DIY tool for your kids
In the late 1980s a select group of British teens were given (or saved up their pocket money to buy) a small, rubber-keyed home PC called the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. My brother was one of them. And that little box, with its blank canvas start screen that prompted you to try out a few lines of code (Spectrum Basic), set him on the road to becoming a fully fledged programmer.
Fast forward to today, and the machines kids get to play with — the iPads and iPod Touches — don’t actively encouraging that sort of computing. They’re slick, sealed boxes, with UIs that deliberately conceal complexity so they can wow with effortless capability. They’re designed to please (to ‘delight’ in Applespeak), not to make you curious. And that’s an important difference.
The disconnect between the creative platforms of the past, and the slick, hermetically sealed boxes of today was…
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