Python for a 10-14 years old?

Christos TZOTZIOY Georgiou tzot at sil-tec.gr
Thu Mar 24 13:37:31 CET 2005


On 24 Mar 2005 02:35:34 -0800, rumours say that "Michele Simionato"
<michele.simionato at gmail.com> might have written:

<snip>

>I am pretty much convinced I could have mastered Python at the age
>of nine. Of course, I cannot prove it, since when I was nine
>I had no computer, I did not know English, and Python was not
>yet invented. But apart for this minor circumstances, I don't
>thing I was dumber as a child than as an adult.

At the age of nine at school, two guys from a French computer-making
company named as "Loup" (in french) or "Lupo" (in Italian), can't
remember which --if either is correct--, came and gave us a demo of one
of their models.  They wrote a simple BASIC program on the blackboard
and proceeded in explaining what the program did, and then asked for a
kid to type it.  I was chosen randomly, and I managed to do that, but I
*didn't* understand a thing.  See, I didn't either know English (we had
French at school), and I had no contact with computers earlier.  I had a
good knowledge of how things work in the surrounding world, even knew a
lot about electricity and how it works (I had played a lot with
batteries, buttons, wires and lights in order to make some amazing
devices to use with my friends when we were playing "Galactica" or
"Space 1999" or "Star Trek"...), but *this* I couldn't grok.

This was the challenge that marked my life, I can say.  Next year I
managed to get my parents into buying me a ZX Spectrum 16K, the year
after that I managed to get them into buying me the 32K RAM upgrade
(first hw upgrade I ever did!), and one year and a half later, I managed
to get the Sinclair QL, with better BASIC, multitasking capabilities,
and something more like an OS than any other home computer till then.
And man, wasn't 68k assembly a joy :)

<snip>

>The problem teachers face when explaining computers to kids, is
>to keep them interested, so they prepare courses about graphics,
>videogames, etc. But if you get the right kid, he/she will be
>interested even on "IBM Fortran IV with WATFOR and WATFIV" ;)

The second book on computers I *bought* was "Artificial Intelligence on
the Sinclair QL" (age 12 --I bought the book *before* I got the QL :).
The first was "1001 Games for the ZX Spectrum" (age 11).  We had lots of
computer magazines though, with lots of source code in them to keep a
kid interested then (the age of home computers)...

>Personally, at that age I knew everything about the solar system
>planets, distances from the Sun, masses, diameters, albedos, etc.
>Fortunately, now I have forgot nearly everything ;)

Unless you play trivial pursuit with friends, in which case such
knowledge is very useful (and doesn't get forgotten :)
-- 
TZOTZIOY, I speak England very best.
"Be strict when sending and tolerant when receiving." (from RFC1958)
I really should keep that in mind when talking with people, actually...



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