adlambert

Re: BBC Micro Bit

Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:41 pm

BMS Doug wrote: The News article has the following quote:
BBC Learning's Gareth Stockdale, who is developing the device, said: "The BBC's role is to bring focus to the issue, and then we will withdraw from the market."

After the first million Micro Bits go out to schools, there will be no more.

1 million micro bits and then no more.

I hope that the article is wrong and you are right.
That makes it sound more like an experiment to see how things go. If it is a mighty success then it might be picked up again, otherwise it starts to look a lot less clever.

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Re: BBC Micro Bit

Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:48 pm

cpc464 wrote:I pay the BBC to perform activities pursuant to its charter. What is it doing spending my cash on electronics for schools, however laudable. Perhaps I could have a law requiring citizens to give my company cash, which I could then spend on school computers, drumming up business and heightening my profile into the bargain.

Better to have a British computer company do it, or a consortium. This is what ICL was originally for.
I do not believe it has been established who is paying for the manufacturing, only that the BBC will be airing a series of programmes to compliment...
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Re: BBC Micro Bit

Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:07 pm

How To ask Questions :- http://www.catb.org/esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
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Re: BBC Micro Bit

Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:34 pm

adlambert wrote:
PeterO wrote:Eerrrrrr Is this the same BBC that said it couldn't have a tie up with the PI due to broadcasting regulation and competition rules ?
PeterO
I am guessing that this circumvents those rules because it is branded as a BBC device.
I think that's what the Foundation originally wanted, for the PI to be the "BBC model C" in effect.
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Re: BBC Micro Bit

Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:35 pm

Read our blog post on the subject:

http://www.raspberrypi.org/bbc-make-it-digital/
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Re: BBC Micro Bit

Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:44 pm

jdb wrote:Read our blog post on the subject:

http://www.raspberrypi.org/bbc-make-it-digital/
Dougie Ninja'd me on the availability of spare Bits.
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Re: BBC Micro Bit

Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:49 pm

cpc464 wrote:I pay the BBC to perform activities pursuant to its charter. What is it doing spending my cash on electronics for schools, however laudable. Perhaps I could have a law requiring citizens to give my company cash, which I could then spend on school computers, drumming up business and heightening my profile into the bargain.

Better to have a British computer company do it, or a consortium. This is what ICL was originally for.
The device must be cheap to make - nobody will tell me how much - but nevertheless a million of them adds up to a substantial cost. However, the Micro Bit is being designed in collaboration with leading technology companies which are bearing most of the cost.
Thanks to Rattus for the link......
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Re: BBC Micro Bit

Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:40 pm

I'm still a bit non-plussed by this, seems it's a "soft start" to real coding or hardware ?

they certainly don;t seem to be aiming for "one per kid, to take home" like the Pi, more a few per classroom.
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Re: BBC Micro Bit

Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:55 am

Reading various permutations of the information - on the BBC site - the suggestion is that the project will indeed be ongoing each year, though the actual hardware may be upgraded from time to time - as with the B+ but perhaps more readily, being a lower cost device. (The price of the Pi is disappointingly sustained - need I mention?)

Clearly a LiPoly battery is part of the plan for stand-alone use (which will define the standard operating voltage), a sleep mode and so on. High efficiency SMD LEDs can be multiplexed for just a few mA total.

Now as to the wider distribution - as most of us will of course want one just to play with (missed out on the OLPC) - if we look at the Arduino model, that should be adequately catered for by our friends in the Orient. :roll:

Thinking on this for a moment (my wife immediately twigged to the prospect of wholesale "shrinkage"/ school black market and such), I have a notion it will go reasonably well. Outside of the initial novelty of wearing a scrolling "F*** You!", it should actually lead to firstly, an "app" trade for novel, well, applications and a healthy level of competitive creativity to exhibit and/ or provide such "apps" for trade. It should lead to some actual social value attached to coding skill.

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Re: BBC Micro Bit

Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:47 pm

Paul_B,
The price of the Pi is disappointingly sustained - need I mention?
Are you seriously saying that you are disappointed that the Pi gains 4 times the RAM, four times the CPUs, more than four times performance over it's lifetime whilst maintaining its amazingly low price?!

What similar devices do you know of that are cheaper than the Pi?

I'm sure many would be interested to know.
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Re: BBC Micro Bit

Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:50 pm

Paul_B. wrote:The price of the Pi is disappointingly sustained - need I mention?
The base price of the pi (model A) reduced from $25 to $20 with the release of the A+

The B has increased specs at same price. ..
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Re: BBC Micro Bit

Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:51 pm

I'd suspect the Microbit has a lot more in common with a cheap Chinese Arduino knockoff than a Raspberry Pi.

I don't think the sun shines out of the Foundations collective backsides (My presence here is tolerated rather than celebrated shall we say), but even I can't complain about the Pi's pricing.
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Re: BBC Micro Bit

Fri Mar 13, 2015 2:00 pm

I don't think they (ARM & BBC) see the Micro Bit as a pi-killer, rather as a complementary, entry-level device (why sell just one ARM, when two or three will do nicely). What I'm sad about is that 11 year olds don't need Python or C++ (!!), what they really should be learning is Forth.
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Re: BBC Micro Bit

Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:12 pm

mikerr wrote:
Paul_B. wrote:The price of the Pi is disappointingly sustained - need I mention?
The base price of the pi (model A) reduced from $25 to $20 with the release of the A+

The B has increased specs at same price. ..
The price of old stock of the B+ has gone down significantly since the 2B arrived.
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Re: BBC Micro Bit

Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:40 pm

hippy,

Thank you. Reading that I finally get the idea. This is all about pushing the ARM mbed OS. http://mbed.org/technology/os/
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Re: BBC Micro Bit

Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:39 am

I've just read this description ... "Micro Bits - a stripped-down computer similar to a Raspberry Pi " which me to is a very bad analogy and poorly researched journalism since it seems to have nothing in common with a RPi apart from it being a physically small computer !

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Re: BBC Micro Bit

Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:16 pm

I should be in possession of a Microbit by the end of the week for educational evaluation.
I'll let you know what I think after a few days..
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Re: BBC Micro Bit

Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:34 pm

viewtopic.php?f=63&t=143399

this guy has coded a IDE for the bbc microbit.

ive seen a couple of microbit to pi robots, using the micro bit as a imu.
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Re: BBC Micro Bit

Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:27 am

Assembly language has been added to GCSE specifications which sounds great but annoyingly it's a fake assembly that works on an imaginary computer where instructions are fed to a little man sitting in a box through a letterbox. He then works out the answers in decimal and posts them through another letterbox.

I find this deeply unsatisfactory but the microbit cortex m0 instruction set seems simple and also close to these imaginary instructions (with the exception of not having a message "input" through letterbox and "output" through letterbox.

A long term vision of mine for microbits is that they can be used to make real versions of these little man computers.

I think the RISC pi OS could also be good for this too.

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Re: BBC Micro Bit

Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:37 pm

As a first teaching analogy, the LMC isn't bad. With real assembly language, the students would have to know about binary, bit masking and testing, understand the toolchain, and debugging.
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Re: BBC Micro Bit

Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:32 pm

Part of the problem of using real assembly language is it brings in accusations of favouring a particular architecture.

Some of the boards do go beyond LMC assembler but most still seem to select an abstract and simplified architecture.

None of that is surprising though when dealing with kids who are new to it, are kids and not software engineers.

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Re: BBC Micro Bit

Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:41 pm

Remember you're TEACHING not TRAINING...
Teaching = general principles,
training = specific architecture
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Re: BBC Micro Bit

Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:46 pm

Teaching an analogy as a goal in itself rather than using one as a means to an end doesn't sit right with me.
To be fair, most of the LMC instructions have real counterparts in every architecture, only restricted to a handful so it can be accomplished using some real hardware.

It's a crying shame to teach children binary, binary functions, binary logic as part of the course and then not tie all that learning together by working with real processor functions but instead use a fictitious decimal Imp Inside (r) processor. Not really teaching anybody anything.

Anyway, I'm quite optinistic it is not beyond the realm of possibility to cover exam board requirements in a more meaningful way using assembly for microbits or Pi (granted with a bit of fudging)

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Re: BBC Micro Bit

Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:06 pm

morphy_richards wrote:Assembly language has been added to GCSE specifications which sounds great but annoyingly it's a fake assembly that works on an imaginary computer where instructions are fed to a little man sitting in a box through a letterbox. He then works out the answers in decimal and posts them through another letterbox.
Sounds like a variation on a Turing Machine. Does it have an "infinite strip of paper", too?

Mind you, one of the first two languages I ever learned was the assembly language--SPS IID--for the IBM 1620. I went on to learn the assembly languages for the CDC 6000 series (COMPASS), IBM 1401/1440 (Autocoder), and IBM S/360 & S/370 (ALC). My "take away" from this is that, once you have learned one assembly language, others come comparatively easily. The big initial hurdle--regardless of language, or even type of language--is learning to program. Which language you learn is almost completely irrelevant.

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