I’m not new to Linux, and being a Mac user, many of the inner workings are dealt with in a similar way; I’ve had many trips into the Terminal on my, and other people’s Macs, so the command line doesn’t scare me. A lot of it is still new though, like cd ‘ing around the file system within Terminal, I never had to do that before, but I’m getting used to it.
My first impressions were:
“It’s not a good starting computer for someone who knows nothing about computers.”
You might say, “but Dan, I thought you said it was an educational tool? Isn’t that what it’s for, teaching people who know nothing about computers, about computers?”
If you did say that, I would say “No. The RPi is for teaching people who know nothing about programming, about programming.”
This might come as a surprise for some people, but my reasoning for this is twofold.
- There are many people who genuinely cower in fear in front of a computer. I have seen this first hand in my five years working in a computer shop. These people would have a heart attack if you put them in front of a Linux machine.
- Even though they might not suffer a massive coronary, there are still a lot of people who don’t want to know about their computer, and definitely don’t want to have to set up the overscan on the monitor manually using nano to change the config file in the command line. That’s what I had to do, and while I simply found it a little bit tedious, others would genuinely give up and go and buy a Windows computer (because that’s not going to cause more problems! (hmm, I think I might have to think up a strategy for pointing out sarcasm in case it isn’t immediately obvious)).
After booting it up for the first time, and updating it all by using various sudo apt-get commands (which did crash it the first time) it’s now working swimmingly.
So far I’ve only found one problem, and that is, in part, due to the reason I started learning Python. Put it this way, when I started learning AppleScript, I did it because I knew what it was I wanted to create and I knew that AppleScript could do it. My reason for learning Python is simply because I have nothing to do for the next four months, and that is the problem. From what I know of Python so far, which isn’t a great deal, I know that it can do a lot, but because I don’t know exactly what it can do, and because I have no prior goal, I don’t know what I can do.
So for the moment, my Raspberry Pi project is to think of a Raspberry Pi project.