do think the project is that important

Nah, that's never going to happen. The computer is not novel anymore and it won't be again.

My first computer was a zx81, I once stood (probably around 10-11 years of age) in WHSmith amongst a huge crowd around a display showing the zx81 completely transfixed by it, watching 2 people plotting quadratic functions.

At the time the most exciting piece of technology I had was a digital watch (as noted by Douglas Adams in HHGTTG) and a calculator.

Technology wowed that audience easily, especially kids.

My knowledge of computers was from watching Blakes 7. So completely wrong.

I learned basic from the zx81 manual. Later got a spectrum (as a recent register article on the beeb's anniversary notes, our playground was divided between kids that could afford a beeb and those that made do with a spectrum)

I wrote a few programs to solve maths homework (like input a, b and c and work out ax^2 + bx + c = 0 using the (-b +/- sqrt(b^2 - 4ac)) / 2a formula)

Of course, I did that to try and make the page of homework easy, but I probably learnt more writing the program than if I had sat an done the homework "properly" (and realised the significance when 4ac > b^2 when the program crashed with some inputs)

I got a book on z80 machine code and learnt some but didn't get far.

See, as a youngster I can tell you having the computer wasn't that useful to finding out about the computer. I wanted to know how it worked - especially when, for example, a game or other piece of software could do something that you seemingly couldn't do in basic. You learnt, from magazines, that machine code gave access to some mysterious hidden internals, but you also learnt from these same magazines how people are willing to tell you it's too complicated for mortal man and to dismiss this knowledge as only available to geniuses of whom the knowledge must have been implanted at birth.

I didn't really want to sit and write noddy basic programs. I wanted to know more. The machine code book was teaching me how to add 2 numbers, but not about how the zx81 actually worked.

If your parents, teachers and, as far as I knew, the rest of the planet except Clive Sinclair knew nothing about computers how to find out?

The irony is, all the things as an 11 year old I wanted to know about the spectrum or the beeb or the zx81, but there was no one around to tell me, I can now find on the internet. In fact the same way I know far more about the way my PC works (including having the full source code to an OS for it) has become, retrospectively how I know had the internet been around when I had my spectrum, it probably would have changed my life.

I spent hours typing in machine code programs from magazines and even more hours fixing the typos when the game (it was always a game) crashed. But I learnt little about those programs from doing that because they were just rows and rows of numbers.

But, like most of the other kids, 99.999% of the time I played chuckie egg or elite or some other game. That was the draw.

Years later, I did get into programming, but I got lots more bigger and better computers and consoles to play games.

So our house has 2 gaming PCs, a 360, a PSP, a DS, a smart phone and obviously there's the internet and so on. Far, far more computing distraction than was around when this 11 year old was spellbound in WHSmith.

As Alan Cox suggests in another thread, my 12 year old can program his smartphone in java. Or any number of those other devices in whatever language he wants to use (it's possible to write games that run on the 360 for a bit of cash) so I don't see another device that can be programmed will interest any large group of people.

In fact, I think you'll be struggling to get the interest of the small %age of kids that may well end up working in programming.

Indeed, it seems most interesting to people who already know how to make use of this device and who need little introduction to it or the subject.

Ironically, some of them, they are already noting the biggest problem with modern computing is you get an API or blob to code to because no one wants to give away their "secrets". But the secrets are the only interesting thing this project would have to offer imo and it's ironic that one of the people on board is saying how it's too complicated for mere mortals to comprehend.

The same patronising guff this 11 year old learned from magazines, that only geniuses can understand how computers work, because it's 600 pages of stuff you see.

So, imo, our bright kid will be just as well writing opengl or directx on a gaming PC in whatever high level language he wants to, or to his smart phone or hacking on linux. Using the internet as a reference / source, which is where the real secret sauce in learning about computers lies - having access to source code, knowledge and details even if mom and pop and teachers seem clueless.

I'm sure a few schools will be interested, but, that's a waste of time, you won't learn anything about computing from school unless you happen to be extremely lucky and go to the handful of schools that might have some knowledgeable teacher (maybe someone on their second career, their first being in computing or electronics)

When I went to school, decades ago, the teachers knew nothing about computers. As kids we knew nothing about computers too, but we knew more than them. Perhaps understandably, but decades later, now my son is going to school the situation is pretty much the same.

My knowledge expanded year on year, but seemingly the computer revolution bypassed anyone that ends up teaching. It seems almost something they wear with a badge of pride.

My son's primary school teachers didn't know how to switch one on. Literally, as a 4 year old he was helping his teacher with the computer.

His middle school is better, but only just.

As for the zx81 et al, it was a toy. A kids fad. Like CB Radio and Skateboards. That's all.

Real computing, mainframes, the PC and so on was going on at the same time, just in a very expensive way, and no one had figured out what the point of having a computer in the home is (I'd still argue they haven't - afaict, computers are for playing games and little else)

I learnt when I was 11 and couldn't afford a beeb all about why I didn't really want a small, cheap computer then, let alone now. I really wanted the computer that could play the best games, that had the most memory and the fastest graphics card.

I didn't think 'well the nice thing about this is it's simple' - that's an adult thinking.

Look at it this way, Linus Torvalds had a 386 and wrote an OS as a teen, not the fully fledged OS linux is today, but he didn't need a simple cheap computer to do that, he needed the specs that told him about task switching on the 386, and the basic design of an OS (unix in his case)

Perhaps at that stage he was older than the target for this?

AIUI he had a few micro computers when he was a kid (VIC 20 rings a bell) I've no doubt that piqued his interest in computers, but I've also no doubt that had PCs been as cheap as they are today, he'd have had one of them from the get go.

Similarly, John Carmack didn't need a simple computer to write games, he had the specs for the VGA chip and figured out a way to sidescroll smoothly, and then started writing 2.5d and 3d renderers in software on the PC.

So, I doubt you will spellbound my 12 year old, even if I can persuade him to try his hand at programming on one. He's not anti-retro computing, he's happy to play some of the older games, but his jaw isn't going to drop with something that's less powerful than his phone.

Even if he's one of the people who may well go onto becoming a programmer. For the rest of the kids, the kids at my school who just had a computer to play games? They won't be interested at all. The smartphone and the internet is currently changing their lives. This device won't.

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walney
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Re: How many here actually *care* about the goals of the project?

Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:41 am

You raise some interesting points, but at the moment I think I'll just reserve judgment. Your son is obviously very able - but not everyone has such a range of technology available or such technologically savvy parents. I think what puts a lot of people off tinkering is a combination of:

1. Worrying about cocking something up (irreversibly)
2. The cost of cocking something up
3. What the hell you do if you cock up the only device that gives you access to the Internet, or anything else that you rely on.

Together, I think that these 3 factors are enough of a disincentive to tinker. A cheap second device takes these away. The other factor is that I wonder whether it's going to encourage more adults (teachers and parents) to take that first step. And having done so, be more up for passing that interest on to the kids at an early stage, as clearly you have done.

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abishur
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Re: How many here actually *care* about the goals of the project?

Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:11 pm

Yeah, I'm not sure if I buy the "it's been around so it's not novel" premise. I mean electricity and light bulbs have been around for a long time but I still couldn't get enough of reading about it as a child. Our first computer was a tandy 286 and then a Compaq 333 (mHz) I was so enthralled with technology, I really wanted to get into those, but I was barely allowed to touch the keyboard under strict supervision. I often wonder how my life might be different now if I had been allowed to have a computer of my own to tinker with.

Oh, double case in point, I busted out my NES with my nephews in town (8 and 6) not only did they love the games, but I barely had enough room to turn my screwdriver when I opened it up. Just because something is, shall we say well established, doesn't mean kids won't take to it (well there's always the except where some kid is being bratty against something because it's older than 5 seconds and therefore not cool, but whatever), and just because someone is "less powerful" than a cell phone (though I can't remember the last time a cellphone played quake 3 in full 1080p, but whatever) doesn't mean a kid wouldn't leap at the chance to have their own computer. But hey, maybe the main difference here is it sounds like you let your kid(s) have pretty full access to a computer already. That's a rare and special thing, a lot of parents aren't educated in computers and don't allow any access to them, that's what makes this project so great. It provides a device that parents find affordable and allows children to have a computer of their own.

Bleh, the gpu thing again. Seriously.... just... just read about it on the site will you. You've obviously read enough to see one of the r-pi team or us moderators talk about this and apparently have jumped on with the "not being able to use it = reduced functionality" bandwagon, but when was the last time you tried to edit the innards of your bios? The answer for 99.9% of us would be never. We all use the "api" called a bios manager. At most some of us have installed a custom bios that someone else made for us. Does that mean that the motherboard has reduced functionality because you can't mess with the bios? Does it feel like the motherboard manufactures are being condescending and calling you "mere mortals" because they say that messing with the bios would require months and months of work to be able to work with it? Of course not! No one thinks like that, but the GPU is the same issue. All the little innards are proprietary code that has taken months of research from a highly experienced professional, who has worked on broadcom chips before, to be able to even take a stab at getting it working and it's taken months since then to get it into a working state for the project. So seriously people, stop complaining that you can't mess with the bios, because not only do you have full access to it's functionality through the bios manager (APIs in this extended metaphor) but we both know that for the 99.9% majority of us, if we could mess with it, we wouldn't want to anymore than we want to mess with the bios.
Dear forum: Play nice ;-)

Signs
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Re: How many here actually *care* about the goals of the project?

Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:16 pm

I really hope that everyone that has subscribed to the Raspberry Pi forums and billions of others will agree that the goals of this project are most important to the development and education of computer technology.
This project holds a premise that millions upon millions will be educated in computer programming. Not only this, you will see the implementation of how computers can and will be used for things never even thought of in the past prior to the Raspberry Pi.
You, all my friends may be on the threshold here of some 12 year old kid that may develop something that is important to us is the automobile, the airplane or the polio vaccine using a Raspberry Pi is their first programming tool.
This is something that may accelerate us into living the real world of "Star Trek", rather than seeing it on television. This may be the project that is given credit for so many things it is not imaginable at this time.
I will tell you this, however. There is an inventor, that has said so many times that the most amazing thing he has seen of his more than 80 years of life, of all things from the invention of the jet airplane, microwave oven, nuclear power to digital communications that he would have never thought that people would pay for "bottled water".
In putting this into prospective, hopefully the Raspberry Pi will do at least with computer technology is what bottled water has done within the beverage industry.
I am one that cares and very much look forward to owning many of these little computers.
Hopefully 2012 will be the Christmas that most kids will find one of these little computers put in their Christmas stockings with care. I am in so in hopes that next year, I will one that will be donating, a few to many, to charities next year to do just this.
I am one that really thinks that most of the Raspberry Pi's even with the millions that are sold to end users, that most will be donated, rather than actually used by the buyer, and the many that are bought by the end user will donate it some time in the future if the promise actually runs in full circle, and that is all up to us that believe. I do.

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scep
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Re: How many here actually *care* about the goals of the project?

Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:25 pm

Quote from yabba on December 3, 2011, 11:00
...The smartphone and the internet is currently changing their lives.. You say that like it's a good thing. It's changing them alright - into a bunch of slack-jawed, spoon-fed consumers. Consumers who can't go ten minutes without posting banalities on Facebook but don't even know what the Internet is; who spend 5 hours a night playing COD but couldn't draw a cube in Sketchup; who send 70 encoded texts a day but think that programming is "so gay" [actually said to me]; who say "I hate this new version of Word" when they can't do something, but have never once spontaneously clicked outside the 'Home' tab. So yeah, it's changing them.

The RasPi won't change the life of the teenage girls who walk three abreast down the road all texting (other people). It won't change the life of the lads I see walking smugly though school with their iPad2s held high, looking like they invented the thing. But if it gives more young people early exposure to the joy and intellectual challenge of actually creating something using a computer - of making a computer do something - then this can only be a good thing. A good, life changing thing.

In the UK education system, exposure to computational thinking and to programming is extremely limited from ages 5 to 10 and basically non-existent at 11-16. Anything that helps change this is by definition potentially life changing - for example a cheap as chips computer that a child can actually own themselves and have a play on and then "ooh look, I printed my name, wonder what happens if I change this here... hmm, that's interesting, what if..." etc. We need lots more of that :D

obarthelemy
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Re: How many here actually *care* about the goals of the project?

Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:30 pm

I think anyone who does anything with a Pi helps.
Hackers of course, even if they're working on the weirdest projects. And there'll be cross-pollination: gamers who want the best MAME performance will work on better graphics drivers and tools, etc, etc...
"Mere users" help too, because they'll be keeping us focused on actual, practical issues.
Education is fairly political and risk-adverse. Having a thriving community, even if it's in totally unrelated fields, will help tremendously.

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