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Nihilism, Futurist Traditionalism and Conservationism

Basic principles first

03 09 11 - 11:28

Recent newsbag:


There is growing interest surrounding the Raspberry Pi Foundation and their promise of a PC that will cost just $25.

During the talk Eben explains that the $25 price point was decided upon because it is the cost of a textbook so it made sense. Students buy textbooks, so a PC priced the same is a natural fit and hopefully an easy purchase for them, their parents, or their school.

As to why a $25 PC is needed, it simply comes down to the need to develop programming skills while still young, a skill that seems to have disappeared in recent years. Eben explains this as due to the typical hacking and experiment platforms such as the Commodore 64 and Sinclair ZX81 all disappearing and being replaced with the closed game consoles. Even the PC has become closed as families typically share it and kids aren’t encouraged to experiment for fear of breaking it. - Geek


Learning programming on a giant fast machine is like learning without any connection to the circuits below.


"The computing A-level is about how computers work and if you ask anyone how it works they will not be able to tell you," said Doug Abrams, an ICT teacher from Ousedale School in Newport Pagnell, who was one of the first to use the machines in lessons.

For Mr Abrams the old machines have two cardinal virtues; their sluggishness and the direct connection they have with the user.

In one of the first lessons held at TNMOC the lucky Ousedale students programmed a venerable PDP-8 machine by flicking the switches set on its front panel to set the binary values in its memory. And an interface does not get more direct than that. - BBC


So dust off those Apple ][s.

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