Page 1 of 1

My Sons first Pi

Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:52 pm
by SuperMario07
Firstly I would like to apologise for my complete ignorance but I wish to get my soon to be 12 year old into programming rather than him being sucked into fortnite and the like. I see you can buy various starter kits but I don’t know which one and the same goes with books (I was thinking of buying one myself to try and get the basics in my head). For starters would it be a good idea to buy an old keyboard and mouse as I understand some of the peripherals in some starter kits are not brilliant quality and what about monitors/screens. I tried to speak with his I.T teacher at school but he was of little help which I found baffling.
Anyway you advise or pointers will be greatly appreciated-James

Re: My Sons first Pi

Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:48 pm
by andrum99
First of all, you need to decide which model of Pi you want to buy. I would recommend the Raspberry Pi 3B+ since it is the most powerful, and is easier to use than the more basic models such as the Pi Zero. Whichever kit you go for, try to get one with the official power supply, since this will ensure that it works correctly first time. If you have some of the bits which the kit contains then you don't need to buy a kit, and can save some money too - the kits can be pricey.

The Raspberry Pi is quite happy using an old computer monitor or TV, and old USB keyboards and mice. HDMI displays are preferred, although if you use an HDMI to VGA converter you can also use one with a VGA input.

I will leave book recommendations to someone else as I'm not sure about that one. ;)

Re: My Sons first Pi

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:37 am
by Milliways

Re: My Sons first Pi

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:47 am
by W. H. Heydt
andrum99 wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:48 pm
The Raspberry Pi is quite happy using an old computer monitor or TV, and old USB keyboards and mice. HDMI displays are preferred, although if you use an HDMI to VGA converter you can also use one with a VGA input.
HDMI or DVI. I don't know about where you live, but where I am, it is far easier to find second hand monitors with DVI input than HDMI and both work equally well. You just need the right cable to make the connection.
I will leave book recommendations to someone else as I'm not sure about that one. ;)
There are a myriad of materials and book suggestions on this very site. The OP can start with the ones published with the backing of the RPF. Another alternative is any decent book on Linux (since programming is the goal in this case). An in depth book on the specific programming language may well be in order.

Considering that the target individual is just coming up on 12, keep an eye on the overall reading level of books.

Other options, depending on what is available locally are Coder Dojos, Code Clubs, and Raspberry Jams. And, of course, questions can be asked here on the forums.

I'm afraid that I don't find the lack of help from the school IT instructor very surprising. Like any reasonably technical field, you get a lot of people who know just enough about it to get hired, but who lack in-depth knowledge. You son is likely to wind up teaching the teacher.

Re: My Sons first Pi

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:17 am
by Will5455
One thing I recommend is to stay away from Amazon as a pi3b+ is more expensive then really anywhere else.

Re: My Sons first Pi

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:45 pm
by jardino
You could try a Pi-Top from ModMyPi. This is a fully integrated device which just needs the installation of an RPi to get started. No trailing cables, etc, except for the power lead.

My grand-children got one from Santa (!) and seem to like it, although it's not been heavily used so far.

One advantage of it is that the in-built power switch shuts down the RPi cleanly. If you tell a child to use it, you'll avoid the well-known problems of just pulling the plug from the RPi.

Alan.

Re: My Sons first Pi

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:49 pm
by jardino
To go through the Scratch route to learning programming, I've recommended a few books in another post:

viewtopic.php?f=63&t=227282&p=1394318#p1394318 .

Alan.

Re: My Sons first Pi

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:45 pm
by jardino
Heydt said:

"I'm afraid that I don't find the lack of help from the school IT instructor very surprising. Like any reasonably technical field, you get a lot of people who know just enough about it to get hired, but who lack in-depth knowledge. You son is likely to wind up teaching the teacher."

There may be some truth in that. A few months ago, I started to help my grand-daughter with Scratch. She was being taught it in school, but was struggling with the sprites. Now, when another child gets stuck with sprites, the teacher says, "Ask (my grand-daughter)".

I'm not sure if the problem is the teacher's own, but just that she has limited time to attend to every pupil.

Alan.

Re: My Sons first Pi

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:41 pm
by Imperf3kt
jardino wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:45 pm
I'm not sure if the problem is the teacher's own, but just that she has limited time to attend to every pupil.
This is very true. When I was at school, lessons were 45 minutes each and the classes were made up of 30-32 students.
That's a minute and a half or less per student assuming there is no interruption and the lesson starts instantly.

Re: My Sons first Pi

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:28 am
by code_exec
I would suggest buying a preloaded NOOBS microSD, but some are so old that they only work on older Pi models. Buy a 16GB-32GB microSD as well as a microSD-to-SD adapter. You'll also need an SD to USB adapter if your PC doesn't have an SD card slot.

Then start by flashing Raspbian to the microSD card.

https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentati ... ng-images/

Re: My Sons first Pi

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:45 am
by vinaypundith
code_exec wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:28 am
Then start by flashing Raspbian to the microSD card.
Or try Ubuntu Mate. I find it way more user friendly (and desktop-like) than Raspbian, while it still has almost all of the programming tools. If you get a 3B+, it will need a little more (but very simple) setup. Do a search for "Ubuntu Mate on Pi 3B+" to find out more.