Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 12th Mar 2015 17:31 UTC, submitted by Louis
General Development

The BBC will be giving away mini-computers to 11-year-olds across the country as part of its push to make the UK more digital.

One million Micro Bits - a stripped-down computer similar to a Raspberry Pi - will be given to all pupils starting secondary school in the autumn term.

The BBC is also launching a season of coding-based programmes and activities.

Order by: Score:
Mini-computers?
by Vanders on Thu 12th Mar 2015 17:39 UTC
Vanders
Member since:
2005-07-06

If they were actually handing out PDP's or Nova's to 11 year olds, that'd be some news.

Why they went with this other board rather than the RiPi is a bit weird, but I'm guessing the one they've selected is much cheaper?

Edited 2015-03-12 17:39 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Mini-computers?
by smashIt on Thu 12th Mar 2015 17:56 UTC in reply to "Mini-computers?"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

witch one micro, 2 buttons and 25 LEDs it's way cheaper than a RPi


my guess would be ~2€/ pupil

Edited 2015-03-12 17:57 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Mini-computers?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 12th Mar 2015 19:45 UTC in reply to "Mini-computers?"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Yeah, looks like they gave up a lot with this. It seems like it needs to be attached to a real computer to program it, as there is no display other than the led array.

Plus, this think will only be made one year. Thats it. Its dead before its born.

http://techcrunch.com/2015/03/12/chuckie-egg/

I hate kicking a dead horse's bones, but the raspberry pi will be around for a while and lot will work with it. Its a much better idea to teach the kids that.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Mini-computers?
by Adurbe on Fri 13th Mar 2015 09:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Mini-computers?"
Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

Dont forget what happened with the BBC Micro.

BBC (a neutral quango) caused a massive diruption in the market by going with one Acorn (who are still going in the form of ARM) over Sinclair.

They wanted to avoid this situation happening again. Sadly, I tend to agree that it has also reduced the 'out of class' utility of the learning platform by picking a system there are little/no resources/community for.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Mini-computers?
by smashIt on Fri 13th Mar 2015 10:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Mini-computers?"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

I tend to agree that it has also reduced the 'out of class' utility of the learning platform by picking a system there are little/no resources/community for.


i wouldn't call c++ on an ARM-core (m0?) a bad choice
but what i miss is a breadboard-compatible header on the board

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Mini-computers?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 13th Mar 2015 13:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Mini-computers?"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Maybe I'm jaded from the Advanced Placement C++ classes that my brothers were subjected to, but C++ is a difficult language to teach people. There is such a variety in dialects and standard libraries, that it can be difficult for students to transfer their knowledge.

Python, which this supports is better, slightly. You only really need to worry about the distraction of whitespace. Which might be very difficult, but its only one topic of possible confusion.

Reply Score: 3

Just don't...
by darknexus on Thu 12th Mar 2015 21:17 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

teach them anything about encryption. A certain PM would not approve.

Reply Score: 1

mini computers?
by redshift on Fri 13th Mar 2015 02:00 UTC
redshift
Member since:
2006-05-06

I remember when mini computers were mini computers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minicomputer#/media/File:Pdp-11-40.jpg

Reply Score: 3

RE: mini computers?
by shotsman on Fri 13th Mar 2015 06:49 UTC in reply to "mini computers?"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

Yep. My grandkids still get a thrill out of playing Luna-lander on my PDP-11/73 and VSV-11 Graphics card.
30+ years old and still going strong although finiding displays that have RGB+Sync is getting a bit difficult these days.

In these days of multi-core, multi-Gigahertz CPU's it is real change to use the PDP with its mighty 15Mhz clock rate.
No wonder you can emulate a whole PDP-11 on a mobile phone.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: mini computers?
by Ruahine on Fri 13th Mar 2015 11:55 UTC in reply to "RE: mini computers?"
Ruahine Member since:
2005-07-07

Yep. My grandkids still get a thrill out of playing Luna-lander on my PDP-11/73 and VSV-11 Graphics card.
30+ years old and still going strong although finiding displays that have RGB+Sync is getting a bit difficult these days.


You know if you're willing to shell out for it you can get devices that convert RGB+Sync to standard VGA, though they're not cheap.

Reply Score: 2