Computer nostalgia

I recently bought a raspberry pi. It was after I went to dinner at St James Palace as a guest of BCS and listened to two of the people who were part of the story of the pi in some way. My rationale was that it would be a good way to introduce Lottie and William to computing. They are very familiar with iPads, iPhones, Android and the like, but I wanted to show them something more about the basics. And I wasn’t disappointed. It was like the early eighties for me when I first got my commodore 64 and I started playing snakes. The same game existed and it was fun. The kids loved it. It amazed me how they got more fun out of a blocky, pixelated game that needed the up, down, left and right arrows than playing their games on the iPad.

Lottie is four and now wants to do more with it. So, we’re going to do write a story and game in Scratch. It is a simple way of starting to teach kids about code and make something fun. We’re both looking forward to it and it reminds of my first programming exercise of making a balloon shaped sprite bounce around the screen.

For anyone looking to learn programming or give children something to do and learn, I would recommend them getting a raspberry pi.


2 Comments on “Computer nostalgia”

  1. Matt Reilly says:

    The games on the C64 relied much more on gameplay because that’s all they had going for them. With no fancy graphics to rely on, games only passed muster if they were playable. I miss playing games such as Treasure Island Dizzy.

    As a young ‘un, I too sat and laboriously typed in line upon line of code (from a C64 magazine) that created a bouncing ball animation. Unfortunately, the magazine failed to mention what would happen next …

    The ball bounced around the screen and deleted the code as it bounced through it!

    Having spent a long time typing it all in, it felt like a clever but cruel bit of programming on the part of the magazine and put me off bothering to try programming ever again!

    And that, children, is how I didn’t end up creating Facebook.
    “I cudda bin somebody … I cudda bin a com-put-ah.”

    Ah, nostalgia. I do miss the days of joysticks, Robocop, Ocean Software, IK+, Rainbow Islands and Chase HQ II.

    Cheers for triggering a trip down memory lane, Phil 🙂

    • Phil says:

      It’s good to reminisce every now and then. The simplicity of them is what made them fun. You should get yourself a pi and try and create the bouncing ball game again. I promise it won’t eat your code 🙂


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