…A lot of us cut our teeth on BASIC programming back in the late 70′s and early 80′s — we owned a Tandy TRS-80, an Apple II, or a BBC Micro — and spent hours in front of glowing phosphor screens hacking away, writing our own version of Space Invaders. For those of us who did, the Fuze is going to look startlingly familiar — and very reminiscent of the BBC Model B.
Aimed squarely at the education market — competing with other Pi-based kits, like the Kano Kit, which had an amazingly successful Kickstarter late last year — and attempts to take the Pi back to its roots in education.
The Fuze takes the Raspberry Pi and wraps it in a metal case to protect it from hostile environments — like classrooms — and adds a keyboard and a breadboard which means you can make easy use of the Pi’s GPIO capabilities. Taking a step back it does, in fact, look remarkably like those computers we grew up with back in the 70′s and the 80′s. But it takes things one step beyond that and ships with a version of BASIC that — while updated for the modern era – is very similar to the early Microsoft and Apple BASIC environment that we’re all familiar with from those hours attempting to re-write Space Invaders.
I talked to Jon Silvera — the managing director of Binary Distribution — about the Fuze itself, their distribution of BASIC, and where it fits into the education market…..
We are angry, frustrated, and in pain because of the violence and murder of Black people by the police because of racism. We are in the fight AGAINST RACISM. George Floyd was murdered, his life stolen. The Adafruit teams have specific actions we’ve done, are doing, and will do together as a company and culture. We are asking the Adafruit community to get involved and share what you are doing. The Adafruit teams will not settle for a hash tag, a Tweet, or an icon change. We will work on real change, and that requires real action and real work together. That is what we will do each day, each month, each year – we will hold ourselves accountable and publish our collective efforts, partnerships, activism, donations, openly and publicly. Our blog and social media platforms will be utilized in actionable ways. Join us and the anti-racist efforts working to end police brutality, reform the criminal justice system, and dismantle the many other forms of systemic racism at work in this country, read more @ adafruit.com/blacklivesmatter
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.