I want to document but I need to learn first!

Christopher Sawtell csawtell at paradise.net.nz
Thu Mar 13 14:39:10 PST 2003

On Thu, 13 Mar 2003 08:39, Jerry Balzano wrote:
> >> > But I think that if the
> >> >Squeak insiders really believe that "kids in fifth grade are able to
> >> >master etoys" (A. Raab, 2/10/03) without one or more Squeak insiders
> >> >hovering close by, they are sadly mistaken!
> >
> >I beg to differ here, I have personally seen a ten year old, and two or
> > three 12 year olds use the e-toys most effectively. The ten year old is
> > an exceptional student, but the others appeared to be pretty normal
> > children who made car races and cannons firing in a morning. ok. Squeak
> > e-toys is not for the witless child, but any child old enough to have
> > language skills and of normal intelligence can learn to think like a
> > computer scientist using Squeak and the e-toys. It's just that not
> > everybody wants to learn to think like a computer scientist, so they
> > don't.
> Well, Christopher, I certainly accept your report as the "data" it is, and
> I'm certainly impressed by it.  The cannons firing, in particular, seem
> pretty far removed from anything I've seen in "tutorials" (demonstrating
> "far transfer" as they say), and I wonder if you'd be willing to share them
> with me or with other interested parties.
No, I'm sorry I can't share the cannon firing range exercise because it was 
done last year, and has long since tootled off to the bit-bucket in the sky. 
Anyway you would have probably been offended by it as it poked serious fun at 
the whole American ethos. That's why I didn't post it off to one of the 
Squeakland ftp archives at the time.

> There are always exceptions to
> any (over)generalization of the sort I made, although I'm not quite ready
> to back completely off it.
I dont think you should feel that you have to back off your opinions, they are 
yours and you have every right to express them. Besides they do have that 
certain ring of truth about them you know.

> One question I have is, what is the 12 year old
> doing with etoys now?
Not much, he's gone on to make animations and movies using more sophisticated 
tools. Seriously, this young fellow is going to be a big part of, if not a 
leader in, the Tinsel-Town industry. Peter Jackson you have competition.

> (Actually I have other questions but first I wanted
> to see if you were interested in having a discussion about this at all.)

Chat away, but please note that I'm by no means an expert in all this 
squeaking stuff. I too have found the learning curve a cliff-face, but I'm 
quite certain that the view from the top is wonderous, so will plug away at 

Sincerely etc.,
Christopher Sawtell

More information about the Squeakland mailing list