Learning to Program in Python for Kids

of all ages and Linux on a Raspberry Pi by Philip M Russell

The Raspberry Pi ComputerThe Raspberry Pi is for me an ideal computer. I started computing with a TRS-80 in 1980. When I bought that computer and switched it on my Mum, said what is this, ask it who was the Queen of England in 1654?

Now that machine only had BASIC installed and would only do what I could program it to do. This was in the days before the Internet. Before I could do anything I had to learn to program. I had to learn and write simple programs in BASIC. Within a few weeks I was writing complex programs to do all sort of things.  As a computing teacher I have had many students in my class who could use a computer, play games that were coded for by someone else but whom had no idea about what you could get a computer to do.

My case made out of Lego I feel like many that this computer is a great step forward by taking a few steps back.

This seems the ideal computer for education. A small Linux platform and a simple programming language. Costing £35  for 256Mb RAM, 2 USB port, an Ethernet port, an ARM1176JZFS, with floating point, running at 700Mhz, and a Videocore 4 GPU. The GPU is capable of BluRay quality playback, using H.264 at 40MBits/s..The Raspberry Pi measures 85.60mm x 53.98mm x 17mm, with a little overlap for the SD card and connectors which project over the edges. It weighs 45g.

The first shipments are without a case which makes the computer look more like a machine that can be played with, than a black box. Later versions we are informed will have a case. It's quite tough and can safely be handled.

Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation

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  • Small Credit Card Sized
  • Very Cheap
  • Easy to Program in Python
  • Runs Linux
This machine could stand the world on end. Instead of making faster and more powerful, this machines passes control back to the user so they can learn from the beginning.