back to article 12-year-old revives Unity desktop, develops software repo client, builds gaming environment for Ubuntu...

There are some interesting developments to keep an eye on in the world of Ubuntu: a new client for the community software repo, a tool to help Ubuntu gamers – and Rudra Saraswat, the 12-year-old brains behind them. He announced Una on 1 February. It's a client to simplify installing software from the MPR, or Makedeb Package …

  1. imanidiot Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    What is there to say?

    Well done, keep at it.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: What is there to say?

      Here;s what I'd say to the kid:

      a) get your GED, and apply for college. forget degrees, just improve the skills you need to...

      b) start a business based on what you have already done

      (how many millionaires dropped out of college to run a business? Yeah, that)

      Rapid path to success. School is ONLY valuable if it helps you get a good paying job. And last I checked, Jr. High was about dealing with bullies and talking to girls. I didn't really learn anything else, and someone THAT smart is probably not going to learn anything either, except "do what we tell you" and "the nail that sticks out gets the hammer", and also get HELD BACK unnecessarily so un-achievers won't *FEEL* bad about NOT achieving. And even back THEN, it STILL had WAY too much liberal indoctrination shoehorned in... (I cannot imagine how bad it is THESE days).

      (so circumvent the "normal" process, because if you are already good, all that schooling is JUST IN YOUR WAY - kinda like hacking it)

      1. martyn.hare

        Already better than successful

        People shouldn’t care about “success” and should follow the path which makes them happy, healthy and which makes them feel like they belong.

        It’s all this money/business talk (or what people keep calling “success”) which corrupts everything we hold near and dear to us.

        1. John_3_16

          Re: Already better than successful

          You mean everyone in school should get A's so no-one "feels" bad? What a load of horse manure. Eliminate words like losers & winners because in Russia & China everyone is the "same"? Life is not based on some socialist dream world. Evil & good exist side-by-side, often in the same person.

          Humans are flawed & every government on earth is corrupt. This young person has been blessed (cursed?) with a huge mind & personality. Feeding him all of that "feel good" crap will leave him homeless & talking to the voices in his head.

          Too much evil in the world to pretend it does not exist. Life is not fair. Examples are all around us. Just reading this article tells me if you try you will fail. He is smarter than most of us. Especially those with their heads in the clouds or up their butts.

          He may create the AI that rules the world from an easy chair in his billion dollar mansion protected by his drones & bots. With Ubuntu/Linux; NOT MS or Google. Just say'n...

          1. Stork Silver badge

            Re: Already better than successful

            That is not what Martyn.Hare writes. That is you interpretation of what he also might think.

          2. Necrohamster
            Thumb Down

            Re: Already better than successful


            Ugh. Living in your world must be tough.


      2. Smeagolberg

        Re: What is there to say?

        >School is ONLY valuable if it helps you get a good paying job.

        >And last I checked, Jr. High was about dealing with bullies

        >and talking to girls. I didn't really learn anything else,


        >if you are already good, all that schooling is JUST IN YOUR WAY

        It restrains abuse of capitals, which gets in everyone's way.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What is there to say?

        > had WAY too much liberal indoctrination.

        No, those are "morals", though it's easy to see why a right winger can't make the distinction.


          Re: What is there to say?

          It's dangerous to always assume your ways are the right ways and everyone else's is wrong. That kind of thinking has led to some of the worst atrocities this species has seen.

          This statement could apply to bob as well.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What is there to say?

            You are conveniently ignoring the context of my message. It wasn't a general post, it was a reply to Bob, to the specific stupid thing that he said.

            However, if you want to discuss republicans up in arms about CRT being taught in highschools (it isn't), or the states that have banned books for being "liberal" or banning anything that teaches us about our true history, then I'm up for that.

            1. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

              Re: What is there to say?

              And this here is the problem with the Left! The blind obedience and belief in the oppressive state!

              So all those zoom classes that parents recorded where CRT was taught were what, "faked"? All those documents that were obtained with all that "equity" and Race training were what faked? All the reports of kids being separated by race and one called an oppressor the the other called oppressed were what? Faked?

              And I suppose Keisha King, a black mom from the county next to mine is just a Republican operative when she speaks out against what is being taught to her "black" kids?


              Anonymous because you are a coward, racism is the tool of the left, always has been. the American Democrat party has been the party of racism for it's entire existence, from the Trail of Tears, to slavery, to the Civil War, to Jim Crow, to the "Great Society" that destroyed black communities across this nation, to the destruction of black education (In California, a 1 party Democrat state, only 7% of black kids read at grade level)

              1. Swarthy

                Re: What is there to say?

                In the interest of complete accuracy: CRT is a course that exists, but it exists at the collegiate level. No-one is teaching CRT in elementary, middle, or high school. That is not a thing that exists.

                People calling anything that teaches "The US has a history of abusing/maltreating minorities" CRT IS a thing that exists. And those lessons are Marxist(?!) - somehow.

                On another note: If you are lambasting the Democratic party pre-WWII you are calling out the Republican party of today. The US political parties gradually switched platforms between 1918 and the Great Depression. I can understand your confusion, as US history between the Civil War/Reconstruction and the Great Depression is completely untaught. Public School classes may have a day on World War One (I was an adult before I learned about the original name "The Great War"). More likely students get a day of Trail of Tears/WWI/Great Depression with the 1918 Influenza as a footnote and the day ending with "...And then Pearl Harbor".

                1. patashnik

                  Re: What is there to say?

                  CRT has no place in our schools - not when LCD and LED is so readily available!

                  While I'm loathe to further the irrelevant political discourse here, it's worth pointing out that CRT (critical race theory, not cathode ray tube) as set out in its foundational texts decades ago is indeed Marxist according to those same texts.

                  What's also true, however, is that 'Marxist' and its variants (arguably as with 'racism') is bandied about far too often nowadays and usually without the speaker being able to explain why or even what these terms actually mean.

                  I'd ask no one in particular if we could now shift focus back to tech and the achievements of talented young people but fear the answer would be a hard no.

          2. teknopaul Silver badge

            Re: What is there to say?

            It's safe to assume that Bob is trolling.

          3. Teiwaz

            Re: What is there to say?

            No. What the poster said was not assuming his/her ways were right and everyone elses wrong.

            Merely that the right now view basic morality as 'indoctrination by liberals'

            The worst atrocities were always perpetrated by those that assumed they were right and everyone else was evil. And that mindset is firmly with the right at the moment.

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: What is there to say?

          Whose morals would those be, Kemosabe?

        3. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

          Re: What is there to say?

          Oh we have morals, we just don't use false morality and compassion to oppress people for our own gain!

          We still understand the old saying, "The path the hell is paved with good intentions!"

          1. Rob Daglish

            Re: What is there to say?

            Good intentions? I'd heard it was lawyers and at weekends the younger demons went ice skating down them...

      4. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: What is there to say?

        You assume that he knows all the things a university wants their applicants to know. Tremendous skill at computers doesn't necessarily also come with, for example, ability to write a document well. I'm sure he's good at that at his level, and he might already be good at doing it, but that's one of the skills that is taught in secondary education, expected by universities, and important in the rest of life. Many other subjects fall into that. Before you decide that the right approach is to yank away all the things a typical education is intended to provide, it might be worth considering why they're there and which ones are actually important.

      5. Ignazio

        Re: What is there to say?

        This kid is smarter and faster than the lot of us but you were no challenge at all.

      6. babaganoush

        Re: What is there to say?

        What's wrong with talking to girls? I've always enjoyed talking to girls. And usually boys who can talk to girls are less likely to be sociopaths. You should try it.

      7. juice

        Re: What is there to say?

        > (how many millionaires dropped out of college to run a business? Yeah, that)

        And how many people dropped out of college and didn't become millionaires? I suspect their numbers will be a lot higher.

        There's also the question as to whether Rudra has either the skillset to run a business - dealing with humans/paperwork/taxes/regulations/etc is very different to tinkering with makefiles on a computer.

        And then there's the question as to whether he'd even want to. Especially since that he's presumably not even reached the point of having his voice break. There's potentially an entire new world waiting to be explored in the next few years, when his age-group's hormones kick in!

        > Paragraph with LOTS of SHOUTY words randomly interspersed throughout

        I apologise if I'm reading too much into this paragraph, but it sounds like a very USA-based view of school. And while I have no real knowledge of the educational system in Bangalore, I suspect it'll have some differences to the USA educational system and the culture which is wrapped around it.

        As to whether staying in school is worthwhile and whether or not it increases your chances of being successful? That's a big and highly subjective subject, and as such, needs to be discussed in the proper place at the proper time.

        Which is to say, in the pub, on a Friday, with several pints of the establishment's finest beverages...

        1. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

          Re: What is there to say?

          The biggest problem with the United States is that far too much emphasis is put on the "degree" than the actual skills of the applicant. This is especially true when it comes to promotion. If you do not have a degree your chances of rising to management in corporate america are slim to none. This leads to those with "paper credentials" but not much smarts being elevated "to the level of their incompetence".

          If you have a higher degree, Master, PhD or Doctorate then your level of incompetence goes higher. (this is why the most popular Doctorate in the US is the Dr. of Education. It is the easiest to achieve and many people get this just to have it by their name. Looking at you Jill Biden!)

          My co-workers in the UK tell me me it's different over there. If it is, then Kudos to y'all!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What is there to say?

            All this talk of the US school system and US politics is hilarious. It just goes to show that people can argue about anything without actually reading the story. The kid's from Delhi so all this shit is irrelevant. Oh and if you're still not getting it that's the Delhi in India, not the one in New York state.

            1. juice

              Re: What is there to say?

              > All this talk of the US school system and US politics is hilarious. It just goes to show that people can argue about anything without actually reading the story

              To be fair, my entire point was that Rudhra lives in Bangalore/Delhi, and therefore is probably having a significantly different educational experience to the one which Bombastic Bob had.

              And then Cliff continued the conversation by musing about the perceived differences between US and UK educations. Which felt like a valid branch for the conversation to take, even if it's arguably moving away from the original topic.

              Sometimes, it's worth reading both the story and the comments, before adding anything else to a conversation! Even (or perhaps) especially if you've going to do so as an AC...

            2. georgezilla Silver badge

              Re: What is there to say?

              My question to you is ...........

              Just how many Americans do you think can find New York State on a unmarked map?

              Let alone find India?

  2. quartzie

    my 12 year old...

    self feels a bit overwhelmed at the memory.

    I did learn to tweak Autoexec.bat and Config.sys (+ dismantle and eventually reinstall Win 3.11) at that age, but I probably still preferred playing Wacky Wheels at that age. It may have been the year I learned about TurboPascal, though.

    Can't imagine contributing any code whatsoever to a project like that as a 7th grader.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: my 12 year old...

      When I was 12, I discovered 6502 code on a BBC Micro. Can I name any of the great things I programmed? No... Because the lure of Chuckie Egg was just too tempting.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: my 12 year old...

        When I was 12, the BBC micro wasn't even a twinkle in the futures devs eyes :-)

        I had to wait a while before I became aware of microprocessors that might one day be within my budget. I think it was 1979 before I saved up enough to buy a Z80 based computer that cost as much as a cheap 2nd hand car :-)

        1. Someone Else Silver badge

          Re: my 12 year old...

          When I was 12, the PDP-8 (my first computer) wasn't even a twinkle in DEC's eyes.

          Yeah, I'm old. So...?

        2. Aernoud

          Re: my 12 year old...

          My first was a ZX81. I was 14, not 12. Very proud I could do some basic programming and later assembler. Not remotely close to what this kid has done.

          However smart he is, I agree with a comment that he needs to focus on what makes him happy. Forget about the money (though I have no doubt that will come). And work on his social and emotional skills.

          If you are just extremely smart you will probably end up as a super-specialist, but if he has got the rest figured out, he could be the next steve jobs.

      2. iron Silver badge

        Re: my 12 year old...

        I'm the same but with Z80, the Spectrum and far, far too many games to list.

        Fortunately my school got their first PCs not long after that so I did learn some DOS, BASIC, LOGO and Pascal but there were (and still are) far too many games. ;)

    2. ShadowSystems

      Re: my 12 year old...

      Back when I was that age we were still swimming around the Primordial Soup hunting for things to eat, trying not to get ourselves eaten, & considering what to morph into when we grew up.

      I ate a lot, got eaten a few times, got barfed back up when they realized I'm too strange to digest, and still haven't figured out what I might become if I ever grow up.

      Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional. =-)p

      Kudos to the kid for what he's done, but I agree with other posters that he needs to take time as a kid to be a kid lest he burn out too soon.

    3. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: my 12 year old...

      My 12 year old self remembers drooling over an HP 9100 that turned up in my Dads lab. I think it was 4 years before I got to try and write Basic on bits of paper to hand to someone who took them to Preston Polly and typed them in and then came back the next week with the errors to fix.


      Re: my 12 year old...

      I taught myself trig (or the parts of it that I needed to use to achieve my goals) but yet I tested into the lowest bracket of math when attempting to transfer college credits... Guess I'm practical over theory.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: my 12 year old...

        The book "Rocket Boys" (aka "October Sky") tells the true story of the boy who needed a level of maths that wasn't in his school's curriculum. He needed relevant calculations to design nozzles for his hobby rockets. After much campaigning the school added the subject he needed - with a limit on the number of pupils eligible. He failed to qualify and had to teach himself with the help of a friend who had qualified. He had a career in NASA.

    5. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

      Re: my 12 year old...

      When I was 12, we went out an played, in the sun, in the rain, in the snow! Played sports, got in trouble, started realizing girls were interesting.

  3. Binraider Silver badge

    What Motivation and free time to explore do for people.

    The world would be a better place if we weren't busy adulting for the rent all the time.

  4. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Doogie Howser

    Of the IT World.

    May be if Linus were to retire tomorrow...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Doogie Howser

      "May be if Linus were to retire tomorrow..."

      As long as it's not that twat Poettering.

      1. georgezilla Silver badge

        Re: Doogie Howser

        If someone who knows who this poster is ..................

        Please buy them a pint or two and send me the bill.

  5. Dr Paul Taylor

    burn out

    In the past this happened with maths rather than programming. Some very smart kid (usually boys but there's at least one famous girl) would do their A-levels at age 10, compete in the International Mathematical Olympiad and want to go to university at age 12.

    They they would burn out.

    One such student whom I knew was told to wait a year before starting university at 15, and then skipped the first year. He started a PhD but never finished it. He became a programmer and died of liver cancer at the age of 41.

    There are other things to learn when you're 12 besides maths or programming.

    1. cookieMonster Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: burn out

      Very true. I started teaching my 10 yr old daughter programming (Go) and she loved it. But when I thought about it more I realized she should be doing child things, like learning to read and write, for starters, and generally playing. Thankfully I was spared the difficult task of telling her that she should be doing other things because she got bored after a couple of sessions.

      At least she tried it and I’d be more than happy if she comes back to it later when she’s a bit older.

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: burn out

        Imho with kids at that age it's more about planting the seeds. Let them experience different things, see if they like it. If they do they'll come back to it of their own free will. Plenty of time for them to make up their mind on which direction they want to take with their lives later.

    2. Steve K

      Re: burn out

      Ruth Lawrence

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: burn out

      Burnout or puberty judging by the coinciding age...

    4. pip25

      On the bright side

      If he's only allowed two hours of programming a day, he's unlikely to burn out anytime soon.

      (*checks logged work hours for today in despair*)

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: On the bright side

        If he's only allowed two hours of programming a day, he's unlikely to burn out anytime soon.

        I think a bore out is more likely.

    5. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: burn out

      They they would burn out.

      if you look at the reasons BEHIND burn-out you may find that holding a kid's self-motivating ambitions BACK "for his own good" to "prevent burnout" is the OPPOSITE of what needs to be done.

      I bet the kid does it because it is FUN.

      I bet if he had to do "the 'normal' path" he'd be BORED, and *THAT* would cause the burnout!

      This was college, for me. BORING classes that were REQUIRED for a degree. I go in the military and learn much harder stuff in a way shorter time (nuclear engineering and power plant operation) and it's ALL relevant, NO B.S., NO liberal indoctrination or "feeliness" or any of the OTHER nauseating CRAP, and I thought it was AWESOME and was near the top of my class (because being AT the top took too much work and I was busy playing my guitar and building electronic things with my spare time).

      Let the kid do what makes him happy, and he will turn that into a MONEY MAKING SKILL, and THAT is all that is important. Money gets you everything else. And if doing something that EARNS A PILE OF MONEY makes you happy, the MONEY will make you EVEN HAPPIER.

      (too many forces in the world try to stop this, probably out of envy)

      1. skein

        Re: burn out

        Dear God, if it turns out the kind of person that writes this drivel, I’m sending mine to hippy camp. Bob, you have absolutely no social skills, and this is apparent just from your posts. There is a lot more to life than money and programming (and work!).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: burn out

        Good heavens, Bob, I'm autistic, with somewhat clunky social skills/understanding of social skills, , but I can only feel sorry for you if you dislike kids being taught consideration for others that much!

        The USA clearly has a problem with extremism, primarily on the right wing at the moment, but I am aware that there are some pretty out-of-touch-with-the-real-world lefties over there too. I don't like lefty extremists myself, and most folk reckon I am a lefty myself (but only because I more or less am! :-} ).

        Whilst I too think that the schol system (at least here in the UK as I experienced it umpty years ago) can indeed hold bright children back needlessly, the answer is not fr bright kids to ditch school, but to be allowed more choice over what level they are taught at, with no pride or shame attached to being taught at a higher or lower level than average for your age.

        I was effectively self taught until I was finally able to start a degree course in my 30's - school short of college was way behind where I was from my own reading. Ill health at the wrong time prevented me from going to college, hence only trying for a degree the first time in my 30's. My second degree attempt, on a different subject, came in my 50's following redundancy. Both times I found it incredibly hard, not because I didn't have the intellect, but because I didn't have some of the study skills that education develops that allow one to thoroughly master a subject..

        As for business - sheesh - one f my gripes about the second degree course that I took was that there was a compulsory business studies module whch I hadn't spotted when looking at the course prior to signing up for it. I HATE business. And as for such a module supposedly preparing me to be able to manage other people, well, as I said at the time, anybody putting me in a management role deserves the disaster that will follow. I'm not a business person, nor a management person - I'm a science (and history) geek. Why should I have to learn business crap when accountants and managers arent required to learn physics or biochemistry?

        Not to mention that it's business-minded people, not scientists, who've got the world into the mess it's currently in.. Until such folk get it into their heads that business exists to benefit people, not the other way around, I suspect the moronic pursuit of money no matter the colateral damage/costs will continue to drag us all down.

        But anyway - continual shouting is neither polite nor necessary, Bob, please turn it down a notch.. The rest of us here are neither deaf nor daft! Thank you. :-}

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: burn out

          " I'm not a business person, nor a management person - I'm a science (and history) geek. Why should I have to learn business crap when accountants and managers arent required to learn physics or biochemistry?"

          I feel you there, but as someone only toeing the edge of that label, I've found that knowing the basics of how a business is run help in understanding the questions and requirements the PHBs you encounter in the wild make. Being able to put them in the context of "this person is an idiot applying this rule of business management" helps in understanding their perspective and shaping your answer to meet their needs. And yes, that's bloody difficult and aggravating sometimes.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: burn out

        'I go in the military and learn much harder stuff in a way shorter time (nuclear engineering and power plant operation) and it's ALL relevant, NO B.S., NO liberal indoctrination or "feeliness" or any of the OTHER nauseating CRAP'

        Bob, I'm glad that your military service has allowed you to learn a range of useful technical skills, and I often agree with quite a few of the points that you make about computers, especially about the un-usability of "flat design" interfaces, but, and bear with me for a minute…

        Has it never occurred to that some of your experiences might have indoctrinated you, too, but in a different way (because obviously the military would never do that?! :lightbulb_emoji: ;-)

    6. unimaginative Bronze badge

      Re: burn out

      I think it depends on who and why.

      Ruth Lawrence was hothoused and seems to have been pushed by parental ambition than her own interest/

      A healthier example would be Ganesh Sittampalam who 1) wanted to do it and 2) was not taken over by it. He even carried on going to school and went to university one day a week, so his education was neither narrow or forced on him.

      I think if you are ready to go to university at 12, you should wait and do fun stuff and broaden your education instead.

      This kid is just doing a hobby. He just happens to be exceptionally good at it.

    7. patashnik

      Re: burn out

      I certainly hope he and his parents, teachers, etc. realise this to grant him the upbringing well-rounded folks generally need.

      Knowing a little of Indian culture (diverse as it may be) from a friend who returned to the country after living and working in the UK, however, academic performance and success (read: acquiring wealth) in general are apparently emphasised over personal welfare, perhaps moreso than in the West in current year.

      (Needless to say, even if this is indeed the case and prevalent, we are talking about a population in excess of one billion that again is especially diverse culturally and otherwise.)

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Thankfully, my son was just

    a normal teenage brat.

    If I was a virtue signaller I would worry about how about how much his mother was doing the "you will do well so I can bask in your glory and take all the credit for it and one up other parents" thing.

    But I am not a virtue signaller so I don't care

  7. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Your reporter was very fond of Unity

    Kudos to the young fellah, but he's reincarnated the very reason I moved to Mint and have been there ever since.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Your reporter was very fond of Unity

      yeah maybe he hasn't learned the evils of systemd and flatty interfaces yet... we should teach 'im

      Mint+Cinammon, or my favorite Linux desktop, Devuan+Mate. But for a REAL hacker, there's FreeBSD!

      1. dafe

        Re: Your reporter was very fond of Unity

        Personally I like OpenBSD better, but Linux has the largest selection of hardware drivers. FreeBSD is an acceptable compromise.

      2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

        Re: Your reporter was very fond of Unity

        Oooooooor . . . maybe he can learn about the advantages and disadvantages himself without needing to have his mind poisoned by the "worldly" cynicism of a bunch of grumpy old fuckers.


          Re: Your reporter was very fond of Unity

          I'll have you know, my very correct opinions on the disadvantages of everything I don't like are forged in the deep fires of having to deal with dumb bullshit, with a sprinkle of indescribable and indistinguishing rage. Therefor, it is my pleasure to serenade your ears with my copious curses and desk-punching so that you may not suffer the same fate.

          1. John_3_16

            Re: Your reporter was very fond of Unity

            You misspelled "therefor". Therefore, I am revoking your right to force yourself on us!

        2. teknopaul Silver badge

          Re: Your reporter was very fond of Unity

          At two hours a week it will take a bright lad like him a fortnight.


          a grumpy fscker

          (we probably shouldn't be f'in and blindin, 'im and his mam might be reading this)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm, just another kid playing with desktop environments. I thought all "whizzy fancy" desktops were made by kids?!

    I think many guys are moving back to the CLI just to get away from this horrible tacky shite since ~2005 onwards.

  9. Phones Sheridan Silver badge

    Quick, someone give him the idea of creating a new Centos RHEL alternative! He'll have it done by breakfast!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Nah, they've already made the right choice by going for a Debian-based distro… ;-) :-D


      1. jake Silver badge

        PDNFT ... ah, fuck it.

        Right choice? Really? Doesn't Debian still come with the systemd-cancer?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Arguably Devuan is Debian-based? :-)

          1. jake Silver badge

            Get back to me when Ubuntu is Devuan based.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This might be unpopular but I'm not impressed

    This might be an unpopular opinion but I'm not really that impressed. Speaking from experience, as a somewhat intelligent former 12 year old, these kinds of things come easy as long as two criteria are met. Time and obsessive personality. 12 year olds have what most adults do not. They have plenty of time for play. A 12 year old doesn't need generally to work a job, support a family, maintain house, cars, deal with insurance, make calls to the cable company, raise their own children and all of the other things which sucks up an adult's time. And many children (I certainly was) can become easily fixated on or obsessed with a thing or task. Couple that with some intelligence and you have the recipe to get something impressive done. Children excel at things because their brains are plastic and they have the time to excel. I'm sure many of the people reading 'El Reg could build their own distros. But they only have 1 hour of free time a week and spend it doing something else.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This might be unpopular but I'm not impressed

      I've been off 3 days this week, and in that time I have managed to craft a delicious pizza and laze around, because the rest of my life is already so demanding. Another thing that children have over adults is the energy.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This might be unpopular but I'm not impressed

      Story of my life. Grew old but never grew up. Biggest drain on my time since I retired is the people wanting me to create or fix things for them - because they don't have the time or accumulated skills/tools.

      Then they complain because my house is untidy with all the projects in progress or prototype.

  11. YetAnotherJoeBlow

    Best advice...

    Do not steal his childhood.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    someone hand me a knife.

    I've been running this maze for too long....

  13. Peter Gathercole Silver badge


    Don't take this the wrong way, but almost everything listed in the article consists of assembling things that other people and projects have done.

    He obviously has a talent for building and packaging distro's from other people's code, which is a skill in itself.

    Even something that he did write, (Una) is written in bash, and his Gamebuntu is manipulating the packages repos that are used to install a number of game related packages.

    Again, these are tremendous skills for a 12 year old, but I see no reason to believe that he's the next Ken Thompson.

  14. sreynolds

    Just goes to show what could be possible....

    Without zoom. teams, meetings and six layers of management wanting projections and reports all the time.

  15. Plest Silver badge

    On the one hand, wonderful, his parents must be quite proud. Must be good know your kid is changing the world at such a young age.

    On the other hand, having seen my daughter off to uni recently, my daughter came out of her shell. Once she got to uni she's had a real blast, she's found lots of other kids like her, not stunning staright-A students but bright and sparky characters like her, she's made so many friends and getting good marks.

    She never took up a tech subject despite my wife and I being techies and teaching some tech stuff, I've made my peace with that 'cos she's her own person. She'll probably never set the world on fire but she brightens the lives of everyone she meets, I'm just glad she's not a socially awkward nerd like me.

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