Tide
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:24 pm

Hmm Mr. Dinosaur is my favorite Peppa Pig character but ok to the failed tech thingy.

clivef
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:33 pm

My dad's a sexist dinousaur, yet I still love him and he didn't even make this:


And if it wan't for the likes of the PC1512, PCs might still be as expensive as Apple Macs ;)

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johnbeetem
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:34 pm

One of my all-time heroes of Computer Science is C.A.R. (Tony) Hoare.
There are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult.

His essay "The Emperor's Old Clothes" is marvelous.

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Jongoleur
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:50 pm

Two interesting things about the Amstrad NC100/200 computers:

The first section of the handbook (52 pages) was allegedly written by His Lordliness.
They include a port of BBC BASIC

I've got an NC200, picked up from a charity shop a few years ago - its a neat little thing with a flip-up LCD, a 3.5" floppy drive and serial/parallel ports. And it still works, not bad for a simple little Z80 based device thats nearly 20 years old.

As for an intro from Lord Sugar, going from the handbook, I think not...

:-)
I'm just a bouncer, splatterers do it with more force.....

Bakul Shah
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:44 pm

Sir Tony Hoare is one of my all time heroes too -- he did a lot more than invent Quicksort: Communicating Sequential Processes, Monitors, Hoare logic for reasoning about program correctness etc.

How about some women inspirational figures like Jerri Ellsworth -- Self taught, cllege dropout, Designed a chip that emulates commodore-64, Race car designer, Pinball machine expert... has a youtube channel and a flickr channel... I think she has just the right vibes for this kind of project. If something is on youtube, kids are more likely to pay attention!

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ukscone
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:19 pm

Marcus du Sautoy might be a good fit especially as he'd done TV and the RI Christmas lectures. The only problem with him is that he's an Oxford man.

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psergiu
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:02 am

Dear RaspberryPi people,

I know most of you are from the United Kingdom but RaspberryPi is intended for a worldwide audience.

1) I'm not from the UK and from all the names of UK personalities i have read from the last pages, i recognized only Stephen Fry - and all i know about him is that he's a comedian and drives a cab. And i am a bit more knowledgeable in UK personalities that most of the other indended international users.

2) Kids don't read prologues & forewords. Most of them will jump straight at the "How to make games" or other interesting chapters. The only ones who do read them will be the hardcore geeks & tech-savvy grownups who bought the RPi as a toy. And they WILL know the following person:

Steve Wozniak.

I mean - there's so many things that Raspberry Pi and his vision for the Apple I computer have in common, that he's would the perfect Raspberry Pi manual foreworder (yay, i just made up a word).

- Apple I schematics given away at the Homebrew Computer Club - RPi schematics open source.
- Both of them using cheap, commercial CPUs of the time, check & check
- Transforming a TV set into a computer, check & check
- You get just the board, connect your own PSU & Keyboard, check & check.
- Being a revolutionary product that helps people learn about computer programming, check & check

Woz is your man. Try reaching to him somehow (not by e-mail).

Thanks.

PS: Thank you all for this wonderful idea you had with the Raspberry Pi !

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riffraff
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:53 am

Quote from clivebeale on November 2, 2011, 15:46
Quote from Beakster on November 2, 2011, 15:20...

As said above, most of the computing world celebrities we know of won't be recognisable to children but I've thought about this for a while and I've come up with the perfect answer.

Mark Zuckerberg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.....ckerberg...
I emailed my old mate Mark a few weeks back (seriously - he was one of our first thoughts). I must say that I was surprised and disappointed to have heard nothing back from him ;). And all I wanted was for the children to have a decent life *sob*

Zuckerman would be great, but something tells me it might have to come from a bit further up than the likes of me. god, for example :D

If he doesn't reply... contact the Winklevai. ;)

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riffraff
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:02 am

Woz is a good choice. If he was game for DWTS, he's probably game for anything... and this doesn't require diets or workouts. ;)

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riffraff
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:13 am

SERIOUSLY. Get Steve Wozniak's attention! Get Liz to send him an alpha board in a plain white 10x10x3 box with a Gastronomy Domine return address. Take a magnum marker and scrawl on the top: "Contents perishable, this side up, Raspberry Pie".

clivef
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:59 pm

We have given this some serious thought and have finally decided on Nam Rood from Bad Influence:


Neil
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:41 pm

I didn't see mention of Prof. Brian Cox. Very much an active academic, and very popular TV personality too. Throw some starfield/physicsy style 3D apps on the Pi and he might well be interested, as the Pi can promote not just Comp.Sci but also theoretical physics as well.

gbulmer
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:56 am

I don't think they are mentioned, so what about the IT Crowd?
http://www.channel4.com/progra.....e-it-crowd
Some of the kids I talk to (I am a STEM ambassador) have seen it, and think its quite funny. At least kids'd know how to deal with serious failures:-)

I think one was mentioned, but UK Icons who are recognised around the world are the Top Gear guys. Hammond presents "science", and May did the brilliant series on toys.

There may be recognisable stand-ups.
Maybe Dara O'Briain? He seems to usually has a chunk of tech. in his act.
Maybe Russel Howard who has a 'tech spot' on his show.
(There is a younger guy, but I can't think of his name, who did some 'app' jokes)

With a very good sound application, musicians might be attracted to the cause.

Brian Cox might be good.

jonv
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:10 pm

We seem to be moving away from Inspiration People in Computer science to celebrities with a technology connection (not necessarily a bad thing!). With this in mind how about Jason Bradbury from the Gadget Show?
Asked the teenagers here for computer science people and they came up with: 'The Microsoft Dude' and 'The Apple Guy'

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liz
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:41 pm

Ohh - the guys from the Big Bang Theory! (Sorry, fellow Brits - I like it much more than The IT Crowd.)
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ukscone
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:05 pm

Lady Gaga. She could wear a dress made of raspberry pi's

Bacan
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:20 pm

Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory
[at the door; hand raised, knocking] Raspberry, Raspberry, Raspberry, Raspberry

Penny
Opening the door Pi

OK, you have to be a fan of the show. :)

obarthelemy
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:26 pm

Derek or Hansel ? He's so hot right now !
They're well acquainted with computers: and
And do charity, too !

willjcroz
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:26 am

I vote for Simon Peyton Jones... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.....yton_Jones)

One of the most engaging and accessible speakers I know of, his enthusiasm is infectious. He's already involved in the UK's CS schools curriculum 'shakeup' (IIRC he was down at Bletchley Park with Eben that day). Definitely got the 'crazy/genius uncle' kind of charisma that would go down well with youngsters, as well as possessing one of the greatest minds active in the field today. I'd imagine that Eben and Liz have got access to him down the road in Cambridge too.

We might need to convince him that primary school kids might not be ready for Haskell ;-)

MDC
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:07 pm

Professor Stephen Hawking, world known and renowned physicist. Good presentational speaker. Has written one of the most popular, popular science books in the world (a brief history in time).

Has done a lot of TV shows to enthuse people about science, including Genius of Britain (about British science from past, present to future) and the recent series Brave new world and much more. Brave new world and Genius of Britain available to watch on 4OD.

He has written children's books with his daughter and a great promoter of British science.

Also he appeared on the Simpsons and is a regular computer user (speech device)

Hope I'm not too late to throw my opinion in.

Galaak
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:25 pm

Hi,

Like many people, I think Steve Wozniak would be the best to write the right prologue. And Raspberry Pi project is so close to its views about engineering.

But to have a guy with a chance to be recognized by kids and who is able to inspire them, I would suggest one other guy easy to reach : John Lasseter from Pixar. He's not a programmer but he works with them often and knows how to talk about creativity. And if you want a programmer talking about creativity, why not Ed Catmull ?

AlanCox
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:12 pm

I'd have gone with Sir Uncle Clive personally, the ZX81 and ZX80 are the historic ancestors to this kind of "minimal component count, make it cheap, make it available" thinking. I just hope the PI is better assembled (ducks)

torrent99
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:55 pm

If the kids (worldwide) have only heard of The Microsoft Guy & The Apple Guy. Then basically without a very long Ouija board session, you've only really got the Microsoft Guy...

You might think he'd never endorse something Linuxy, but he's mega interested in charitable work for developing countries. Go with that angle and you might have some traction.

You never know he might even get a Windows CE (or similar) implementation developed for it made (though what good that would be I don't know, most useless pile of 1&0s ever assembled)

If it's for the UK though, Stephen Fry or Brian Cox are your best bets. They're on telly, and that's all that matters!

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liz
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:01 pm

Eben, who's a keen rower in what remains of his spare time, suggested the Winkelvii over breakfast this morning. Which I thought was a horrible idea...
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Davespice
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:17 pm


Hmm, this is a great idea. Every kid in this country knows that a police telephone box is a actually a time machine... Dr Who being the most successful TV show in the UK for kids right now. So maybe David Tennant or the new dude... what's his name... Matt Smith I think?



You could even say the RasPi has a tardis circuit embedded into it... although I think the BBC might have something to say about that :D

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