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Endless Computers Introducing $299 "Hack" Laptop To Teach Kids To Code

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  • Endless Computers Introducing $299 "Hack" Laptop To Teach Kids To Code

    Phoronix: Endless Computers Introducing $299 "Hack" Laptop To Teach Kids To Code

    Endless Computers, the company behind the Linux GNOME/Flatpak-aligned Endless OS and that over the years has worked on various low-cost Linux PCs primarily for developing markets, is now pursing The Hack Computer as a low-cost laptop for teaching kids to code...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...-Hack-Computer

  • #2
    What happened to letting kids be kids? seriously, besides this being just another way to milk people of $$$

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Redfoxmoon View Post
      What happened to letting kids be kids? seriously, besides this being just another way to milk people of $$$
      I'm not entirely sure of that. I have a daughter and she's getting old enough where she wants to play games like Minecraft and she's interested in exploring technology. Something like this would be great for her because she's becoming frustrated with using a tablet and is constantly asking to use my tower (which runs Ubuntu no less.) I want her to be able to do her own thing on her own computer if that's what she's interested in but, I want it to still be somewhat educational and I want parental controls.

      Plus, I'm a developer and I would be thrilled if my daughter took an interest in software. It's certainly not a bad thing to encourage either.

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      • #4
        $300 is not exactly cheap, it's probably the highest possible budget for the target audience. maybe a bit too high. And what's more it probably has crap hardware too.

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        • #5
          I don't think this is too different from the times when kids wanted their own computer that they could play games and then wander to the world of BASIC (and maybe even assembly). It's just that we've somehow got so far away from the need to code our own software that kids that have access to computers don't learn to code anymore. As long as they do what they want to it's good that you can encourage them. It's the same with other hobbies like music and sports that may or may not turn into a career later. I think this is a good initiative from Endless.

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          • #6
            EndlessOS is probably brilliant, but I don't get why they didn't build Chromium with VA-API patches, and don't preinstall gstreamer-vaapi. Instead they propose to buy software codecs: https://support.endlessm.com/hc/en-u...ic-and-videos-

            There is also countries where users permitted to use software codecs regardless of patents licensing situation. ASUS and Acer sell laptops with preinstalled EndlessOS there, but for some reason user is still required to pay for codecs, even while they could be preinstalled, legally.
            Last edited by RussianNeuroMancer; 11-04-2018, 10:33 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jrdoane View Post

              I'm not entirely sure of that. I have a daughter and she's getting old enough where she wants to play games like Minecraft and she's interested in exploring technology. Something like this would be great for her because she's becoming frustrated with using a tablet and is constantly asking to use my tower (which runs Ubuntu no less.) I want her to be able to do her own thing on her own computer if that's what she's interested in but, I want it to still be somewhat educational and I want parental controls.

              Plus, I'm a developer and I would be thrilled if my daughter took an interest in software. It's certainly not a bad thing to encourage either.
              Maybe let her try this out: https://codecombat.com/play

              I mean if she's really "interested in exploring technology" it might serve as a driving force to help her get into it. Minecraft also has simple logic (simplified electronics) with redstone that she would probably enjoy playing with, if she just had the right project... (a sliding wall for a secret entrance to a house or something would be nice enough of a start)

              Also, you can just buy her a used computer and format it with ubuntu or whatever distro she likes (let her choose between ubuntu flavors maybe?) steam has some parental control options which you could explore.
              Last edited by rabcor; 11-04-2018, 08:09 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jrdoane View Post

                I'm not entirely sure of that. I have a daughter and she's getting old enough where she wants to play games like Minecraft and she's interested in exploring technology. Something like this would be great for her because she's becoming frustrated with using a tablet and is constantly asking to use my tower (which runs Ubuntu no less.) I want her to be able to do her own thing on her own computer if that's what she's interested in but, I want it to still be somewhat educational and I want parental controls.

                Plus, I'm a developer and I would be thrilled if my daughter took an interest in software. It's certainly not a bad thing to encourage either.
                So just buy her a standard computer without heaps of crap software installed instead? If someone's interested in technology they'll find a way, child or not, without this sort of crap.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Redfoxmoon View Post

                  So just buy her a standard computer without heaps of crap software installed instead? If someone's interested in technology they'll find a way, child or not, without this sort of crap.
                  You can actually get really good PCs for dirt cheap these days. You can get a tower that can run games at [email protected] for ~500$ now, check this out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtQih352lac

                  Doesn't perform as well on linux, but it's not that much worse, it can still pull the same games off, just with lower frame rates.

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                  • #10
                    I did not expect to see this amount of haters so early in the day for a project like this. $300 for a laptop setup to learn to program on sounds like a decent deal (especially for people who aren't super-geeks like us and don't know how to set this up themselves) and is probably a hell of a lot better than the alternative of spending hundreds on an iPad or Android tablet, a keyboard, and some learn to program apps or buying cheap PC stuff and building this oneself.

                    My only gripe is the choice of Gnome for the desktop. I'd have picked something like XFCE, KDE, or Cinnamon and then mimicked the Windows look and feel that most people are accustomed with. IMHO, for a new user used to Windows, Gnome will just get in the way and be annoying yet pretty.

                    As for the codecs...yeah, we gotta do that on Windows too, technically. That's halfway why Codec Packs came into existence. If one doesn't want to pay for those codecs then they can Google the appropriate apt-get commands, or, more-than-likely, someone will create a non-free like repo/PPA with the stuff they opted-out of using to be legal in more places.

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