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[olpc-software] Enabling the kids to become great and useful hackers



On Wed, 2006-03-29 at 13:27 -0500, Jim Gettys wrote:
> At the same time, though, kids who want to rip into the machine this way
> need to be able to.  Scripting languages are a powerful concept...
> Don't underestimate what and where kids may go, when motivated.

Yup, I imagine that once we the ability to provide installation of 3rd
party software someone will come up with a "Python GTK+ development"
package. This is all fine and there's nothing to UNIX-y about it.

> When I find my 11 year old learning things like how to use blender, I
> stop underestimating what kids may want to do.  Remember, they have all
> day, and you don't ;-).

(somewhat off topic)

Yea. I often wonder how kids today get into programming; when I was a
child myself it was easy.. Back in the day... I could get manuals for
the 6510 on my C64 and 68000 processor on my Amiga and it was relatively
easy to write a program that did something useful and funny. Even
computer magazines in my own language (Danish) had articles that helped
me out (Most magazines today seem to be about pretty superficial
things.. how to write HTML pages... Or maybe they are useful, and I'm
just an old fart that haven't moved on) .. Anyway, for me the Amiga
Hardware reference manual was a god send.. I could actually get to the
metal of my computer. And I did. It was very inspiring and educational.
I learned about parallel programming that way by using the Copper and
the Blitter along the 68000 main CPU. Many others in my country did the
same. Those were the days. Maybe I should just let them go :-)

What do aspiring hackers in the first world do today? I suppose the
answer here partly involves getting involved in open source and partly
involves learning Java...

What do we want aspiring hackers using the $100 laptop to do? Personally
I guess answers like use Python and GTK+ is the answer here...

    David



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