I’m sold as well. As soon as I seen it o…

I’m sold as well. As soon as I seen it on Kickstarter it seemed to have a winning combination. It supplies a unique need for ‘low tech learning’, presented in the guise of a puzzle game and promoted to teach “how computers think not how they behave”. Paul Boswell, it’s inventor, has kids of his own and instinctively knows that this venture is teaching kids to code starting with basic logic games giving them insight into the thought process of a computer. For many of the current coding sources like Tynker and Scratch, they seem to include tech and gamify the process with thought going to how the computer actually thinks treating the computer like an abstract black box. This is a problem. Good coders need to appreciate and understand the logic within a computer system and it is this gap that Boswell is able to fill with this project.

For all the good and bad, Steve Jobs would not let his kids use iPads and Bill Gates filled his family house with books and games before he let his tablets in. One thing both realized was that technology is addictive. Adam Alter, in his book “Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked” (http://amzn.to/2qOp0N5) states that technology is out “new obsessions that are controlling our lives”. Because Boswell’s invention is low tech he is able to fill that void that everyone else is still feeding. Having kids of my own, I can attest that they love to play with moving parts and pieces. The more a ball can bounce, move, and connect the more exciting it is. Alternatives like code.org, Tynker or Scratch are good but Boswell is able to let kids see and feel how a computer works.This fundamental concept is critical to creating successful coders in this world.

For the most part, people who invest in this kickstarter will get rewarded if they reach the goal of $48,000, a number I believe they can reach and for which they should have went higher. Boswell created the game to teach everyone how to program. It rose out of frustration. In his work at the University of Minnesota he found himself stuck with scientists who couldn’t manage programming or computational analysis. Boswell, who is well known for programming complex games for Texas Instruments calculators,looks like he spent time researching mechanical computers and stumbled across an old toy from the 1960’s called the DigiComp II. For him, it was a brilliant little calculator powered by marbles and it looks like he built many of the concepts from it and started designing his own reprogrammable mechanical computer powered by marbles. From there he got a 3D printer and began prototyping it. What better way to concept a kickstarter!

It has an estimated delivery date of Jan. 2018 with many backers depending on the pledge. Shipping seems to be the method of delivery and it looks like they will work with Panda Game Manufacturing to create the first production run. Other noteworthy points is they require a 5 month lead time along with adding an additional 2 months to their projected delivery date to make sure we meet our goal.

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