[E3-hacking] Ever turning

linux at things.org.uk linux at things.org.uk
Tue Jun 21 14:07:41 BST 2005

I'm going to be quite annoying and reply to myself...

> So I see before us the possibility of another little box, "smaller than any
> laptop available today", "a machine tailored for home use". Perhaps this
> time
> with another great British entrepreneur's company name printed on it. Make
> it
> simple, provide decent documentation and a little spiral bound manual. Make
> it
> available to kids, to affordable computing initiatives, and perhaps Mr Sugar
> could capture far more than he expected.

It seems we are reminiscing somewhat. I will join you, if only to illustrate my

I remember programming in those daft languages where you felt clever using four
gotos in seven lines, cleverly creating a logic tree that would defeat anyone
who tried to understand it. I remember the excitement of controlling stuff with
this little box just by typing commands (or sometimes hitting the right
combination of keys to create a command - thanks Sinclair).

The most magic thing was the simplicity though. When you have a decent interface
to the equipment, and more importantly its i/o, the thing comes alive.

So here's my thought on producing a dev-friendly/child-friendly box. Choose a
language - something of the python/ruby ilk - and build a set of scripts for
it, which can control the entire i/o of the box. From flashing lights to
keyboard, smartcard reader to disk access. If it's all there, and all easy to
use, people will write for it. And if they're script based, there will be no
open/closed source question. I don't mean prevent people using it as a linux
box, just provide an easy and uniform interface for people new to it all to
program in. Oh, and give them a manual...

So what thinkest? 


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