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Thread: Go-PUTER: Mobile Briefcase PC - 5th Grade Science Fair!!! - Mini ITX / 10.4" TS

  1. #11
    Variable Bitrate quantum's Avatar
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    Thanks for the compliments all!!! He's a smart lil' kid, no doubt about that!

    The invention convention was this afternoon, and unfortunately he didn't win a damn thing (they had 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for each grade level). The inventions that did win were OK, but nowhere near the complexity of this baby. Personally, I feel he should have swept the show, but of course I am totally biased.

    I know, I know, as a good parent I must teach the whole "not if you win or lose" thing. And also it's not right to take the glory from the winners, who should all be proud of their work of course. But this was a bit of a stunner to both of us, and I'm a little conflicted, k? LOL.

    So, I'd like to ask a favor of the members here..would you be kind enough to post as many replies as possible on this thread for encouragement (not for me, for him, ) I figure who better to come from than those people that gave him the inspiration for this project in the first place, namely those of us in the MP3car community.

    I figure maybe it will help him swallow the convention a little better if he gets a few comments from people who actually put PCs in cars and understand the trials and tribulations he had to overcome to put a PC in a non-traditional environment. Who knows that better than US? LOL

    Can you show him a little love for me? THANKS IN ADVANCE!!!
    Last edited by quantum; 04-13-2011 at 08:02 AM.

  2. #12
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    i imagine that some of the judges had a hard time believing that your son did all of the project himself with minimal parent-intervention..

    i have judged a couple of pinewood-derby car races myself, and the really nice stuff is always tough to judge-- sometimes the kids do such a great job, you'd swear a adult did all the work(there was a couple of kids that i saw build their cars, so i knew the adults didn't build it), and the other times, the adults really did do all the work..

    but as long as you both had fun along the way, the show really doesn't matter

  3. #13
    Self proclaimed spoon feeder TruckinMP3's Avatar
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    That was a well crafted project! Certainly better than my fabrication skills.
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    i imagine that some of the judges had a hard time believing that your son did all of the project himself with minimal parent-intervention..

    i have judged a couple of pinewood-derby car races myself, and the really nice stuff is always tough to judge-- sometimes the kids do such a great job, you'd swear a adult did all the work(there was a couple of kids that i saw build their cars, so i knew the adults didn't build it), and the other times, the adults really did do all the work..

    but as long as you both had fun along the way, the show really doesn't matter
    I believe this is EXACTLY what happened. The judges did not believe he did the project himself. We just did our first science fair (kindergarten! Crazy world) and my son designed his 'experiment' and we (parents) helped him conduct the experiment. Of course we typed up the results and put it on poster board... not like a 5 y/o can do that... but he did glue and place all the parts etc...

    Result? A project where he came up with the idea, we helped him with experiment, he gave us his observations, we typed up a typical research 'presentation' in little kids words (teach them the correct way to do things from day one...) and let him glue the layout etc... All in all, a nice project that obviously had kid and parent involvement. NOW... some of the projects by other kids were obviously ALL parent...

    Where am I going with this? Your son's briefcase PC is awesome! I know adults that are afraid to open a PC case, much less add memory... and lets not even talk about drive upgrades, dual boot systems, or bios changes... Your son obviously can do all of the above and more! Fabrication, PC build, concept... the whole shebang! It seems obvious to me that the 'judges' probably have never touched the inside of a PC much less hacked one... and to them they figured your son did not do the work.

    What REALLY matters is he now has a kick a** PC mod... and obviously will continue to develop tinkering skills. What he is learning at a young age many never will... and when he gets his first home HE will be able to take care of the plumbing, wiring, home repair... ALL EXTREMELY valuable skills that are missing from the vast majority today. I get called routinely to change batteries in smoke detectors. Who calls 911 to change your battery? I'll bet the judges might be some of those very same people...

    Congrats on a FANTASTIC build! Don't let the naysayers take anything away from what you built. Great JOB!

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dekonick View Post
    Don't let the naysayers take anything away from what you built.
    Naysayers? wtf?
    Oh..... out T H E R E...


    I can only reiterate what I wrote earlier - brilliant, superb, etc. And re-write it for the subsequent stories.
    It sounds like excellent (and maybe uncommon?) parenting and mentoring to me. I wonder how the "re-badged" kids turn out later in life - especially when I see a parent writing their University level assignments or thesis - even one PhD thesis!! (Proof reading etc is one thing, but to actual do (all?) their work...!)

  6. #16
    Low Bitrate Dr Jeckyl's Avatar
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    you, kid, have the total package - tech skills AND fabrication, and at such a young age!!!

    I can wire darn near anything and design all kinds of circuits, but my fabbing tends to look like globs of playdough. I only wish I could work with mdf and fab a display mount like that.

    Don't lose heart just because a couple of judges decided that your project was too good to be true. I remember when I was in 5th or 6th grade, I made an FM radio circuit. One judge thought I just gutted a clock radio and gave me one of those 'honorable mention' ribbons. He told my mom that he totally would've upped the prize if he knew it was a scratch kit.

    Keep at it. This is something you are definitely gifted at.
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  7. #17
    The Last Good Gremlin GizmoQ's Avatar
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    Great job, young Quantum! My Alma Mater, the Air Force Academy, would love to have someone with your potential. (Just something to start thinking about). If electronics still interests you as a career later keep them in mind. I started out rewinding the motors of my electric racing cars at 8 years old and ended up working on the electronic warfare suites of the F-15, F-16, and F-22 - talk about high-tech!

    Like Dr Jeckyl said, you've got the skills to do anything you set your mind to. Good for you! Keep picking dad's brain and anyone else that has expertise in areas that interest you. School and book-learning are important, but the practical application of that knowledge builds experience and wisdom.

    Don't let the convention get you down. Its nice to be recognized by others, but the self satisfaction of your endeavors is always greater and longer lasting. I know how you feel. I've been building docking stations in my cars for my tablet CarPCs for over 10 years. Everybody hated it at first. But as soon as all the hype hit for the iPad, I was an innovator. Woop, Woop. Now people see my system and ask "Which iPad is that?" or "Cool iPad install!" I just puff out my chest, snicker at their ignorance, and tell them it's not - it's much more powerful than an iPad.

    Hold your head high, you did an excellent job!
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  8. #18
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    Absolutely FANTASTIC! YOU GO BOY!
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  9. #19
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    clean and neat too! High five!
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