[Humanist] 27.670 lower-cost technology

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Jan 4 07:41:03 CET 2014


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 670.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    "Dave Postles" <davep at davelinux.info>                     (11)
        Subject: Re:  27.664 lower-cost technology

  [2]   From:    Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>          (14)
        Subject: Raspberry Pi


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Fri, 3 Jan 2014 09:46:05 -0000
        From: "Dave Postles" <davep at davelinux.info>
        Subject: Re:  27.664 lower-cost technology
        In-Reply-To: <20140103092447.674F26191 at digitalhumanities.org>

RPi is fine, particularly for Python coding, although you could do the
same some time ago with the olpc (with python tutorials integrated). 
Anything which encourages the use of Linux, on the desktop as well as on
servers and embedded, is fine with me, The problem with the RPi is still
that it has only sold 1m units, so it's impact is fairly confined.  There
are, of course, many other single-board PCs (SBPCs) out there.  Python is
useful for digital humanities (especially for corpus linguistics).  I have
a suspicion, however, that it's (RPi's) impact, welcome as it is, is being
overhyped.

-- 
http://www.historicalresources.myzen.co.uk (research and pedagogy)



--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Fri, 03 Jan 2014 10:01:24 +0000
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: Raspberry Pi
        In-Reply-To: <20140103092447.674F26191 at digitalhumanities.org>

In my youth, during the time when digital computers were first being 
widely publicized, there were such things as the Geniac 
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geniac), designed and marketed by Edmund 
C. Berkeley, who wrote Giant Brains, or Machines That Think (1949). But 
what I knew about and reached for were the kits from which one could 
built radio transmitters and receivers, voltmeters using only basic
components (resistors, capacitors etc) and simple tools (wire-cutter,
soldering iron, screwdriver etc). 

So I wonder, how does the Raspberry Pi compare in its extent and kind 
of influence? I was building devices from kits at ca. age 8. I've never 
actually seen a Geniac, but from the description it doesn't seem that it 
would teach anyone any techno-creative skills & the joy of making things.

Yours,
WM
-- 
Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor, Department of Digital
Humanities, King's College London, and Research Group in Digital
Humanities, University of Western Sydney




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