Nicholas, some breadboard and a passcode

Nicholas Harris is 11 years old, and he’s been learning to code with a Raspberry Pi. He’s set up a website to share his progress, and yesterday I was pointed at a project video he’d made.

Kids like Nicholas are the whole reason we started the Raspberry Pi project: seeing videos like this makes our day, and makes our job feel so worthwhile. Nicholas started with Codecadamy and a desire to control more of the world in Minecraft: Pi Edition (he’s a big fan of Martin O’Hanlon’s Stuff About Code, particularly the Minecraft bits, and Martin has been giving him pointers in his Minecraft work), and he’s now building bigger and bigger projects, learning Python, Ruby and some PHP.

Learning to program as a kid comes with its own set of difficulties. Nicholas’ baby sister threw the entire contents of his hardware kit (which I think was this Adafruit one – let me know if I’ve got that right, Nicholas) into the family LEGO box, and while he was able to retrieve most of the pieces, the light-sensitive photocell never turned up. But Nicholas is a resourceful sort, and found a project in which he could use all the other bits.

So here is Nicholas’ passcode reader. It’s great to see him SSH’ing into the Pi, writing Python, and learning electronics and binary, all in one project. Next stop: soldering!

Thanks Nicholas: and let us know if you do write up a tutorial like you mentioned!

Are you a kid who is learning about computing with the Pi at home? Do you have any projects you’d like to show us? You can get in touch with us via the contact page.

25 comments

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Nice job! next step is to add a small relay and a solenoid, and you’ve got all the electronics ready for a code-unlockable safebox!

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Awesome!

The Raspberry Pi Guy

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I gotta thank you for teaching me how to use the buttons :)

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Wow! I did that? I just suddenly got this overwhelming contentedness flow through me…

It was a pleasure for me to teach you about buttons Nicholas

The Raspberry Pi Guy

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Yeah, well you answered me on the forums remember?

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Of course! I lose track of everything I do on the forums!

The Raspberry Pi Guy

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PLEASE can you put clickable links to videos as well please. This is the only site where I can’t see embedded videos – still not sure why.

Colin

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It’s almost certainly your adblocker – whitelist us (we don’t carry any advertising on this site) and you should be able to see them. You’re the only person with this problem, and I’m not going to change the house style on the back of one complaint!

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It all came back in the last 5 minutes and I changed nothing. I have Adblocker Plus and also Disconnect add-ons, but these are still enabled and don’t interfere. Weird!

Colin

BTW – with Disconnect enabled, the Raspberry Pi site loads and settles in 2 seconds, without it can take up to 15 seconds.

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Hey, Thanks Liz! :) I actually found everything my baby sister through into the LEGO box, except the light sensor which was gonna be my next project. A security beam thingy :D

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Aw – not at all! Thank YOU; seeing what you’ve been doing absolutely made our day.

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Good work, Nicholas. And thanks for the clear explanation and demonstration!

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Thanks :) I’m kinda overwhelmed right now xD

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Well done indeed Nicholas! Are you aspiring to be the next Eben Upton? (he made the Pi work and is Liz’ husband, in case you didn’t know ;-))

(Liz, if the Foundation is in contact with Nicholas, I’d be more then happy to sponsor the missing part for him, as probably others would too. It would probably be best discussed via email. TIA!)

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Well.. the missing light sensor only cost 95 cents (in USD). I’ll just get a new one :)

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LOL Dutch_Master’s master (no pun intended) plan was just foiled by Nicholas.

Oh and Nicholas, I was into this stuff at your age. I was not however nearly as smart as you are at age 11.. Raspberry Pis today, world domination tomorrow. Keep at it man!

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Haha LOL.

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Well done Nicholas, I am really glad raspberry pi blogged about this, I hoped they would.

For those of you not at the raspberry jam in York, Nicholas also featured in my talk on Minecraft.

Raspberry Jam York – Minecraft Programming

Nicholas’ has also created a couple of original games in minecraft, which are truly impressive.

Minecraft games by Nicholas Harris

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Yeah thanks :)

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Absolutely brilliant Nicholas … nearly bought a tear to my eye as I saw myself there for a second … I too was into electronics at a similar age (Philips Electronic Engineer Kit) … unfortunatley we didn’t have computers to play with back then but I got hooked on building lots of things nevertheless … carry on little fella … you have proven that Raspberry Pi IS here for a reason …

well done and good luck

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This kid is on the right track. Keep it going!

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I’m so excited for you Nicholas!!! I too am a young programmer. I don’t know if you remember, but I commented on your website a while back. I really hope I get some recognition like you are now! I’m having trouble getting my name out there… But hey Nicholas, I do have a small “company” being setup, and I would have to talk to my partner, but would you like to join us? I would love it!

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The name does sound familiar… But sure I would love to join your team (or “company”)!

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Oh yeah, I remember you!

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Great! Yeah you’re right, it’s a group, I couldn’t think of the right word for what it was. We are about to publish a couple new programs for the outside, and have setup a blog. I haven’t actually put the html in yet, but will soon. Let me talk to my co-workers/friend about you joining an I’m Let you know. I will not be able to tell you if I don’t do it tomorrow, I am going out of town tomorrow.

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