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Old 12 January 2012, 20:04   #41
Dunny
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Originally Posted by Adropac2 View Post
I'm still not exactly sure what this is. It's essentially a cheap enough computer right? so those unable to afford a computer, get to do so or are even just given one from the school? And it has it's lite based os

The idea to to encourage people that might otherwise be turned off using computers, in the hope of growing potential talent some?

And i do agree with you Dunny, i'm understanding of language in the form of basic from C64 etc but putting C in front of me back then wouldn't have helped my understanding of logic much. There are probably countless people that love the idea of programming but just don't bother when they see the likes of C. Mind you it seems this isn't the point of the device?
Agreed with all of the above.

I'll make a confession - I've written a BASIC interpreter because I prefer the language to lower-level languages. When forced, I code in Delphi and port to Linux using FPC. I cannot stand C or C++ - they're bloody awful to code in and damn-near incomprehensible to me. I can't begin to fathom the reason that they're so popular in geek circles

In another community I inhabit, I had to port a game written in C++ to an ARM device, and having never coded anything in C++ I had a very difficult time even getting the code to build and spent the best part of a month learning how to get binaries built. Only after I'd spent all that time could I actually start to mess with the actual code, and I count that month to have been a complete waste of time that could have been spent doing better things like actually coding. The actual port took me two days, despite goading from the community that it would be better done by someone who knows C++...

But anyway, it's for these reasons that I think the current trend for coding in C and C++ is completely the wrong thing to be teaching our children. We need a language that gives instant results without need to be run through several lines of terminal code in order to do something, and for that you simply cannot beat the old 8bits.

And the sad fact is that for immediate access to coding, you still cannot beat the old 8Bits. The Amiga had no way to just "jump in" without either figuring out Amiga BASIC or acquiring a copy of AMOS or BLITZ - and to do either of those you'd have to learn Workbench or CLI first. Things still haven't improved.

D.
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Old 12 January 2012, 20:17   #42
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Dunny: Strange then really this hasn't been identified as another possible problem for those that want to learn. Potential programmers might not even know if they wanted to or not because they can't even see the concept of what programming is when presented with it in a harder form
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Old 12 January 2012, 20:34   #43
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Dunny: Strange then really this hasn't been identified as another possible problem for those that want to learn. Potential programmers might not even know if they wanted to or not because they can't even see the concept of what programming is when presented with it in a harder form
I agree that it is strange - programming is very obscure compared to what it was when we were younger. I will be watching the new ICT courses they're offering at schools with great interest...

Though I suspect they'll likely jump in with HTML to get their feet wet and move up to Java from there; although Java is only slightly less obscure a language than C (and certainly no worse than interpreted BASIC for performance), it's runnable just about everywhere and is therefore most applicable for such a wide-ranging course as "programming".

But anyway, back to the Pi - I think it's just meant to be accessible. The price point is tiny, and kids can buy one for pocket money these days. That removes "tech" from the birthday/christmas present list and into the realms of "I'll just pick one of those up this weekend", which could never happen for ... well, anything really - even your Nintendo handhelds can't compete with that kind of price-point.

I expect that the first few thousand will be acquired by geeks and kids with an interest in that sort of thing, but once more and more info arrives on the web about what you can do with them, I suspect that more people will be demanding them. They attach to the TV, a mouse and keyboard. They'll play games (not great ones, this is linux on ARM after all, but new stuff is being ported all the time) and they'll do "web and email".

It's a good start.

D.
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Old 12 January 2012, 21:18   #44
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I think, that programming today is actually a lot less obscure than when I started programming. Granted Basic was very easy, but I always hit its boundaries so early and it was really difficult to get some information (mind you, I started using Amiga Basic and GFABasic).

Today you have so many different languages, from Basic to Python to Java to C++ to whatnot. And thanks to this device using linux you can use all of them to your own liking.

I will get one of these for sure.
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Old 15 January 2012, 14:38   #45
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Hmm you guys are right of course, coding in Linux does tend to point towards challenging languages. There must be some kind of basic for Linux mustn't there?

Edit: Vintage Basic - c64 style. Was that any good?

Last edited by musojon74; 15 January 2012 at 14:40. Reason: Research
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Old 15 January 2012, 16:47   #46
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There must be some kind of basic for Linux mustn't there?
There's absolutely tons. Just Google.
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Old 15 January 2012, 18:41   #47
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There must be some kind of basic for Linux mustn't there?
There's FreeBasic. Works on linux and windows. Does graphics out of the box (both the slow 'line/pset/circle/etc.' kind and the much faster direct memory access type). Allows C/C++ like coding (and has a few OOP features), but allows quite simple programming as well. In combination with FBEdit (windows only?) it becomes REALLY easy to use (setup under windows is also easy). And of course it's a compiler.
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Edit: Vintage Basic - c64 style. Was that any good?
Absolutely not. Actually, all those 8bit basic interpreters just sucked (and still do, including MSX basic), that's why many people always moved from BASIC to assembly language. Really only suitable to get a glimpse of what coding is all about, and although C/C++ is perhaps a bad beginners language, those old interpreters aren't much better (they don't allow certain basic things that beginners should learn). Learning 68000 assembler as your first language wouldn't be much worse
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Old 15 January 2012, 20:00   #48
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There's absolutely tons. Just Google.
My question was pretty much rhetorical, in a chatty vein.

@Thornham yeah I never used c64 basic. Actually I don't really know any basic, I'm a learner but choose to learn with a mix of c# ( useful for work ) and c++ ( difficult but a nice structure ).
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Old 15 January 2012, 20:18   #49
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There's a version of Blitz for linux,BlitzMax

[edit] mind you, compiling for ARM may not be possible...

Last edited by Coagulus; 15 January 2012 at 20:20. Reason: extra bit added
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Old 16 January 2012, 01:09   #50
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Actually, there's a linux version of my own BASIC interpreter - it's pretty close to how the 8bit BASICs worked... ie, you have a command line and input code line by line

D.
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Old 16 January 2012, 01:34   #51
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Actually, there's a linux version of my own BASIC interpreter - it's pretty close to how the 8bit BASICs worked... ie, you have a command line and input code line by line

D.
now interpreters should be ok. And it's a nice easy to pick up language!
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Old 16 January 2012, 23:57   #52
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now interpreters should be ok. And it's a nice easy to pick up language!
There's an ARM/Linux build of my interpreter too :-)

Granted it's packaged up for the Pandora, but it would be trivial to build for the Pi :-)

D.
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Old 22 January 2012, 16:54   #53
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And now with XBMC

[ Show youtube player ]
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Old 22 January 2012, 18:15   #54
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nice!
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Old 22 January 2012, 21:29   #55
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700Mhz .. that is exactly the speed of the main processor of the first XBOX.

It's crazy how cheap such things become years affter years, when most other things in life costs more and more
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Old 22 January 2012, 21:42   #56
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And now with XBMC

[ Show youtube player ]
Blimey these things are surely going to sell out fast
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Old 23 January 2012, 05:10   #57
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700Mhz .. that is exactly the speed of the main processor of the first XBOX.
You can't compare an ARM11 with a P3 (at the same speed the ARM11 has a lot less cpu power)
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Old 24 January 2012, 16:04   #58
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Agreed with all of the above.

I'll make a confession - I've written a BASIC interpreter because I prefer the language to lower-level languages. When forced, I code in Delphi and port to Linux using FPC. I cannot stand C or C++ - they're bloody awful to code in and damn-near incomprehensible to me. I can't begin to fathom the reason that they're so popular in geek circles

In another community I inhabit, I had to port a game written in C++ to an ARM device, and having never coded anything in C++ I had a very difficult time even getting the code to build and spent the best part of a month learning how to get binaries built. Only after I'd spent all that time could I actually start to mess with the actual code, and I count that month to have been a complete waste of time that could have been spent doing better things like actually coding. The actual port took me two days, despite goading from the community that it would be better done by someone who knows C++...

But anyway, it's for these reasons that I think the current trend for coding in C and C++ is completely the wrong thing to be teaching our children. We need a language that gives instant results without need to be run through several lines of terminal code in order to do something, and for that you simply cannot beat the old 8bits.

And the sad fact is that for immediate access to coding, you still cannot beat the old 8Bits. The Amiga had no way to just "jump in" without either figuring out Amiga BASIC or acquiring a copy of AMOS or BLITZ - and to do either of those you'd have to learn Workbench or CLI first. Things still haven't improved.

D.
I have to disagree with most of this. You dont need to learn to use workbench or a cli to use AMOS or Blitz for starts. Insert disc, turn on computer and youre ready to go.

As for C/C++, sure the initial learning curve can be steep, but its not so dificult once you get your head around it, and the benefits are huge. How many device drivers are written in Java, or html? How many OSes are written in pascal? What happens when you want to port your game from an XBox360 to ps3 when youve coded in a specific version of BASIC, and so on and so forth. There's many reasons C/C++ has for the most part become the defacto standard for commerical development. It's hardly a recent trend either unless you consider 30+ years recent.

The only thing I agree with is that it was nice when you could flick the switch and be ready to go, but this requires a standard set of hardware, or at very least a common set of portable apis, which in itself would require a larger immediately accesible storage device. It would also require these dependencies to be portable. The only place where a parallel to the 8bit days is feasible these days is a console or other device where the hardware is set in stone. I doubt they'll do it, but something like this Pi could potentially be such a platform.
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Old 24 January 2012, 21:53   #59
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I like the concept..
But it has to be simple to get into and use..

I did a LOT of BASIC programming on the C64..
Why, it was easy...

When I got my Amiga, I loaded BASIC right away...
No line numbers?? Hmmm.... More structured???

I will totally agree that it's "better" from a programming perspective but I did almost NO BASIC programming on the Amiga..

Now, I eventually did some programming on the Amiga, but I decided pretty early on to go with C. I didn't know it, but if I was going to "work" at it, I decided to work at C..

I accept the fact that BASIC on the Amiga probably wouldn't have been difficult to learn or use..
But it wasn't as easy as BASIC on the C64, at least not to me and not initially.
And that's all it took...

BASIC on the C64 was just so simple to use that it made me "want" to use it...

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Old 25 January 2012, 00:24   #60
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I have to disagree with most of this. You dont need to learn to use workbench or a cli to use AMOS or Blitz for starts. Insert disc, turn on computer and youre ready to go.
Fair enough - that was not my experience, as I never used an Amiga without a HDD where things needed to be installed

Quote:
As for C/C++, sure the initial learning curve can be steep, but its not so dificult once you get your head around it, and the benefits are huge. How many device drivers are written in Java, or html? How many OSes are written in pascal? What happens when you want to port your game from an XBox360 to ps3 when youve coded in a specific version of BASIC, and so on and so forth. There's many reasons C/C++ has for the most part become the defacto standard for commerical development. It's hardly a recent trend either unless you consider 30+ years recent.
Speaking as someone who has been coding in z80/x86 asm for the last 30 years, with BASIC as the main route into that, I'd say that C and C++, when compared to languages just as capable (Pascal, say, ignoring things like Java and HTML) are incredibly hard to learn. They defy most logic as far as I can tell, they split code across unnecessary files - such as the division between .h and .c files for the same code - and have a syntax that is largely gibberish. Obviously, my experiences with coding didn't include C until just recently, so if I had maybe looked at it when I was younger, I might not struggle with it so much! Now, however, I feel dirty and at-sea when confronted with a project that has to be coded in C++...

The problem being that when I was younger, I'd have had no chance learning C without first learning BASIC (and assembly helped in understanding what I was asking the compiler to do). The environment was incredibly hard to set up - I spent a month trying to get the compiler to actually build something, and had to learn about makefiles and library locations and all that unnecessary guff - it would have been easier to just give up and go back to my comfort zone! I didn't, I persevered, and I still don't think it was worth the effort. I don't think there are many 7 year-olds that could possibly learn C++, yet that was the age I was at when I started in BASIC and a year later z80 assembler.

But anyway, that's my experience - others may be better at this sort of thing than I am and just jump in for the first time and understand it without needing so much extra info to get started.

Quote:
The only thing I agree with is that it was nice when you could flick the switch and be ready to go, but this requires a standard set of hardware, or at very least a common set of portable apis, which in itself would require a larger immediately accesible storage device. It would also require these dependencies to be portable. The only place where a parallel to the 8bit days is feasible these days is a console or other device where the hardware is set in stone. I doubt they'll do it, but something like this Pi could potentially be such a platform.
That would be the perfect platform for me - something that I can code on from switch-on, without having to load a language (from usb/disk or from HDD) first.

D.
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