Kids and their Raspberry Pis

A picture post today; I thought it was time to remind you all what this project’s really about. Thanks to all the proud parents who sent photos in!

Emma, age 4

Ben, age 11

Robin, age 8, who set the Raspberry Pi up very competently on his own using the Quick Start guide.

Peter, age 65, and Sam, age 10 - and some LEGO

Mikey, age 4. Dad says: "Mikey is more excited than me (only just). Now I know how my father felt when he brought home the ZX." Mikey wants to be a software developer like his Dad when he grows up.

Megan, age 5

Lexy (10) and Margaret (9) - a couple of friends making games in Scratch after school.

Lautaro, age 3 (in blue), and his brother Joaquin, age 2 (in red)

And Lautaro again, with a very fine case made from Rasti, a LEGO-alike from Argentina.

James, age 10

Jac, age 7.

Here's Jac again. He is writing a game called "Animal Fury", and says it will be "Like Monkey Quest but awesome because you can choose polar bears and they shoot guns." Thanks Jac (and thanks Dad!)

Harry, age 15, using a Raspberry Pi at school.

Sophie, 6, and Emma, 4, demo their Raspberry Pi for Granny.

Sophie and Emma's first bit of Python, constructing nonsense sentences. Sophie has also written a two-player noughts and crosses game.

Emily, age 5. There's something funny about this one, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

Ella is 2 and a half. She's using GCompris, which is a great educational software choice for really little kids; it's designed for children aged 2-10. Click the picture to visit Ella's Dad's blog, with lots more Ella pics.

Daisy, age 4

Cohen, age 8

Ameera, age 10

Thanks again to all the parents who let us use these pictures, and especially to all the kids!

78 comments

Adam avatar

yeah, Emily, Age 5 seems a tad strange to me. quite a fine coat of fur though.

liz avatar

Her Dad says she has been fascinated by technology ever since an iPad arrived in the house.

Lennie avatar

(don’t take this criticism to seriously)

I only see one potential problem, neck pain after hours of enjoyment of using the Raspberry Pi. As I see a lot of kids with their head tilted back looking up at television screens.

Sometimes when I visit this site I wish I still had my Legos… ;-)

liz avatar

Feh. Hours lying on our elbows prodding the rubber-membrane keyboards of ZX Spectrums did my generation no harm at all.

*Grimaces as discs in neck grind together and nerves in lower arms make twanging sounds*

AndrewS avatar

Yeah, at least the RPi has a separate keyboard. Unlike the Amiga500 that was too heavy to lift off the floor ;)

Cyber Killer avatar

I guess this could be connected to the fact that not many commonly bought cheap computer monitors have an hdmi port, and tv’s have it always, even 2 or 3. So many ppl probably can’t just connect the Pi to their normal monitor at their desk.

Fernando avatar

But most monitors do have a DVI input, from which HDMI is basically a superset, so get an HDMI-DVI cable and plug your R-Pi to any monitor.

Jon Hall avatar

True, but you have to be sure the monitor supports digital input (DVI-D). If it only supports analogue input (DVI-I, effectively the same signals as VGA) a simple HDMI to DVI cable won’t work.

peter green avatar

A couple of corrections

Firstly analog is DVI-A, digital is DVI-D and combined analog and digitial is DVI-I

Secondly I don’t think i’ve ever seen a DVI port on a device used for an analog only connection. If the monitor has a DVI connector it can almost certainly be used with a Pi.

steve avatar

You can buy a DVI to HDMI cable for about $5.

lobster avatar

How wonderful. To be two and have a computer. Bravo parents of geek kids. Bravo Raspberrians. Long live Fruit!

liz avatar

And crustacea. And puppies. ;)

forumisto avatar

which usb hub is the one that is in the photo with the cat?
it used to power the RPi and it can give more than 500mA in a port.

Peter avatar

As far as I can tell, it says logilink on the panel and here is the website: http://www.logilink.de/USB%202.0%20Hub.htm

Bill avatar

Yes, Liz has the website correct. It is a model UA0085 and comes with a 2A supply. I have used it to power the RPi, a USB wireless, and USB hard drive at once.

Jamie avatar

Nice fresh hacker talent to try steal my credit card details, cheers :P.

Priit avatar

http://www.flickr.com/photos/65670117@N02/7381721836/

Not so small kids anymore but still exited :D
Had a nice day on the beach with Raspberry Pi -s.

Gert van Loo avatar

Thanks for those pictures. THAT! is the main target I had in mind when I spend so much time on the project and it is very fulfilling to see the results.

liz avatar

Me too. I think this is my favourite post here so far. :)

Darren avatar

Is little Ben wearing binoculars, he looks like he’s 15 feet away from a 17″ TV there.

Mick avatar

I have showed my 10 year old a few things about the Pi from the website and some of the things I want to try to do with it when I got it. Super excited when my wife called me at work and told me I got my Pi last week (never did get a notice saying it was dispatched). 3 hours later when I walked in the door, I found my 10 year old sitting on the floor in the living room with my Pi already unboxed, hooked up to the TV, 2 SD cards on the floor in front of my son who had Debian up and running on the Pi. I don’t know squat about Linux, kid has never touched Linux, but sure as hell he got it up and running in 3 hours.

Kid looks up and said “here dad, you can play with it now” then proceeded to show me he had also made me an SD card to boot Raspbmc since heard me mention it.

Perhaps I’m a horrible parent but in all of this all I could think was, you little sonofabitch you made me miss out on unboxing my Raspberry Pi!

Charudatt avatar

Wow, something really nice to hear and read. Proud father, though.

Geoff Tidey avatar

Great post :)
Here’s a picture I took a few weeks ago of my 4 year old son, Dan, playing with Scratch on the Raspberry Pi:

http://instagr.am/p/KziPdFgWJj/

He asked if he could use the *Strawberry* Pi again the other day.
He’ll be my very own code monkey in no time!

MBeentjes avatar

Very nice to see little kids play around with the Raspberry Pi. I never thought that kids of an age of 4 or 5 could use the RPi.

nelson avatar

Apparently linux is so difficult it takes a kid of 4 or 5 to program it /sarcasm

mraltair avatar

Wonderful to see! Except I now know a six year old girl (Sophie) is s better programmer than a fully grown IT Tech (Me). I know what I’m learning tonight.

RicardoRix avatar

I can’t say the PI has had much influence on my kids. I quite often come home to find 3 laptops on, a PC and the Wii. Not one of them could give a monkeys about the RasPi, just not in interested at all. I think to make it workable you have to ship some kind of robotic arm or a range of games (that they could compile perhaps) or something to make them look up and think, wow, never seen that before, otherwise you’re failing to bring their computing attention away from things like multiplayer minecraft which has a huge social and creative edge, and on the playground, that’s what they all talk about.

nelson avatar

redstone circuits? anyone?

Fred Renner avatar

This must be incredibly rewarding for you. Bravo!

Kev avatar

Jammy. ;-)
I had to wait until I could save up for my first ZX Spectrum when I was 18.
Will see how it goes with my 4 year old nephew…

OrionFyre avatar

This post got me all nostalgic about my first computer I ever had. This beast of a machine had two large towers on top of which sat the monitor with two built in 8″ floppy drives The tower on the left had one of those protected power switches with the flip up cover and a large red emergency shut off button. It was even ancient when I got it from my uncle. I ended up learning how to program in it’s particular flavor of basic and made a star trek game which my dad even played regularly!

One day after school when I turned it on it dropped into a rescue shell which was nothing more than a hex editor. I was devastated. I poured through the 12 volume operator’s manual reading all the details trying to figure out what was wrong. I learned about the machine’s instruction set, process calls, and all that fun jazz. I recall managing to get it to print out the boot code on the dot matrix paper. (you remember the old 14″ wide z-fold green/white lined paper) I probably had a printout at least an inch thick which had nothing but lines of hex code on it.

There I was no older than a bunch of the kids in these photos (i was probably 12 years old) on the bus rides to and from school and in the lunch room flipping pages back and forth translating instructions from machine to human readable with pencil marks and arrows drawn all over. After a solid month of reading the manuals, and using flow-charts mimmicked from the books I tracked down the bug. I don’t remember what it was exactly, probably a bad instruction call or a bad push. I do however remember that I had found it on the bus ride to school and making it through the school day was one of the most painful experiences ever.

I flew off the bus and busted through the door when I got home, got into the ‘rescue shell’, corrected some changes I made, went and changed the bad block I had found. wrote out the changes and power cycled the machine. It beeped. the floppy disks whirred, another beep with a blinking cursor. I crossed my fingers. *blip blip bleep* YES!

The next year in school we had computer class twice a week on the old Apple IIe’s. While everyone else was busy learning “goto”s and “if”s I was reading the technical manuals and modding the oregan trail binaries to have dinosaurs(t-rex!), wild alien encounters and laser weapons. I also may or may not have created what could be classified as a rudamentary virus which the teacher ended up using the following year to see if students were copying each other’s disks (and therefore homework)

Tom avatar

give a kid computer with linux and he/she’ll start using it immediatly. give he/she computer with windows and he/she will just put things in the floppy drive. just like me when I was smaller :)

meepmeep avatar

Jac needs to be introduced to Kickstarter. Monkey Quest – Polar Bear Laser Edition should have $2m in funding by the end of the week.

Mick avatar

I’m in for $20

Jimmy Dansbo avatar

Oh, how I hope that my daughter (now, 6 months) will come to, just find it natural that there is a Raspberry PI in allmost every room of the house :)

Dan S avatar

This is just awesome! Reminds me of me & my Acorn Electron 23 years ago, when I was 7 :) Exactly what the industry in Britain needs, and thanks to the amazing team for making this a reality. I’m looking forward to getting my order code and reliving the memories.

Ben avatar

One of my favorite posts ever !
No tech info in it but it reminds me the reason why I access this site at least twice a day.
From my opinion this is the main benefit your foundation will achieve from this awesome project; you’re teaching to the next generation of hackers, remind us our home computer/consoles when the were younger and the world was perfect, be proud of our sons/daughters just because we’re doing something together with them, joy for their progresses, see in their eyes the passion and the reason why I’m still doing this job after … years (hey that’s a lot of time !).
It’s touching.

I’d like to send you the photo of my little daughter (6Y), we’ve built a Lego case together as many others, now she knows what a programmer is and what is doing her father to carry on and now she’s asking me to learn the way of the Force and become a Jedi like her father, awesome….

Ben

liz avatar

Please do (my email address is in the Contacts page above) – I don’t think this will be the last of this kind of post. :)

TheMonkeyKing avatar

This is some much goodness! Kids with tech! Yaaaay!

paul avatar

nice. seems like there will be enough engineers in a few yeary…

max1zzz avatar

I can say that kids, even at my age (15) find the raspberry pi fascinating, even people who’s idear of tech is a xbox 360 and a laptop, there’s just something about it that really interests people. And i do say, the Raspberry Pi is the most fun i have had with a computer since i found i could boot my ibook g3 into a strange Operating system called “linux” when i was about 10 ;)

Isaac Smith avatar

I got my start with Linux pretty much the same way. Ubuntu took a very long time to boot from CD on my iBook.

Tashir avatar

I still have 2 ibooks with debian on them that i have brought out of my closet and have recently been playing around with. Debian takes forever to load compared to my regular desktop… but it still works! although i have to use E17 or E16 to get it to work well.

Peter Pimley avatar

My favourite is the “Sophie is a pink banana” one, simply because I wrote something very similar just the other day and it made me laugh. I’m 32 years old and I’ve been a video game programmer since 2001.

Jaseman avatar

Can we have a follow up photo collection of Geeks and their Pi’s?

Dimitre avatar

WOW ! Nice progress- I counted 20 boards have been shipped ! Or are some pictures of the same Pi with the brother/sister/neighbor ?
Meanwhile, mother nature and human nature by extension do not tolerate void (even of Raspbery Pi’s), and 3 months is a lot of time nowadays, here is what naturally happened:
“The Gooseberry project was started by a guy who was tired of waiting to get his hands on a Raspberry Pi — and contacted a Chinese manufacturer that makes Allwinner-A10 devices to negotiate inexpensive prices for a developer board that can be used as a low power desktop computer.”
http://liliputing.com/2012/06/gooseberry-developer-boards-40-alternative-raspberry-pi.html
Please do not shoot the messenger. Lets see how fast they can ship me one. I betcha it will be less than 3 months.

liz avatar

Does whatever this *feeling* you are trying to express is actually cause you physical pain? I’d watch the old blood pressure if I were you; that’s not a normal response to a bunch of pictures of happy children doing something productive.

Dimitre avatar

Liz, frustration is that feeling, and yes- it does cause me physical pain. And thanks for caring about my blood pressure- its perfectly normal. Have you placed an order and send 5 inquiries in 3.5 months including one to Liz and 2 to RS and 3 to Allied with the following result:
— Liz and RS did not care to respond
— Allied said “we know nothing and care not”
Would you feel in a different way ?
Aside from the coolness of the Pi as hardware, lets be honest here- the same can achieved with an old motherboard/laptop pretty much everyone’s got laying around these days and many people including myself are doing it. And you know what- I’d be even more proud if these kids got an old MOBO and plugged some PCI cards and CPU’s and heatsinks and then installed linux on it. Other than that kids pictures with your product are certainly good PR.
Can we now please get some numbers so I can estimate when is my order placed March 2 with Allied going to materialize ?

max1zzz avatar

-Liz (or any member of the foundation) cannot do anything, only allied/RS can
-the emails will not get you anywhere, this is the same for most manufactures / distributors (that i have delt with)

Call Allied/RS and ask where your order has gone, this is the only way your gonna get a quick response

Zilog avatar

Man. You missed the philosophy of this project completely. Old motherboards? Uglyware running android? When is the last time you developed something for android under android? Give a kid an android device and he/she will only play angry birds with it :p
From what I see so far this foundation has achieved exactly what they set to do. Or at least have their foot on the door as much as they could up to this point. If this has the staying power to join the ranks of old classics like ZX or Micro or if this will be for my kids what the old speccy was for me only time will tell.
I for one didn’t bother to order a RPI so far. My son is only 1 year old today and the best he could do with it is to smash it with his little tikes hammer. So I’m in no rush to order one just yet, at least untill I can order a dozen… and overnight. But even if I did i think I would have more patience given the circumstances or at least put pressure on the right directions.
And of all posts moan on this one? C’mon.

RicardoRix avatar

I feel your pain. Seeing the world walk around with cake stuffing their faces is not a good feeling when your own cupboard is bare for 4 months.

AndrewS avatar

I’ll bet he doesn’t have hundreds of thousands of back orders either! Although checking out the site, it looks like he might be starting to get overwhelmed… limit of one per customer, a “register your interest” page, … sound familiar? ;-)

JamesH avatar

Hey Dimetrie,

My three point plan to happiness.

1. if you have nothing nice to say about a bunch of children using their Raspi’s feel free to not post.

2. If you have a problem with your order,please contact the people with whom you have an order.

3. If you think the Gooseberry is a better bet, buy one.

Oh, and BTW, its expected that approx 500k people will have Raspi’s before the end of the year (and 10 of thousands already have them). Jut FYI, 500000 > 20.

Jeremie avatar

On the photograph with Harry, 15, at school, i’ve seen a SmartBoard. Is the RaspberryPi is plugged on the interactive whiteboard? Is working?

I’m working on a school and i’m in charge of the different 12 interactive whiteboard, and hope to drive the smartboard with Linux, maybe a RaspberryPi.

RMW5 avatar

What does the cat plan to do with his/her RPi? We have a couple of cats here who enjoy sitting on laptop keyboards, but a little inspiration they might be motivated to take things a little further, collaborate on projects etc…

Josh avatar

“Pair of cats learn git, story at 11…”

Ronnie Sahlberg avatar

Wow!

I thought that RPI was a very cool product but never really understood this part of it. This “a thing for kids to tinker with” was always so abstract. But these pictures really explains what it is all about!

Kids, curious, experimenting, learning, having fun.

Amazing. Wow.

Just looking at the pictures makes me relive the mid-80s and my ZX.
I identify with these kids in the pictures. I was one of them in the mid-80s when I got this magical ZX to play with.
I am really emotional now, this brings back so many memories from tinkering and trying things just like these kids.

Congratulations. This has to be what total success looks like.

Edward avatar

I’m curious about the keyboard that ‘Mikey, age 4’ is using – does anyone know what it is called?

(Still waiting for my Pi but plenty busy here so not missing it as much as some…)

liz avatar

I was curious too, so I did some Googling – looks like it’s this, the Keys-u-See keyboard.

Edward avatar

Cool, thanks Liz!

Pablo Rogina avatar

Liz, I would like to contact Lautaro & Joaquin dad, since I’m from Argentina also and as I’m waiting for the Nokia-paid RPi assigned to Qt developers, I would like to ask him how he got the board (in case I need/want more boards in the mid term).

Mario avatar

I hate you Liz! You made me cry :( I hope my sons will like to program and like elctronics like the RPi just like me =’)

lightonflux avatar

Connecting Computers with the TV is soooooooo oldskool!
Maybe the kids starts to code in assembler ;)

Michael avatar

Ok after seeing all this I feel bad, I have two awesome kids who I would love to have get to know computing. I have a Raspberri Pi, what have I done with it? set up debian and that is it. Anyone got suggestion on where to go from here to get some of the kid friendly programming stuff set up? (kids are 2.5 and 4)

liz avatar

Scratch is included in the standard Debian image, and GCompris is a free download.

Michael avatar

Is there a startup guide to those?

JamesH avatar

Check Google – lots of stuff on Scratch and GCompris there.

DennisMe avatar

Gcompris is so cool! I taught my seven year old son how to set up some basic boolean logic circuits in less than an hour with a virtual battery, lamp and switches!

Bogdan avatar

It’s nice to see that they’re educated about open source from a young age.

Marcelo Tavares avatar

Great initiative!!! Really this made me happy! Liz, what educational software does Raspberry pi recognize? I know Scratch, what others are able to run on Rasp?
Thanks!

liz avatar

Anything that’ll run under Linux. For younger kids, you might want to look at Kids Ruby and GCompris as well, with PyGame for older kids; but it helps if you don’t think of the Raspberry Pi as a special platform here. It’s just a Linux box.

Jorge avatar

I like to think that somebody younger than 15 is playing today with ra Raspberry Pi, and tomorrow will put us on Mars or beyond.

Gisli Steinn avatar

My 1 and half year old like the box that my RPi was shipped in. He once tried to eat the Raspberry Pi but was not to happy with the taste (I assume since he didn’t finish it).

David Hardman avatar

Hi Liz

I am sure that I have a similar circumstance to many others in that we need some sort of gentle “lead in” to get kids interested in RPi. True that many tech savy kids will jump in with both feet but there will be many more that just “hover” on the edge so they need some “goodies” to get them sucked in.

I have that problem.

I have a 10 year old nephew who is really sharp when it comes to maths and physical things and I am sure that he could become very interested in RPi. But there is a barrier to get through. He has access to XBox, iPad, MAC and PC so I think he will be a bit blasé about humble little old RPi, but I know he will enjoy it once he gets involved.

I doubt that he will start off working in ‘C’ so I would like to find some way of easing him in. I am very happy to put together a ‘kit’ of parts to start him off (RPi, SD card(s), box, proper power supply, keyboard, mouse, WiFi dongle etc) but I am at a loss as to how to start the ball rolling. I would like to make up a SD card that is a “beginners” SD card that will allow him to have the system up and running in GUI mode with enough on-board to allow him to explore and experiment. I also need some “documentation” (a good old book???) that helps him, and guides him to explore and experiment.
It is no good looking at Linux commands [make, startx etc etc] at first nor is it any good getting him to make a LED blink, I need something that he can ease into with keyboard, mouse, screen and maybe the Internet.

Can you make any suggestions?

DH

andres avatar

My little girl have 2 years and half
She uses The rasoberry pi with Gcompris.

Now shes love Mathematics.

My plan is build a desk like IBM Young Explorer, but with some modifications, Kids ergonomy is important.

With NFC Card Reader to play with gcompris and “Printed NFC Flash Cards”

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