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Project Idea: Distraction Free Retro Coding Computer


I was talking to long time DC member (and original server admin) gothic today about our early experiences coding, on cpm/m machines with no graphics, then trs-80 and tandy color computer, etc.

One of the things we really had warm feelings about were the distraction free and simpler experiences.  You turned on your computer and you coded and ran your program.

You interacted with one program at a time, the one you were writing.  There was no internet, no windows with multiple apps, nothing to install, etc.

So we were thinking about the idea of reproducing this kind of environment, probably using something like a raspberry pi.

The idea would be to build a computer that booted up into a clean distraction free coding environment, probably using python.

It should have a very minimal distraction free interface that made it easy to create/save/load projects, and edit them.  I was thinking maybe a text-only mode and a split-screen text and graphics mode.

The goal should be distraction free minimalism.

This would be meant as a good device for kids to learn coding distraction free.

Any thoughts?

Note the idea is not just to make it distraction free, but also to accept some limitations in order to keep things focused and predictable as a learning environment.  So it's ok if the user can't install any arbitrary library repository, etc.  We could make some separate way of configuring the machine when expansions are wanted.  But one of the main ideas is to eliminate to overload of choices and options that people are faced with these days, and simply give them a CODER'S LEARNING MACHINE that is ready to go out of the box without the user having to spend their initial time trying to decide what libraries and frameworks to install, etc.


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