Building a Computer

Kano

This week’s interesting Kickstarter campaign is for Kano: A computer anyone can make. Kano is based on a Raspberry Pi, which is a single-board computer running Linux.

The Raspberry Pi is important because the primary purpose of it is to get kids interested in computing again. Too many kids today are using tablets, and smart phones, and iPods where consuming is taking a precedent over creating.

Without sounding too old, when I first used a computer back in 1980, you turned it on, and it looked something like this:

Apple ProDOS

When you turn on a Raspberry Pi, it looks like this:

Linux

30 years ago just seeing a computer in your own home was a pretty exciting thing… and getting it to actually do something was even more of a thrill! The Raspberry Pi is not the easiest computer to get up and running, but this is where the Kano fills in the gaps.

While a Raspberry Pi is cheap, at about $35, you’ll still need a power supply, a USB cable, a keyboard, mouse, an SD card (with an operating system on it) and either an Ethernet cable or a WiFi adapter. All those things add up and bring the cost up a bit, but for a beginner, they also make things more difficult, as you’re either scrounging up all the parts you need, or ordering items from multiple sources.

Kano solves many of the problems of having a fully functional computer using a Raspberry Pi. I really like this line from the Kano folks: “Kano is for anyone who wants to start creating with technology – not just consuming it.” And they’re going with a well-tested method: making things easier.

Oh, and since launching they’ve already raised over six times their original goal of $100,000. This could be a big one!

November 25, 2013 · Posted by in design, marketing, misc  

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