A Monday grab-bag of community cleverness | Raspberry Pi

Lego case for Raspberry Pi

This is what a creative community does: Takes a great idea and builds on it…and what better way to extend the “please be creative with this thing” message that by encasing it in Lego bricks! The model shown here (including an amazing logo) is a case for a Raspberry Pi. The link below will take you to the Raspberry Pi website, where there are links to several other great projects from users.*

I have three boxes of Lego in the lab at school and I really hope to be able to put them to good use in the Maker course this coming Fall. This is certainly a project I will keep my eye on as we have plans to add at least one Pi to the mix!

* Raspberry Pis are not even available yet, so I guess these are “proto-users” for now.

A Monday grab-bag of community cleverness | Raspberry Pi.

Baird, E. (2012, January 16). R-Pi case, Lego, prototype [Digital image]. Retrieved from http://www.raspberrypi.org/forum/projects-and-collaboration-general/lego-case-project#p30832

#DadLife: I wonder…

I love a good rhetorical question (“Why can’t every day be my birthday?” or “Is there no one who can save us from Super Villain X’s evil machinations?”). The whole point of a rhetorical question however is that the question is either unanswerable or the answer is self-evident (“Uh, it’s just not physically possible to have endless birthdays.” or “Obviously Super Hero Y will come and save the day!”).

It really bothers me when rhetorical questions are misused to incorrectly imply that something is unanswerable or self-evident as is the case in this blog post from #DadLife. He proudly details how his child plays an iPad game for ten whole minutes and then ends his post with a rhetorical question: “[D]id she get to do anything like this level of problem solving in her 7 hours at school today?”

The author is implying one of two things here and I am honestly not sure which one to go with:

  • He has no means of knowing what his daughter might have learned in school today.
  • It is obvious to everyone that his daughter did not learn anything of value in school today.
I reject both of these implications. Clearly he could have spent those ten whole minutes of iPad time engaging with his child directly to find our what she was learning in her time at school. He could also have spent ten whole minutes speaking with his child’s teacher about his child’s engagement and learning.
Both of these easy solutions make his rhetorical question seem like a lazy cop-out…which leads me to my own rhetorical question: “Does this parent seriously think that ten minutes on an iPad is better than talking to his child about her day at school or engaging in a meaningful way with her teacher?” The answer is, in this case, self-evident: This parent believes that ten whole minutes of iPad time are more insightful to him than engaging his child or her teacher directly.

#DadLife: I wonder….

Netbook I

Uh oh! Netbooks with Linux preinstalled?

I am hearing more and more about the Acer Aspire One netbook and have begun to check them out in local shops and online. The reviews have been generally positive and I can see two advantages to these little beauties: Low cost and Linux.

The low cost possibility make the netbooks a very attractive option for reluctant adopters of new technologies. (Think of the “what if I break it?” people that you know.) Netbooks can be a low-risk alternative to costly “main stream” laptops.

Linux keeps the total cost of ownership for the netbook at a reaasonable level. Updates/upgrades, security patches, even new applications are all included for the lifetime of the computer. (Apps like OpenOffice and Firefox come pre-installed.) Built in wireless capabilities and an integrated webcam make this a great device for people who simply want access to the web, email, and chat.
I plan to get one of these little device to test soon and will post my thoughts here (of course).