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BBC Micro Bit computer's final design revealed

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posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 06:22 AM
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The BBC has revealed the final design of the Micro Bit, a pocket-sized computer set to be given to about one million UK-based children in October. The device - which features a programmable array of red LED lights - includes two buttons and a built-in motion sensor that were not included in a prototype shown off in March. But another change means the product no longer has a slot for a thin battery. That may compromise its appeal as a wearable device. An add-on power pack, fitted with AA batteries, will be needed to use it as a standalone product.

BBC Micro Bit computer's final design revealed





While i admire the gesture of attempting to give a computer to millions of children in the U.K i have to wonder as to there real motivations?

Here is an idea, scrap your overtly totalitarian licence scheme and rather a few low income family's and parents may be able to afford a real computer for there kids. One that's a lot more user friendly with applicable peripherals and that appeals to rather a larger audience of children.
edit on 7-7-2015 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 06:45 AM
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There is a new market for little computers with everything on the board as showed on your picture. I have 2 Raspberry Pi (One of them is newer model RPi 2) and my kids love to play with them. Basic linux distro - Raspbian - that you can install comes with Minecraft and with Scratch - program that helps kids learn how to program. It is also great emulation platform.

RPi costs only 35 dollars and there are many projects people did with them, but also it has good use in education.

This and other projects are supposed to turn creative minds of kids, not to give them another way to play video games, but rather to teach them how computer really works and what else you can do with one.

Great project, wish USA would invest bit money and do similar projects.

edit on 7-7-2015 by SuperFrog because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 06:52 AM
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a reply to: SuperFrog

Im not suggesting the device does not have the potential to inspire like minded children to pursue engineering or coding projects. That being said if the BBC were indeed to scarp there licence fees it may help more children to be able to enjoy the little luxuries in life as opposed to the select few who will actually show some interest.



posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 06:54 AM
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a reply to: andy06shake

Looks like a tracking device.



posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 07:03 AM
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The real motivation is investing in the future. There has been a lot of support for programs like one laptop per child to help enable and give a chance for the next generation growing up with these and similar devices. It is not expected that all the kids will get into it, but for the ones that do it all helps.



posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 07:10 AM
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SOC + 5G = anyeverywhere supercomputer.

It's coming by 2020.

The practical transitional route for today would be investing in a single server on campus and using refurb bulk buys of sub $100 systems to tap into it's resources. you can build out a server with 128gb on the cheap today.
edit on 7-7-2015 by pl3bscheese because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 07:22 AM
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a reply to: kwakakev

While what you say does have merit and the device will indeed cater to the needs and interests of a minority of our children i still think it would be a better notion if they abolished their licence fees hence many can be helped by way of financial relief as opposed to the few who this gimmick will cater to.
edit on 7-7-2015 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 07:23 AM
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Just to answer your license fee attack, I'm not one for stereotyping, but I know several poor and out of work families. They all have TVs of 40"+ size and subscriptions to Sky or Virgin costing about £60-100 per month. Even at the cheapest rate that is several times more than the license fee, which they have to pay in addition to their subscription.

But anyway, back on topic, this idea is not bad but it is very limited in function and application. They could have saved some development money and just given children Raspberrys, which could have lasted them several years, instead of the one year that this will last, or less.



posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 07:35 AM
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originally posted by: EA006
a reply to: andy06shake

Looks like a tracking device.

Thats exactly what I was going to say.

Its for "kids", its free, no screen or keyboard?



posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 07:36 AM
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a reply to: 321Go

Fact that connects to other small computers (RPi, Galileo or Arduino) probably point that is more like 'add-on' device and more of a sensor then real computer. I do second your opinion, getting RPi would make much more sense, specially with Microsoft support for Win10 and Linux distributions already available.

I saw few interesting RPi projects, from learn how to build own super computer to place RPi in gameboy for some retroaction. I remember reading about someone using RPi to build super computer and write his PhD paper on it.


As for license, I see that they will make it open source. Not sure I follow - what license is issue here??

EDIT: some cool projects with RPi:

www.networkworld.com...

www.raspberrypi.org...

www.linuxandlife.com...


edit on 7-7-2015 by SuperFrog because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 07:42 AM
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a reply to: intrptr

No batteries ether i imagine. LoL

Lets face it if the BBC wish to impress let them give away a laptop or tablet with the device so the kids can actually utilize the thing as opposed to it lying in a drawer. If they were to do that service for a significant proportion of low income/unemployed family's in the UK i imagine more people would be conducive to there licence fee debacle.
edit on 7-7-2015 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 08:07 AM
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a reply to: andy06shake

I somehow can not see this being practical. They could have made an arduino compatible shield or RPi, instead they make a custom sized layered board with an unpractical slot type interface (ok it has usb,too) without any pins to access.
Instead they build this, and you have to use a custom software web interface.
25 leds, two buttons and a magnetometer, accelerometer+bluetooth. They could have made a cheap shield for the arduino NANO or UNO and go with that. More practical in usage, cheaper, better support, better real life impact.

The effort might be a good one, the design not.



posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 08:13 AM
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a reply to: andy06shake

In terms of all the licence fees, Linux is a great start. At the moment I am using the Arduino, it is all based on open source, royalty free licences.



posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 09:57 AM
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My oldest son (13) just this summer at the end of grade 7, was given a Rasberry pi at a free "Computer Camp" at his public school. It was not advertised at all, in fact I was lucky to notice the email. I had him signed up before he even knew about it. So, there were only about 8 kids who took part. They had an awesome time, and learned a lot. My boy has dreams of Japan and being involved in anime production, and the program allowed him to build and program his 1st time lapse camera. He is starting to learn stop motion techniques so its already open doors for him that I could never opened any other way.

Needless to say I'm all for these programs on getting kids to computing early, it can only lead to good things, or Skynet.



posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 10:50 AM
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To your conspiratorial-minded, jump the gun self. Looks like what they say it is, to me. Maybe the person who has the raspberry pi thing and kids who play with it can tell us if it's a "tracking device"a reply to: EA006



posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 10:53 AM
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I loved the BBC micro when I was at school.
They did the same in the 80's and gave all schools a computer.
But really I think they are trackers for the Masons who run the BBC with the help of the Bumblebergs.



posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 10:55 AM
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Just start handing out Iphones and tablets with the money spent on the device we are looking at the kids would be alot happier.



posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 10:58 AM
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EAO66, I stand corrected.
"Penguin monitor
The Raspberry Pi is already used to track animals and defend against poachers in Africa, so why not use it to track penguins, as well? Researchers blogging at PenguinLifelines now have a year-round way of watching the marine birds in Antarctica."

#8 on this list



posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 08:32 PM
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I don't think there is an ulterior motive. UK has a genuine shortage of programmers/engineers working on "embedded systems". These are the computers you don't see - washing machine controllers, car electronics like anti-skid lock braking, sonar, radar, and medical imaging.

Teaching of computer science and information technology skills in schools became warped by local businesses towards how to use email, edit text in a word processor, create webpages and how to use a spreadsheet. Even applications development on mobile systems has been swamped by the thousands of API's that you have to learn, while PC's are swamped by the vast amount of shareware/freeware.

The only way to get high-school students to "get into" low-level computer programming is to give them systems they can play with at home and away from the bureaucracy of a high-school year timetable or having to learn a hundred different API's.

So that's where all these small $100 systems come from. It's like the early days of the 8-bit home computers. Something you could play around with, do funky things like connect ORP-12 light sensor to paddle ports and LED's to parallel ports.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 07:06 AM
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a reply to: stormcell

You are right about 8 bit era, but I think building your own computer out of kit was more EU thing then rest of the world. (Mainly thanks to Mr. Clive Sinclair who made it very easy and most important - cheap)

I remember thinking to build a computer at the time, but as I was not able to get kits, it would be very lengthy process and a bit too much for 13 year old.

These little computer remind me of those days, and as they can emulate those old computer, gives me back something I could not have back in the day. For example, best game made for BBC Model B - Elite.


@ kkrattiger & EA006 - nothing to worry about - no tracking capabilities unless you make it to do that.


edit on 8-7-2015 by SuperFrog because: (no reason given)



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