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Best Introductory Computer System For Kids

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#26 Keatah ONLINE  


    Missile Commander

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:26 PM

What does everyone recommend as the best computer to introduce a child to?  I put it under classic computers because it seems that you can get much closer to the metal on an old 8bit, but I'm open to any suggestions of modern systems, i.e, Raspberry Pi, old laptop, etc.


Ideally I'd like my son, when he's older, to be able to get familiar operating a keyboard with simple educational games and move up to simple programing, as opposed to just using a modern appliance like iPad like most kids seem to be doing now.


Off the top of my head I'd think TI/99a - simple and very cheap, Apple IIe - tons of educational software and expandable.


I also have  an Atari 800XL and  love that, so  another option is to set up an XEGS I have since I have it already and it seems pretty robust. Maybe get a 400 which seems pretty child friendly with the membrane keyboard and then graduate to the XEGS? 


Or, do I dispatch with the whole classic computer angle, and set up a locked down cheap laptop?


You might have to do both. Or just go with a modern locked-down (or easily restorable) laptop. Social media like instantgram and snapperchat are going to important to today's youngster. And that means iPhones and iPads. They are going to want what their peers have. And that is not a 40 year old clunker.


You'll have to control the amount of incoming narcissism generated by social media though. Most had their 1st iPhone by the second grade. And now they're pretty snotty and spoiled. Most had iDevices and Macs. Windows' systems are a no-go. Too much technicality and progress bars.

#27 Flojomojo ONLINE  


    Telephone Sanitizer

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:47 PM

yea I get it, its a kit, it does nifty things, once you plop it in a box and load its os its just linux on a weak computer, you know what else is linux on a weak computer? linux on a weak computer ... I bought 2 netbooks last year that can compete on par with a pi3, and doesnt crash when trying to load google in a web browser for 25 bucks a pop, display, storage, power and input all included 

The nice thing about the Pi isn't just the computer, but the GPIO (general purpose input-output) pins on the thing. You can drive a motor, a camera, a sensor, just about anything to build all kinds of primitive robotic things. It's more than a PC in that regard. Some kids are more into engineering and building (or maybe just following instructions from a kit) than programming. I think it's cool that my local MicroCenter has cleared out most of its video games in favor of hobby electronics like Pi and Arduino kits, and lots of component parts. Radio Shack used to sell these kinds of things and they're a practical way to teach these skills. 


But yeah, as a computer, a real netbook can do more, and they come with their own screen and stuff. 


My kid isn't particularly interested in any of it, alas. 

#28 Osgeld ONLINE  



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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:16 PM

coming from a pic / avr (arduino) world I have never warmed up to the pi's GPIO

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