[Edu-sig] ACM Urges Obama to Include CS as Core Component of Science, Math Education

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Fri Dec 26 00:39:32 CET 2008

Good seeing the XO firing up again, G1G1 billboards up around town
(says Ron Braithwaite, contributor to ANSI Forth committee work from
long ago **), certainly a big theme in my household this year, as in
under the (plastic) Christmas Tree, as well as a hit at our Solstice
Party on the 20th.


In contrast to the "solo with guitar" Nashville model (have XO will
travel), there's the garage band notion of specialized instruments,
which is more like the TuxLab approach, or what we did at HPD:  this
box is our gateway (does Squid) this one is for mostly games, this one
isn't even on the intranet, let alone Internet, and so on.

It's not either/or.

Many of us carry the briefcase laptop to and from work, yet park them
to mess with entirely different LCDs (a lot of them shared),
specialized to different tasks.  The XO maps to your future personal
computer, but that's not the end of our story:  there's the computer
lab at your school (perhaps reconfigurable).

Portland is well known for its Red Hat based thin client networks,
used in many of our schools, where Python is also taught.  A lot of
our hardware is recycled PC, Pentium class especially, not laptops.
So we're able to turn out computer labs, as a package, much more
easily than we're able to turn out XOs (zero point zero of these
latter, still quite exotic to find any).

A given Saturday Academy class might involve httpd.conf, learning
about daemons, mod_python, mod_perl....  What's Apache all about?
Mapping this training exercise into "XO space" seems a bit steep to
lazy engineers, given all these recycled Pentiums lying around, so
that's what we cobble together.

However, if your kid has been cutting teeth on Pippy, then jumping in
as a competent server or cube farmer would seem but a hop, skip and a
jump.  You'd have a way to save for college, or whatever certification
program.  So by all means, keep those XOs pumping out there.  I
treasure mine, like lending it to kids under 10.

I was suggesting on Quaker-P this morning, in a thread with Vanessa,
that we get an XO included on our SImple Gifts panel, the one we're
using to send virtual bonnets, capes, other accessories (even a
Prius).  Maybe we'll get a green light.



** http://www.quartus.net/files/PalmOS/Forth/Docs/dpans94.pdf

HPD:  Hillsboro Police Department (near Intel)
LCD:  liquid crystal display
XO:    XO
G1G1:  Give One Get One
ANSI:  American National Standards

More information about the Edu-sig mailing list