Kano OS Lovelace: Making your computer infinitely more enjoyable

Hi friends!

At Kano we have massive appreciation for the individuals who have shaped computing across history. In our humble opinion, women in particular don't get enough recognition for their accomplishments in computing. That's why we are proud to share that, moving forward, we will start naming the Kano OS updates after some of them!

The first one is Ada Lovelace, who is the inspiration behind the 3.8 of Kano OS, codename Lovelace. Lovelace is now available as a free update from within your Computer Kit. Just click on the updater at the bottom of your dashboard and get it downloading.

Here's a video with some of the changes coming with Lovelace.

Back in 2016, we transformed Kano OS entirely. We added many features, improved the user experience, revamped the applications, and zhooshed up its looks. It really feels different from what it was before! Here's what you get with Lovelace.

Hack Minecraft

A powered-up version of Minecraft, combined with the coding editor Kano Code. Coding blocks allow you to program a simple keyboard key to act as a trigger. Then, unleash your creativity and make it splurt out lava, dig tunnels or easily create buildings. Playing and coding, united.

Make your name appear in the world with just one click, build an instant shelter or ball of lava. Others sit around and build block by block but you code your way up and create a breathtaking world, limited only by your imagination.

New Dashboard

This is the new Home screen of your computer. We've made some changes to make it more awesome.

Story Mode: A 8-bit style role playing game inside your computer brain. Imagine a whole world which you can explore, filled with programming challenges and quests, characters to meet and loads of fun.

My Apps turn your computer into a fun helper for all the things you want to do and for those you don't want to do but have to anyway.

We've added a new batch of apps by popular request, everything you need for homework, productivity and fun is now available with one click:

  • Watch your favourite YouTube tutorials.
  • Wikipedia for research and answering those tough questions.
  • Scratch, to continue your homework at home.
  • Chromium to browse the Internet for animated gifs.
  • Google Drive to keep your documents safe.
  • Google Docs to write cool stories.
  • Google Maps so you never get lost.
  • Whatsapp to message your friends.

Staff Picks is where you get inspired. Choose one of the creations you find and change the code and remix it to make it yours. Or focus all your creativity on making something new and maybe you'll see it pop up on Staff Picks!

Kano Code

A new way to play with code. This is an online editor where you can drag and drop blocks of code to create powerful apps that make lights, sounds or track the International Space Station. You can access it on your computer or any web browser around the house.

Then, you start building your app — from cat animated gifs to audio visualizers. You can also play and code a virtual version of our newest kits in Kano Code.

While you change the code on the editor, you see your application work as it shapes up on the right side. Don't say this isn't a superpower.

Classic mode

Want a more traditional Linux-look for your computer? Here you will find a desktop with all your apps and files. You can always switch between modes any time you want.

And beyond!

Coming soon there will be the final episodes of Terminal Quest, the adventure that takes you through the inner side of your computer.

Don't go Solo, take a glossary with you

What is an OS?

OS stands for Operating System. The Operating System is the main program that every computer has to run in order to perform basic tasks. Imagine it working like the human body. When you’re writing using your hand your brain understands the words you are writing. In a similar manner, when you type on your keyboard, your computer needs to know what letters you are typing. The OS makes it possible for your computer to understand the letters! Without it, the computer would not be able to show you its apps, keep track of all your files, or even show you anything comprehensible on the screen.

What is an interface?

The interface is what helps you understand the OS that you are looking at. It adds the menus, clicks, colours and systems that make your computer look and work the way that it does. Your orange keyboard, your trackpad, your cables and the menus that help you move around are all part of your computer's interface.

What is coding with blocks?

Software engineers write code on black screens with tiny white letters and numbers. It can be a bit too much to handle. An easy way to do the same is to turn those painful characters into colourful boxes that you can drag and drop. You are doing the same thing as a hacker, but having way more fun with it! If you still want to explore text-based coding on your Computer Kit, you can do so with many apps like Terminal Quest.