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Phil Howard
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Phil Howard

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I've suggested that Kano put together a full-disclosure "Credits" page. They seem very receptive to this idea and it will, in their words, "shine a light on the giants whose shoulders we stand upon"

( Disclaimer; I'm not affiliated with them, but have been in touch for a while because I love what they're doing )

I believe such a page was planned for the April release, but not particularly high priority ( they sure as hell have plenty of other stuff to do! )

Before pointing fingers and calling them out for so cleanly incorporating so much good work, I think we should wait until we see what they have to say about it.

Saying "they hid xyz incorporated project well" is just a roundabout way of saying "they incorporated xyz project cleanly and seemlessly". The former being an intent to pass off work as their own, and the latter being an effort to polish and cleanly integrate a rough piece of code that the average user will never touch, into a useful, accessible whole.

I've said it on twitter, and I'll say it again; I've removed USB peripherals from Ethernet ports. It's far, far too easy to overestimate the technical competency of kids and even adults these days. Just because mobile phones and laptops are pervasive, doesn't mean anyone knows what on earth they're doing with them.

Sure it'd be lovely if you could drop everyone to a shell and have them programming Python in VIM from the get-go, but you have to take these things one at a time. A fresh boot of Raspbian is just too-damned-complex.

Finally; Nothing. And I repeat: NOTHING is stopping a curious user from erasing KanoOS from their SD card and installing NOOBS/Raspbian. Or buying another SD card with it preinstalled.
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Phil Howard

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I've put our office on the lego map... only a few hundred thousand more buildings to go!
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Phil Howard

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Check out the Further-o-Matic Forecaster - a crazy contraption spewing out industry predictions for 2014. Built by me, and lovingly designed by +Connor Edwards  #socialmedia
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Phil Howard

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My Pico PiDuino was born from this kit, it's a great place to get started if you've got a Raspberry Pi to hand. On its own you might have trouble programming and powering it without spending another £15+!
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Phil Howard

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Displaying posts from my Twitter stream on the Clockatoo clock board's 4-digit, 7-segment display using Python and Tweepy.
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Cool! Phil, I knocked this up quickly: (My Photoshops skills are rubbish and there's a bit missing.) http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3u92yy/
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I've written up my early experiments with simulating a basic Microprocessor in Logisim. It's backed up by a rough assembly language with a Ruby compiler that outputs bin files compatible with Logisim's  "ROM" component.
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Phil Howard

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I think it's important to note that:

1) Kano are trying to create a fit and finish that the Pi lacks. Far too many people pick up a starer kit and then hit a dead end- I've lost count of the number of anecdotal Pi flops that I've heard about. The Pi is great for us, but absolutely useless for the 99% of people who don't know what they're doing.

Even more alarming; nobody really knows what the Pi is. Outside of our little circle and a few fleeting news appearances, the Pi is obscure and I still very regularly get people who should know what it is, just staring at me in confusion.

The Pi needs a branding and consolidation exercise like Kano.

2) Unless Kano are actually violating the licenses of the projects they incorporate, they're not strictly doing anything wrong. However as a maintainer of several Pi libraries myself I can appreciate credit where credit is due.

Again, someone needs to be doing this. Unless all of this stuff is built right into the OS, then beginners simply aren't going to find it. Assuming people have an internet connection, or even the knowledge to connect a Pi to a router is absurdly optimistic.

Kano aren't selling the OS, you can download it for free now, hack it apart and do exactly the same thing. Granted they are not being open about their recipe or "source" but it's in their best interests to hold on to their competitive advantage until Kano is successfully launched and bedded in.- if another 10 organisations try cloning the idea, we're going to end up with the same diluted awful mess that plagues us at the moment.

3) Picking on minor details like their branding is just absurd. They call it "The computer you build yourself" because it's a branding exercise, key to making the project accessible and successful.

4) Picking on the size of the keyboard is just ridiculous. If you don't like it, buy a bigger one. But Kano is targeted at children. Children have small hands. Oh, and Pimoroni's starter kit has a small keyboard, and half the retailers are shifting tiny, wireless, pocketable presenter keyboards by the bucketload. It's pretty clear that the market doesn't want a big unwieldy keyboard with their Pi, and if they do then they're about £4 at the local Supermarket. Not an issue.

5) Picking on Kano for being opaque when the Raspberry Pi foundation is rebutting the same criticisms is a bit of a stretch. As much as we all love FOSS, openness, public github repos and sharing-is-caring, it's not commercially viable in an environment where efforts can so easily be duplicated.

The Raspberry Pi foundation are tight-lipped about their teaching resources because THEY NEED to be the ones to produce this output and ensure it's of sufficient quality and standard to be accepted in education. Kano are being tight-lipped about their efforts, because any one of us could copy their ideas and kickstart an identical project overnight, with impunity.
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I have not in essence got a problem with what Kano has done - bridges the gap between the 'idevice' and the raspberry pi - AND lifts the lid on some of the processes and the 'wrapping'. I hope it brings more people in to try the Pi - but the main issue is the slow uptake in schools; I have first hand experience of this !! As 'ambassadors' we can do something about this - together, but as highlighted in other forums of late , effort is needed from 'central scrutiniser' to support us in spreading the 'gospel'

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I wouldn't say my plans are particularly awesome, but I have an amazing Papilio Pro FPGA board which can emulate a 90+Mhz Arduino ( dubbed ZPUino ) with more than enough RAM to comfortably drive an #EPAPER display. I'd love to bolt it into a copy of the RetroCade Synth (http://retrocade.gadgetfactory.net/)  firmware to give much more detailed information about the current synth patch and performance settings!
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How hard is it to map the midi CC numbers? I assume you have to recompile the ZPuino code? I want it to work with my MAudio keyboard without reconfiguring it's defaults.

ps.Even though we gave away the epaper board, I may be able to hook you up.... (provided you promise to blog about it!)
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