Raspberry Pi Ordered!

Time to Order!

Time to Order!

I got my email from Newark.com’s Element 14 today letting me know it was time to place my order for a Raspberry Pi computer!  I promptly ordered the $35 mini-computer and I should get it in 2-3 days 🙂

Newark.com - Element 14

Newark.com – Element 14

(more than you ever wanted to know about Raspberry Pi)

My oldest daughter and I have plans to build her first computer.  She is very excited, but I don’t think she is as excited as I am.  I think back to when I was her age and all I had was a Packard Bell 286!  I learned how to write code in MS BASIC and then had to unlearn all of it so I could use real programming languages, but it did get me hooked and 25 years later I am still addicted to computers and software development.

In the Raspberry Pi they are going to learn Python and Linux, but I could probably slip some Ruby and Java in there too 🙂

I think the Raspberry Pi is more important than many people realize to the future of computing.  So many thinks about the way I learned computers are no longer available to kids.  When I was 8 or 10 years old I took the afore mentioned Packard Bell 286 apart and put it back together.

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi

It was a high art form to write boot disks with custom tailored “autoexec.bat” and “config.sys” files to get games like Doom, Descent, X-COM, and MechWarrior running on machines that were pushed past the limit of what was capable.  It was not possible to go to the store and simply buy a games that would “Just Work” when you got it home.  You had to earn it.

My generation invented online game play.  We started with LAN parties where we were constantly swapping NULL Modem Serial cables around to play Head-to-Head Warcraft battles (that’s not WOW, i’m talking about old school here).  We graduated to playing Halo over the internet via Packet Tunneling before X-BOX Live was invented.  Along the way we had to learn memory management and the Ethernet Stack to make it work.

That is no longer the case.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my MBPr, but it is an appliance.  It is not meant for me to take apart.  My kids are never going to explore the innards to see how it works.  They expect their devices to be like the iPad or the Xbox, closed, magic boxes that make things fun.

The Raspberry Pi gives the kids a chance to get under the hood in a low risk environment and play around.  If one of my kids cooks this board by discharging static electricity into it, I’ll just buy another one!  No big deal.  If one of my kids destroyed my MBPr, that would be a totally different story.

Maybe it’s selfish, but I really hope one of my kids is as interested in it as I was.  It would be so much fun to watch them discover it the way I did.  It will be a lot of fun to see what they can make it do 🙂

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