Category: Children & Computing

My boys love 1986 computing

November 23rd, 2014, 20 Comments

Yesterday, Jacob (age 8) asked to help me put together a 30-year-old computer from parts in my basement. Meanwhile, Oliver (age 5) asked Laura to help him learn cursive. Somehow, this doesn’t seem odd for a Saturday at our place. Let me tell you how this came about. I’ve had a project going on for […]

Kindergarten Computer Class and Password Security

August 29th, 2012, 4 Comments

Jacob started Kindergarten last week. More on that in another post. He’s been loving it, until yesterday. At least part of his disgruntlement was because it was his first visit to computer class. Putting together a few conversations, we learned this: Jacob: Something was different about Kindergarten today. Us: Oh? What was it? Jacob: I […]

I introduced my 5-year-old and 2-year-old to startx and xmonad. They’re DELIGHTED!

June 20th, 2012, 135 Comments

Two years ago, Jacob (then 3) and I built his first computer together. I installed Debian on it, but never put a GUI on the thing. It’s command-line, and has provided lots of enjoyment off and on over the last couple of years. I’ve written extensively about what our boys like to do, and the […]

XMPP for Children

February 11th, 2012, 8 Comments

When Jacob was just born, I wondered how I might introduce them to computing. I thought over various things, but that wasn’t really the most pressing thing right then. I don’t suppose that I could have predicted installing an XMPP IM server (Prosody) for the boys. And I certainly couldn’t have predicted creating accounts named: […]

Shell Scripts For Preschoolers

February 10th, 2012, 5 Comments

It probably comes as no surprise to anybody that Jacob has had a computer since he was 3. Jacob and I built it from spare parts, together. It may come as something of a surprise that it has no graphical interface, and Jacob uses the command line and loves it — and did even before […]

A 4-year-old, Linux command line, and microphone

July 30th, 2011, 4 Comments

There are certain times when I’m really glad that we have Linux on the house for our boys to play with. I’ve already written how our 4-year-old Jacob has fun with bash and can chain together commands to draw ASCII animated steam locomotives. Today I thought it might be fun to install cw, a program […]

A Proud Dad

March 16th, 2011, 12 Comments

I saw this on my computer screen the other day, and I’ve got to say it really warmed my heart. I’ll explain below if it doesn’t provoke that reaction for you. So here’s why that made me happy. Well for one, it was the first time Jacob had left stuff on my computer that I […]

Jacob: 4 Years Old, and Troubleshooting PCs

December 12th, 2010, 2 Comments

Back in April, I wrote about Jacob and I building his first computer together and how it’s running just the Linux command-line interface — no graphics at all. And he loves it. Well, as is often the case with him, his interest in various things waxes and wanes over time. He hadn’t spent much time […]

Jacob has a new computer — and a favorite shell

April 9th, 2010, 41 Comments

Earlier today, I wrote about building a computer with Jacob, our 3.5-year-old, and setting him up with a Linux shell. We did that this evening, and wow — he loves it. While the Debian Installer was running, he kept begging to type, so I taught him how to hit Alt-F2 and fired up cat for […]

Introducing the Command Line at 3 years

April 9th, 2010, 29 Comments

Jacob is very interested in how things work. He’s 3.5 years old, and into everything. He loves to look at propane tanks, as the pressure meter, and open the lids on top to see the vent underneath. Last night, I showed him our electric meter and the spinning disc inside it. And, more importantly, last […]

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