seochris
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Is it suitable? For a Computer Science course?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:30 am

My son will be attending a Computer science course at uni in Sepetmber...would this be a useful thing to get in order to get him started in Computer science?

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lmarmisa
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Re: Is it suitable?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:08 pm

Unix/Linux is the best platform. For sure.

I am 59 years old. I got my telecommunication engineer degree in 1981. My first contact with Unix was in 1985. I love RPi and I continue to learn new things every day with my RPis.

scotty101
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Re: Is it suitable?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:23 pm

A raspberry pi would be perfect for someone doing a computer science degree.

It is a cheap platform where they can't experiment and not have to worry about messing up their regular computer with their important uni work on.
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DougieLawson
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Re: Is it suitable?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:08 pm

scotty101 wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:23 pm
A raspberry pi would be perfect for someone doing a computer science degree.
Because that's, precisely, the reason the Raspberry Pi exists. Cambridge Uni found that the CS101 students hadn't had enough experience with single board computers or with computers that were easy to program.
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droleary
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Re: Is it suitable?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:42 pm

No. Talk to your son about what the actual requirements are for the university he is attending. I question the logic of only now trying to "get him started" for a future in technology. Perhaps you should encourage other pursuits that he has already expressed serious interest in over the years.

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B.Goode
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Re: Is it suitable?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:52 pm

Q: When is the best time to give a student an RPi?

A: Five years ago.


Q: When is the next best time?

A: Today!


But realistically, if your son has his place on the course it would be sensible to check the course content and curriculum for those resources that would best support his studies. An RPi might not directly have any relevance to what he is about to study.

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Burngate
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Re: Is it suitable?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:56 pm

droleary wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:42 pm
... Perhaps you should encourage other pursuits that he has already expressed serious interest in over the years.
Rubbish. He's 18. He already knows about the other stuff, and he'll be with people his own age who also do that other stuff.
If he's anything like I was, he'll discover he likes cooking, so also get him a cook-book. That'll put him off - he'll think you're trying to teach him look after himself, and so he'll refuse, and so won't poison himself (I knew the inside of Leeds Royal Infirmary like the back of my hand).

Assuming he has a laptop, make sure he's got all the leads &c. to be able to ssh into the Pi - there won't be room on his desk for an extra monitor and keyboard

PhatFil
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Re: Is it suitable?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:47 pm

Probably Yes, But imho he would probably find a better use for the $50 in book tokens or cash.. I would suggest that if a pi was of interest to him he would have had one well before achieving university level proficiency in the subject..

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Is it suitable? For a Computer Science course?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:57 pm

Put me down in the "yes" camp.

Even though I had managed--unusual at the time--learned to program before going off to university, I would have been incredibly happy to get a Pi a month of two before then....had they existed at the time. Which, alas, they did not, what with it being 1966.

hippy
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Re: Is it suitable? For a Computer Science course?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:06 pm

Hard to say. I'm not against the idea but are you going to provide a monitor and everything else ?

He might be better off with a laptop. Depends what he's doing. Where he's doing it.

Asking him is the probably the best thing.

ejolson
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Re: Is it suitable? For a Computer Science course?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:40 pm

seochris wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:30 am
My son will be attending a Computer science course at uni in Sepetmber...would this be a useful thing to get in order to get him started in Computer science?
Spending August setting up a Pi and doing a few projects from the MagPi magazine together would be a great way to do some father son bonding before he goes off to the university. Linux configuration, programming and digital electronics over the summer will be great even if he already has a certificate in some computer thing and even better if he doesn't. It could also turn out to be one of the best and last memories of his childhood for both you and him. I would strongly recommend getting the Pi and requisite accessories as soon as possible.

jahboater
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Re: Is it suitable?

Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:06 am

droleary wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:42 pm
No. Talk to your son about what the actual requirements are for the university he is attending.
I do not agree.
The Pi is very cheap, has physical I/O, brilliant support and learning resources.
Because its so cheap, buy one (a Pi3B+) anyway, he will learn a lot from it which will help him in any CS course regardless of which Uni he chooses.

It is, as Dougie said, designed for the purpose.

LTolledo
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Re: Is it suitable? For a Computer Science course?

Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:48 am

If your son is going to study computer science, then its a "yes" from me.

I never heard of anybody going to study computer science but given a sextant (or a bow and arrow) instead....
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W. H. Heydt
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Re: Is it suitable? For a Computer Science course?

Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:39 pm

LTolledo wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:48 am
If your son is going to study computer science, then its a "yes" from me.

I never heard of anybody going to study computer science but given a sextant (or a bow and arrow) instead....
You can give me a sextant. I'd love to have one and learn to use it (in practice, in theory I know how). I know how to reduce sites (or, at least, I used to from when I took a university course in Celestial Navigation before SatNav was a thing).

gkaiseril
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Re: Is it suitable? For a Computer Science course?

Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:07 pm

A Raspberry Pi has a number of programming languages and mathematical programs that should be able to be used in any basic computer course if taught and presented in a generalized format. Beginning courses are usually designed using a specific system to keep any variation form the presentations a small a possible. It most cases it is possible to adjust code for one version or variation of a computer language to another, but is this what the student is taking the course for. Also when an exam is given the instructor is expecting the answer in the language version being used in the class.

I would check with the university to see which specific computer system they need for the course of study and buy that type of system.
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Burngate
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Re: Is it suitable? For a Computer Science course?

Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:05 pm

Would it be worth knowing which university? It's possible someone on here is already there.
If so, a more informed opinion could be forthcoming.
seochris wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:30 am
... in Sepetmber...
If you get him a RPi he might get you a spell-checker in return.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Is it suitable? For a Computer Science course?

Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:40 pm

gkaiseril wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:07 pm
I would check with the university to see which specific computer system they need for the course of study and buy that type of system.
How times have changed...when I went off to a university, individuals did not own computers.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Is it suitable? For a Computer Science course?

Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:43 pm

Burngate wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:05 pm
seochris wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:30 am
... in Sepetmber...
If you get him a RPi he might get you a spell-checker in return.
That's uncalled for. It's clearly not so much a spelling error, as the two characters being reversed in sequence. That's an easy to make--and very common--typo. So common, in fact, that there are memes about it. See the use of "teh", for example.

ejolson
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Re: Is it suitable? For a Computer Science course?

Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:41 pm

gkaiseril wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:07 pm
I would check with the university to see which specific computer system they need for the course of study and buy that type of system.
Almost all computer science departments maintain computing labs which are suitable for doing the course work.

A Pi would be good over the summer before attending. It fits in afterwards for developing practical competencies such as maintaining a computer and building stuff.

Any general purpose computer, the Pi included, could likely be used to complete late-night programming assignments. However, in a dorm-university setting a notebook computer is likely the most popular choice.

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Burngate
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Re: Is it suitable? For a Computer Science course?

Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:25 am

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:43 pm
Burngate wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:05 pm
seochris wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:30 am
... in Sepetmber...
If you get him a RPi he might get you a spell-checker in return.
That's uncalled for. It's clearly not so much a spelling error, as the two characters being reversed in sequence. That's an easy to make--and very common--typo. So common, in fact, that there are memes about it. See the use of "teh", for example.
You're right. I'm sorry.

My wife worked as a free-lance proofreader at one point. It's amazing what even well-paid professional typesetters manage to let slip through, and even more amazing what the brain can accept as correct if one thinks one knows what he's going to say. Occasionally, I would try to emulate her, with disastrous results.

And anyway, we know spellcheckers often make things worse.

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bensimmo
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Re: Is it suitable? For a Computer Science course?

Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:26 am

It's not going to harm him,so why not. Even if the course doesn't use it, his curiosity hopefully will use it.

As for some comment about uni and individual computers above.
I went I. The mid/late 90s and I was one of the few people to have a computer. . (I wasn't computer sci)
There was of course no networks to connect to either.
Later in the 90s most, in my circle, had a computer by then and we would string our own network together, we where still the minority, people would go on-campus to do it.

Now it's expected everyone has some form of 'computer' and WiFi connection .


There is one computer sci course (York,UK iirc) that gives the freshers before they start the course, a Pi challenge.
They learn things for themselves and it does show if they are motivated.

droleary
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Re: Is it suitable? For a Computer Science course?

Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:35 pm

bensimmo wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:26 am
It's not going to harm him,so why not. Even if the course doesn't use it, his curiosity hopefully will use it.
We don't know any of that. The OP did yet-another time-wasting drive-by posting that seems more and more common these days on the forum. We have no idea what the kids wants to learn, we only have this story of a parent seemingly trying to get them to do something with computers. A lot of harm has come from pushing people into careers they don't like and aren't good at just because they're supposed to pay well.
I went I. The mid/late 90s and I was one of the few people to have a computer. . (I wasn't computer sci)
Well I was CSci, and I guarantee the people who were primed for success weren't just getting started with technology. I had begged, borrowed, and stolen since I was 12 to spend time working on computers, and had a strong interest in all science subjects prior to that.

Yes, if this kid were younger I would absolutely recommend they spend some time with an RPi to better understand the technology that surrounds them in the modern world. But if a high school senior doesn't already have a passion for the subject, everyone is better off if they pursue whatever other interests have built inside them over the last 18 years.

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bensimmo
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Re: Is it suitable? For a Computer Science course?

Sun Jul 22, 2018 2:50 pm

But is buying a Pi and giving it to then really going to harm them no matter what the Comp Sci course is. The son could use it and play with it and learn beyond the course in different directions, they could leave it in the box too.
What we do know is,
"My son will be attending a Computer science course at uni in Sepetmber".

I don't see why you are so defensive in knowing if the son wants a Pi or not. Its a present, the son can take it or leave it.
They are going to be doing a course on Computer Science, I don't care if the parent has made them do it or if the son has decided to do it. That is not for me to interfere with (in the context of this forum).

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Re: Is it suitable? For a Computer Science course?

Sun Jul 22, 2018 3:07 pm

seochris wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:30 am
My son will be attending a Computer science course at uni in Sepetmber...would this be a useful thing to get in order to get him started in Computer science?
If you are simply asking if comp sci students can get something out of having a Raspberry Pi then yes, absolutely. Get one!

If you are asking will an RPi meet the needs of a first year degree course then no, something else will almost certainly be needed. While you can search the web, access the Uni network, write documents and write, compile and debug software on a Pi a decent laptop that can run Windows (and Linux, of course) will probably be more useful.


If the budget is limited and it's either a Pi or a second hand laptop go for the laptop.

If it's just the Pi or nothing go for the Pi. Keyboards, monitors etc can be obtained cheaply or for free
.

Alternatively consider if you can contribute toward the cost of a more capable machine.

ejolson
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Re: Is it suitable? For a Computer Science course?

Sun Jul 22, 2018 3:42 pm

droleary wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:35 pm
Well I was CSci, and I guarantee the people who were primed for success weren't just getting started with technology.
My mom had done nothing with computers until after I was in secondary school. At that time she went back to school. After graduating, she enjoyed a good career in IT starting out as a programmer and finishing as a project manager.

I knew someone who entered graduate school in chemistry. Her thesis project required computer programming skills so she took an introductory course. She was good at programming and liked it so well that she subsequently quit the chemistry program and switched to computer science. This again led to a successful career.

Success seems to be a combination of aptitude, interest and opportunity.

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