David Braben, Eben Upton et al have been touting this for a few years now. A device on a board with Linux running on it. The idea is to be able to sell this circa £15 and get thousands of school children interested in programming. It’s essentially a little board into which you can plug in a USB keyboard and plug into your TV.

Now I’m all for the home computer market and learning to program at home. I started on the Sinclair Spectrum and then progressed to PCs.

The keyword here is ‘progressed’. I don’t mean to fart on anyone’s candle, but most school children these days have access to a PC of some sort. I got onto a PC as soon as I could and ditched the Spectrum, given that it was fairly limited in terms of writing applications that businesses would need.

I think this is a bygone age, like moving on from punch cards and tapes. Today’s youngsters are far more computer literate than I ever was at their age and I think something like this is probably a step backwards.

I applaud their efforts and share their view that the wonders of programming have probably been lost for most of this generation. The future, however, is moving on. I suspect that the next generation of programmers will probably be plugging stuff together in order to create enterprise software.

Take a look at the likes of Facebook’s Open Graph for evidence of this sort of thing.

I do hope this takes off and inspire’s a generation to reclaim the basic programming skills, but somehow I think that era is over.

My son often asks me how to get started in programming and having done it for 26 years, I am at a loss where to start. There’s so much I’ve learnt and forgotten over the years. Hopefully, this may just put it back in the playful hands of children.

Head over to Raspberry Pi for more information.