kano – the HPMcQs learn to code

well that was fun!

today we finally got to open our box of orange computer goodness. we were sent it from the good people at kano and we’ve had it for a week or so, but we wanted to save it for the easter holidays when we could give it our total and undivided attention. now i’m not a particularly techy kinda girl, the fact that i manage to upload photos to this blog is pretty impressive for me to be fair.

i don’t understand computer talk, it totally baffles me. tell me how to do stuff in simple terms, great, i’m good to go, start telling me about processors, storage and solid state drives then you have lost me. yes that does mean you Mr HPMcQ.

the world is changing, rapidly, i don’t need to tell you that. kids find all of todays gadgets so intuitive, they have such an instant and natural grasp of how things work and how to interact with them. we should not let this opportunity pass us by, us oldies take a little longer.

the trouble is that so many of these gadgets are loaded with games upon games upon games. games that kids adore, games that parents abhor! however the people behind those games, man they are clever. all that programming, hugely mind-blowing.

whats great is that there is a huge surge in raising awareness on how beneficial it is to teach kids as young as 5-6 the basic building blocks of coding. it teaches about problem solving and algorithmic thinking. it stimulates design and creativity whilst strengthening maths skills and generating an early interest in computer science.

the guys a kano took inspiration from a 6-year-old boy, a cousin of one of the founders alex klein. micah, had challenged alex to make him a computer he could build and code himself, something as simple and fun as lego, so no one had to teach him how to build it, and that is where it started for team kano back in november 2012.

micah’s father and also a co-founder of kano, saul klein, introduced alex to yonatan raz-fridman, also a co-founder. after creating and writing their first illustrated story book (instructions manuals are dull) and sourcing new hardware and components from china, alex and yonatan move into together. in this small flat in london town they begin packaging their first proto types into boxes. the very first kano in born and the first prototypes are sold out within a month.

the team grows with new members joining them from all of the world. together they work fast on developing the prototype and then back In november 2013, the team put their project on kickstarter hoping to raise $100,000 to get the project moving towards mass production. to their surprise within one month, they had raised over $1.5 million!

by july 2014 all the final tooling is done and the 36 components come together to deliver the kano kit.

so that’s the beginning of their amazing story, now here’s the beginning of our story, the HPMcQs learn to code.

the packaging is bold, striking and simple. it catches your attention immediately and quickly causes much excitement!

like the packaging the kit is bold, striking and simple. see what they’ve done there, brilliant.

the illustrated story book, is very straight forward, perfect for me and ronnie to get our heads around with no trouble at all. the stickers are an added bonus distraction, and i need to get ronnie back in the room quickly, what is it with kids and stickers?

the smaller key board is great, so much easier for the smalls to navigate.

we start our journey of building our first computer, we meet judoka, our companion and guide through the book.

ronnie builds the case for the “brain” of the computer, to keep it strong and safe

the memory card has been fitted and the speaker is built, the HDMI cable is being attached, so that it is ready to connect to a screen.

the green dongle gives the unit wifi connectivity, the white dongle connects the keyboard to the computer so the keyboard can be wire free. finally we put the components of the power cable and plug together to give the unit life.

we don’t have a spare screen, but this doesn’t matter we simply plug straight into our tv.

and now we are ready to go! we might be some time, so we will catch up soon and let you know how we got on.

in the meantime if you are thinking about getting your kids coding and the kano looks like an interesting option, please find all the details below of what you get, how much it costs and where you can buy one of these nifty little units. also take a moment to watch this video, it really is so simple to put together.

what’s in the kano kit? well let me share

raspberry pi – the raspberry pi, model b, is the lightweight, powerful brain behind thousands of kano creations. its system-on-a-chip packs an ARM 700MHz CPU and 512MB RAM.

books – manuals are boring. kano is a story. with illustrated ideas and simple steps, build a computer, make stuff, and explore a new world. Meet cool characters and level up.

DIY speaker – power up your personal computer with a speaker. snap together the system, draw power from two secret ports (choose carefully). then – raise the roof.

keyboard – your magic wand. type overhand or hold it game controller style. navigate nimbly with an integrated touchpad, and independent click buttons. wireless, two ways – USB RF for your kano, and bluetooth for the world

kano OS – an open-source OS for exploration, creation, and play. code mountains in minecraft and powerups in pong. synth music and stream video. dive into the command line. invent something new.

SD card – pre-loaded with OS: sandisk ultra, 8GB, class 10 micro SD card and SD card adapter.

case – transparent and easy-clipping, with cool customizations. build your own style, switch out case cards, print new covers.

cables – connect a screen with HDMI, power up with mini-USB. ships with a global plug.

WiFi – get connected with a dongle that configures seamlessly, with simple setup.

the kano retails at £119.99 buy it here

disclosure : as i said in the introduction we were sent a kano from the kind people at kano for the purpose of a review and to get the HPMcQs on the right coding track. our opinions are our own and we have been completely honest, i’m sure you will agree.


  1. April 7, 2015 / 08:44

    I’ve seen a lot about these recently and they look great! Ronnie looks like he’s having lots of fun.

  2. April 7, 2015 / 16:43

    What an amazing thing! I see a new Steve Jobs in the making! Fairly sure it would make my poor old brain hurt, but looking forward to how you get on with it!

  3. April 7, 2015 / 18:50

    Love Ronnie’s haircut! The kano looks good too would love one for my eldest.

  4. April 7, 2015 / 21:24

    Your little man looks so very happy, I hope you enjoy getting to grips with the Kano. Mich x

  5. April 8, 2015 / 15:31

    My son is 10 and super happy with this he has been making up all sorts of bizarre games!

  6. April 9, 2015 / 07:48

    Look at that happy face, it really is such an exciting package, very excited by the possibilities!