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Lob0426
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Re: "RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES"

Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:47 am

So heres a idea for you all!

A "Raspberry Pi (and programming in Linux) for Dummies" Book.
Bundle a cased Raspberry Pi with a SD card, all in a vinyl zip case, with Debian or Fedora etc. installed. Plus programming software tools. Shoot for a sales price of $99

Sell me three.
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yoonsikp
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Re: "RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES"

Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:18 am

Not 99 dollars, too expensive.Maybe we should just print out the beginners wiki and sell it lol.

ShiftPlusOne
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Re: "RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES"

Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:30 am

$99 too expensive!? When was the last time you bought a textbook?I have to pay over 100 for just about all of my uni textbooks, unless I buy second hand (which I do).

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Lob0426
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Re: "RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES"

Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:35 am

Lets see Raspberry Pi:
Model A $25
Model B $35
SD Card preloaded
$10
Book $30
Vinyl Case $10

Your right we will have to have it for $75 for an Model A and $85 for a Model B. But for the $99 they could throw in a HDMI cable and a foldable keyboard with a Model A!
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toxibunny
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Re: "RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES"

Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:21 am

>Build hype around $25 computer.
>Sell it for $100.

nope.jpg
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eggn1n3
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Re: "RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES"

Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:48 am

Remove the book and replace it by PDF (or any other format).

Archangel5089
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Re: "RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES"

Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:12 am

Wow, this is a great idea, so much better than getting a CD on the back page which you'll never even glance at. It would make a really good tool for introducing people to Linux.

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abishur
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Re: "RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES"

Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:35 pm

I'm all for a book like this but I agree it should be released digitally. I also think it should be more of a community effort, the r-pi team will have enough on their hands logistics wise without trying to put together a book ;)
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mahin
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Re: "RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES"

Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:37 pm

All great ideas the only problem I see is that Raspberry Pi is a not for profit Foundation with focus upon education, not sure if these value addition would be done. If there is a need to distribute some data beyond what goes in SD card then a 8Gb Stick would be more suitable as delivery media. It can be re-used for storing any data.

Lakes
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Re: "RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES"

Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:06 pm

i like the idea, but in Pdf format to put on the SD card.

Also I`d like to see a video tutorial series on setting up a RasPi VM and using Linux for newbies, so that people new to Linux can be learning stuff and be off to a head start when they actually get the hardware.

thesynapseuk
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Re: "RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES"

Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:34 pm

This is an excellent idea, so why do you have to go with only one option?

Many people - myself included (although I'm getting better!) don't like to read long pieces of text on-screen, especially if it's going to be complicated. I have a dual screen setup on my laptop, but I understand that R-Pi won't be able to do dual screen (a great pity if this remains the case, as dual screening for productivity with anything is a major win!). These people, provided they have the spare money, will most definitely buy the book. A programming book will normally set you back about £30 in the UK - that's 47 USD at the time of writing. People DO buy them.

So here's what you do - you just have different packages. Some people would like to have a whole kit to buy in one go without faffing around getting separate parts from all over the place - they'd be happy to spend the extra dollars for convenience and piece of mind that it works. People would also be interested in this 'complete package' idea if they were issuing it through institutions (perhaps) or if individuals want to buy it as a present for someone.

I can't see any reason why the more expensive hardcopy book can't exist alongside the soft-copy that's bundled on an SD card. In fact, there could be a business opportunity for someone here (maybe not the foundation but someone else). Printing full-length pdfs in one-off runs can be rather expensive when all's said and done, but if that run were to be extended to several thousands then you get the discounts that come from economies to scale. Not only would the book be much cheaper, but someone may be able to profit as well.

Video tuts are a great idea as well, but would naturally have to be available on a DVD - can't have video tutorials on the web when the R-Pi might be that person's only computer!

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Re: "RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES"

Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:33 pm

The book and the other stuff would be the profit. I bought a Linux manual years ago and it had a full distro of Linux in it, can't remember which now. But it was a factory disk from that distro, not a copy the book author had made and stuck in the back.

I am sure a deal could be worked especially as the foundation has stated they are not against a RasPi being made into a salable product. I hope of course that they will put reasonable restrictions on this to protect their reputation.

I had also thought of the bundled book and RasPi as a great gift. That's why I would buy three, one for me, another one for me and well I guess one for my daughter and her husband.
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Re: "RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES"

Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:38 am

Electronic distribution of tutorial/learning material is important, it can be included with the distro or be easliy downloaded from the website. However, deadtree versions are important too - often its easier to read/more portable than on screen and how many of the potential market are going to have access to Kindle type devices for away-from-the PC study?

I'd suggest getting a magazine producer interested in the concept - a special edition of a magazine format publication, for example the specials produced by Linux Format (Future Press) in the UK or even the A6 feature booklets (they did one on PHP with issue 135 of LXF) produced to accompany the magazine might be a way forward.

Anyone remember Babani Press? (www.babanibooks.com ) They do pocket sized technical manuals very cheaply, 10 quid or less. If a pdf manual is available, it should be easily converted to such a book.
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MDC
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Re: "RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES"

Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:24 am

RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES

You would need a different title unless you are going to publish under them.

If you went for this title without permission there would more than likely legal action taken against you.

jacklang
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Re: "RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES"

Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:19 am

The Foundation will be happy to co-ordinate the editing, publishing and production.
However I'm not sure we want to call our users dummies!

MDC
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Re: "RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES"

Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:27 am

How about. .

THE FILLING FOR YOUR RASPBERRY PI

Then subtitle

How to use your RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux)

thesynapseuk
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Re: "RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES"

Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:26 am

What about "Hmmm....PI!"

Maybe we should get Weebl and Bob to be on the cover: http://www.weebls-stuff.com/wab/pie/

Lakes
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Re: "RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES"

Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:29 am

How about "A Slice of Pi" , "A Beginners Guide to using the Raspberry Pi"

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Re: "RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES"

Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:14 pm

Quote from Jongoleur on September 15, 2011, 08:38
I'd suggest getting a magazine producer interested in the concept...


Alongside any 'full book' potential there may be mileage in getting authors and magazines interested in running regular columns on using the R-Pi.

PC mags and electronic mags have done similar teaching series for software and hardware and has the advantage that content grows over time and can be turned into a collected volume in its own right as it progresses rather than having to be produced up-front.

jacklang
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Re: "RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES"

Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:44 pm

I started sketching out what might be in such a book/pdf documentation
These are very quick early thoughts, for you to comment, correct and expand. Its not meant to be prescriptive in any way, nor predict what will be in the final distribution.

I guess we will reference external sites and books for details, and to teach programming itself

Target is kids at home teaching themselves or at after schools clubs. Getting into the official school agenda or national curriculum is a longer, slower process, although we are trying, but people like exam boards necessarily move slowly. The good news is that as of this morning the OCR GCSE in Computing (O-level) is no longer pilot status, but generally available.

Here is my initial table of contents:
Raspberry Filling
(for the educational distribution, and will depend heavily what is in there)
1. Quick start guide – Hardware
a. What is in the box
b. What is not in the box
c. Connecting up
d. Power
i. Where is the on switch?
e. Keyboard
f. Pointing device
g. TV or monitor
h. Network connection
i. Wired
ii. Usb or wifi

2. Quick start guide – software
a. Desktop – starting and stopping programs
b. Web browsing
c. Office and productivity tools
d. Media player
e. Games

3. Making it do something new
a. Python
b. Scratch
c. C etc
d. Java
e. Basic

4. Interfacing
a. Standard interfaces (eg USB)
- disk
b. Non-standard interfaces (GPIO, Camera, SPI, I2C etc)

5. Example projects

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Re: "RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES"

Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:05 pm

jacklang:

That looks a pretty comprehensive outline and its pretty much how I imagined a RasperryPi book might go. Section 3 is the key. As I interpret your headings, this would be mainly an overview of the different ways of making the Pi do things depending on what was included in the basic distro - space to go into detail would be pretty limited. Perhaps this section could be a couple of pages telling the user how to start the programming environments for various languages, do a "Hello World" and then suggesting where to get more information.

Taking Python as a given, and assuming that a LAMP stack is also available, then a more detailed tutorial section on Python and PHP would be more useful as it would provide support for stand alone programs and web development activities.
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Re: "RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES"

Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:39 pm

Ideally, I keep hoping for a few sample programs and then an objective pros/cons list of the language. I'm not sure how much a newcomer to programming would understand the pros/cons of a given language, but it's a good data point to have
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jacklang
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Re: "RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES"

Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:49 pm

There is quite a lot of "Python for non programmers" material out there, so its more a matter of recommendation than re-inventing the wheel. Perhaps we could do some examples that go a little beyond "Hallo World" - graphics perhaps.
http://wiki.python.org/moin/Be.....rogrammers

There is some interesting work on teaching programming - http://www.eis.mdx.ac.uk/resea.....paper1.pdf for example. They used a simple test and found a significant minority (40% or so) of their admittedly small sample had difficulty, and this accurately predicted performance in a programming course.

Aaron Sloman http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/resea.....gaff/misc/ in the CAS mailing list http://www.computingatschool.org.uk/ speculates the hypothesis that a subset of students lack a particular class of short term memory mechanisms required for programming, even if they are very good at reading books and papers in other disciplines, writing essays and getting very good marks and in some cases doing very simple programming tasks.

Lakes
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Re: "RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES"

Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:15 pm

Some simple graphics programs are going to keep attention longer then "Hello World"

MDC
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Re: "RASPBERRY PI (and programming in Linux) FOR DUMMIES"

Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:46 pm

I think you will have to create two versions of the book. One for people in primary schools (pre teen) and one for more adult like people (high school and beyond). Unless you can create a happy medium.

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