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[Discuss] Gift for a 9-year-old engineer?

If he is local to the Boston area, how about a gift certificate to You Do It Electronics Center in Needham as well as an afternoon trip there to explore and use the gift cert.?  They have great electronics training kits for kids  (and adults).


-----Original Message-----
From: Discuss [ at] On Behalf Of Daniel Barrett
Sent: Monday, April 04, 2016 7:50 AM
To: discuss at
Subject: [Discuss] Gift for a 9-year-old engineer?

Any suggestions for a birthday present for a 9-year-old budding software engineer?  My nephew has been writing programs on Scratch (, a programming site for kids, and teaching himself HTML and CSS. He also loves taking electronics apart and building stuff, and he blogs about topics like Apple's phone encryption on his own web site. The little guy has a true passion for this stuff.

I thought about getting him a Raspberry Pi kit, but I haven't used one myself and don't know if he could get it working by himself. (His parents have no background and I live 3000 miles away. Good idea or
not?) I also thought about this book:

but at age 9, maybe books aren't the most exciting gifts?

Last year, his choice of gift was "computer consulting hours with his Uncle Dan" (me) by Skype. This year he says, "He can surprise me. I trust Uncle Dan." Talk about pressure! :-)

His home computers are all Macs, if that matters.

Any tips appreciated. Thank you.

Dan Barrett
dbarrett at

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