Build your own computer with the Piper Computer Kit


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/10/10/build-your-own-computer-with-t.html


#2

So you pay 279 dollars get a rasp pi 2 a cardboard box and some instructions?


#3

Wow, the writeup really didn’t do this kit justice. From that and the pictures on the store I thought this was just awful: assemble a box, plug in the hdmi and usb cables, then you get to play not-minecraft because the “keyboard” only has 4 keys, rendering you unable to jump or, you know, craft.

The actual thing seems cooler though, at least. What they showed off in the video wasn’t exactly advanced (it looked like just wiring an LED up to some gpio pins for the “proximity sensor”, and then showing the idea that buttons work by connecting wires, but I guess you need to start somewhere.

It’s probably worth less than half of what they charge though, maybe about a third.


#4

How to build a computer:

step 1, buy a raspberry pi
step 2, done, there is no step 2.

But all in all i might not be a bad kit. But they would need to include a lot of extra stuff because it would be way too expensive for a raspi+screen+plywood+instruction booklet+4 buttons


#5

That was the impression I got from the writeup; spend $280 on a Raspberry Pi in a box. But look at the picture; there are girls using these computers. Girls!

And we all remember how this one turned out:

It’s flippin’ Tinkertoys with girlie colors.

My kids like regular Legos and regular Tinkertoys, and I know they like the regular handheld devices I got 'em last year for Christmas and I’m seriously thinking of getting them electronics kits and/or a regular Pi kit.


#6

This is a computer suitable for being programmed by a girl:

By Bruno Barral (ByB), CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6839854


#7

Right…I’m sorry, are you assuming I’m arguing against getting girls into technology or something?

Was it because I said, “my kids”, and you assumed that “kids” were boys by default, because as we all know, humans’ default setting is “boy”?

Yeah, my kids aren’t boys.

More likely, it’s a response to my flip response to the terse copy and the pic of the girls gathered around the box. I get a little antsy when I see the, “see, it’s for girls!” angle, because I’ve seen so much stuff targeted at getting girls into STEM and so much of it is so fucking awful. Having said that, it looks like I’ve completely misjudged the situation, so…sorry. with a caveat. Having looked at the actual Piper website, it looks pretty cool, but probably not worth $300. especially since it’s apparently a box of parts with no instruction manual. My kids (who, again, are not boys) would probably like the Kano Kit a lot better. They like keyboards and trackpads. If there’s something that’s inherently better about the Piper kit, well, that should be in the copy that’s trying to get me to buy it from the BoingBoing store.


#8

No. Some people seem to think I’m arguing with them when actually I’m agreeing or extending their case. I’m afraid I can’t help that.
Edit - to clarify - and I was agreeing with you. Women in computing was a thing before bro culture decided to muscle in on well paid jobs. I was actually introduced to programming by a woman analyst/programmer at ICL. When I was 16.
Learnt some other useful stuff on that job, too.


#9

Oh, okay. I’m sorry, I completely misread your intent. I’m an idiot, especially when I’ve had vodka. I’m an idiot when I’m sober, too, but more so then.


#10

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