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[#] Wed May 21 2014 14:15:00 EDT from Shazam

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He's 12. So there's the gentle hinting way, and the rough violent way. Or I could do both, randomly. I love that idea of leaving musical instruments around, but then how did that family stop the kids from breaking the instruments? Maybe something that isn't easioy broken, like a harmonica. I imagine my 3 year old will submerge it in water or bury it in dirt. Can it survive that?

But I digress. I want to try to leave around computer parts, eh?

[#] Wed May 21 2014 15:36:38 EDT from vince-q

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May 20 2014 11:59am from fleeb

You should physically throw the computers at him, with the hopes that

some of the digital bits fly into his head and stay there.

I suppose, for full disclosure, I should point out that such a
technique ws not used on me.


... which is proof positive that you never attended "Catholic School with the Nuns" where such tactics would be considered routine. <evil grin>

[#] Wed May 21 2014 15:37:43 EDT from vince-q

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May 21 2014 9:15am from fleeb

Mouse-whip 'im.

Grab the USB end of the mouse and beat him until he submits to using

computers.
It's the only wayl.



... or maybe you *did* have Nuns in your educational past.... <very evil grin!>

[#] Wed May 21 2014 16:42:01 EDT from Spiral Architect

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Bribery wouldn't hurt, either. The kid has to somehow have a reason. If the curiosity isn't there, you need another incentive. Left to herself, my kid would spend the whole day playing Minecraft or watching Dr Who. This summer, a programming lesson might become part of her daily chores. Probably




[#] Wed May 21 2014 16:58:19 EDT from fleeb

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No catholic past.

I do have an evil stepmother in my past, though.

I wish I had something more substantive and realistic to suggest to help, though.

[#] Wed May 21 2014 17:17:10 EDT from the_mgt

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Hm, back in our youth, the computers came with a programming language preinstalled, mostly a flavor of Basic. There was even a manual for it, included with my Amiga 500. There were also other childfriendliy programming languages, like Logo, Comal, Turbo Pascal. Something were you didn't have to invoke arcane nonse just to print Hello World like in Java today.

http://www.josvisser.nl/opencomal/ http://gambas.sourceforge.net/en/main.html http://lazarus.freepascal.org

in general: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_educational_programming_languages#Languages_by_age_and_experience

Give him an older machine, install some Linux, there are even educational/child specific distributions. Let him play games. Games are great, they motivate you to find ways to cheat in them. Which eventually leads to hacking. This is a mindset/believesystem that needs to be acquired and is probably best enforced by curiosity.

Games also improve cognitive functions, like hand/eye coordination, reaction time, orientation, tolerance to frustration, maybe even puzzle solving. My 4.5 year old son spends way more time in front of screens than he should (by standards of child doctors, etc.), but you should see him solve puzzles in Cut the Rope, Bad Piggies and some other games were you need to solve puzzles. Currently he loves Skylanders, there are some puzzles were you need to rotate a maze in order to move a tiny goblin through it. He solves almost all of them with ease. The ones he does not solve are sometimes challenging for me, too.



[#] Wed May 21 2014 17:24:23 EDT from fleeb

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I dunno.

The older machines, compared to today's machines, appear clunky and don't have teh really rad cool games on them. I would expect a child would find them annoying, and wouldn't bother with them.

But it's true, they had languages built into them, and a manually to encourage learning. Today, we expect to actually use a computer to get work done (or to goof off), rather than program them.

Not sure how to bridge that gap.

[#] Thu May 22 2014 07:18:24 EDT from vince-q

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May 21 2014 5:24pm from fleeb

I dunno.

The older machines, compared to today's machines, appear clunky and

I wrote a machine-language Xmodem protocol file transfer routine for the COMMODORE 64 that outran FTP on an IBM PC compatible using an 80386 processor back in (roughly) 1988 just to prove "it can be done."

Moral: there really is no such thing as garbage hardware. Just figure out a new use, or make a better way of doing the "old" stuff.

After all, today's leading edge smartphone has more computing power than the Command Module of the Apollo 11 mission.

Now, knowing that, send your smartphone to the moon and have it come back to Earth again, land safely, and still be operational.

[#] Thu May 22 2014 08:45:05 EDT from fleeb

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I completely agree... but the operative word is 'appear', when applied to making such hardware available to someone who is young and doesn't necessarily know any better.

[#] Thu May 22 2014 16:13:06 EDT from dothebart

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http://www.astromik.org/raspi/raspi1.jpg

thats the raspi. it comes at $30 price tag. Add a Keyboard, an SD-Card for the OS, and for ~50$ you've got something which will bring current TVs to life.

http://exp-tech.de/ and http://www.watterott.com/ are distributors of those, which offer all pleatora of kits like robots, quadcopters, etc. (ok its german, but you'll get the product names to find s.b. near you selling them)



[#] Thu May 22 2014 16:48:31 EDT from mo

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Here is a suggestion: a book that might get someone, young or old, interested in programming-- the way BASIC did for a generation before:

http://inventwithpython.com/

see the link to the pdf and source for the first book it's all licensed under creative commons, and you can get a hard copy on Amazon (btw checkout the reviews :) ).



[#] Fri May 23 2014 09:56:43 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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The older machines, compared to today's machines, appear clunky and
don't have teh really rad cool games on them. I would expect a child

would find them annoying, and wouldn't bother with them.

During the 8-bit generation there wasn't much to *do* with a home computer other than just play some simple video games and learn programming languages.
Of course, it could be argued that many of the people who have computers today, and don't know much about how they work, wouldn't own them otherwise.

[#] Thu May 29 2014 17:50:09 EDT from triLcat

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do you want to go with hardware or software? 
Software-wise, get him to start with building a wordpress website.
Assign him to do a re-design for your company (assuming you already have a website)

Website building is relatively easy and highly desirable right now. 

If you want to go with hardware, get him an ipod touch with a broken screen and a replacement screen on ebay, and let him have at it (assume it will take 4-5 tries before he gets it to work, but those things can be bought fairly inexpensively.) I know a 15-year-od who already makes money changing screens on phones and such.

 



[#] Fri May 30 2014 17:24:47 EDT from ax25

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Wed May 21 2014 04:42:01 PM EDT from Spiral Architect
Bribery wouldn't hurt, either. The kid has to somehow have a reason. If the curiosity isn't there, you need another incentive. Left to herself, my kid would spend the whole day playing Minecraft or watching Dr Who. This summer, a programming lesson might become part of her daily chores. Probably



So there is more than one with that strange compulsion.



[#] Fri May 30 2014 18:13:45 EDT from mo

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I still think the "mouse whipping" was the best idea! :)

 



[#] Mon Jun 30 2014 15:44:25 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Back when I was a teenager we earned money mowing lawns! (Ok, when I say "we" I meant "other kids." I was about 13 when I started doing computer work for money.)

[#] Tue Jul 01 2014 01:13:42 EDT from vince-q

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Heh - and we also earned money shoveling snow!

[#] Tue Jul 01 2014 06:58:48 EDT from triLcat

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I used to babysit. until I had my own kids. Then I was just a mother.



[#] Sun Jul 06 2014 13:22:14 EDT from mo

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I had 2 paper rounds when i was a kid. SUndays we were like pack mules :) - all those magazines and suppliments - <shudder> .

 

 



[#] Wed Jul 23 2014 00:35:24 EDT from ax25

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Ah, I remember the paper route.  It was only 1 day a week for the first one I had (mostly advertisements).  Made $7 every 2 weeks for 350 papers delivered to a section of town with few apartments.  What fun.  Probably was o.k. money for 1978 or so, but sucked in the winter.  A sled was not quite as easy to control as a wagon with that many papers.



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