[Edu-sig] Turtles all the way down (was Re: Tips ...)

Ian Bicking ianb at colorstudy.com
Thu Apr 27 00:56:57 CEST 2006

Paul D. Fernhout wrote:
> To somewhat address the original "Tips" question, and to address a genuine 
> issue of computer literacy as GNU/Linux rises in dominance, and to address 
> this issue of mastering multiple levels of abstraction, perhaps kids and 
> even some teachers could be encouraged to make a tiny GNU/Linux 
> distribution to make a Python interpreter shell that boots from on a 
> diskette or USB stick or CDROM, and creates a RAM disk for classroom 
> experiments. It isn't that hard.
> See:
>    http://www.linuxlinks.com/Distributions/Floppy/ [has one already]
>    http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/ [general instructions]
> Then you would have a custom Python which would be useful for wandering 
> faculty (assuming the admins let you reboot the machine, and it was 
> configured to allowing booting from removable media).

Well, you could also just include Python without the OS ;)  I think that 
would be easier.  Has anyone tried Movable Python 
(http://www.voidspace.org.uk/python/movpy/)?  It's only for Windows, but 
I assume the technique is mostly portable (though some of the libraries 
are not so easy, I imagine, like wxPython).  Anyway, I'm sure you could 
fit Python for several OS's onto one CD plus some useful libraries, and 
save some time doing setup, which is otherwise a great way to waste a 
lot of class time.  Has anyone put together such a bundle?  Or maybe 
it's already out there, even if written for other reasons.

Ian Bicking  /  ianb at colorstudy.com  /  http://blog.ianbicking.org

More information about the Edu-sig mailing list