Introducing children to programming

A recent CSM article about getting young people involved in programming and hacking (noting both OLPC and Raspberry Pi) quotes Rodrigo on students’ accomplishments in Uruguay:

Debugging a program is the most perfect way of learning… We have already 12-year-old children in Uruguay that are proficient programmers. You cannot imagine the stuff we are beginning to see in these young kids.


Stick computing: GHz USB devices?

Game developer David Braben and colleagues are working on a tiny circuit board suitable for game development, with a few hacker-friendly ports, which will fit into a gumstix-sized package. They are calling the device Raspberry Pi.

Their stated goal is a device with a 700MHz ARM processor, 128MB of SDRAM, a USB (out) port, an HDMI connection, and an SD card slot… relying on the USB input for power.

Unlike Gumstix, which found a corporate and DIY niche for its boards, Braben is focused on minimizing the device’s cost, making sticks ‘cheap enough to give to a child to do whatever they want with it’ and to make learning computing fun. An admirable goal. The project already has its naysayers, however, as it is hard to hack without many peripherals as well. What would you do with one or a few of these?