No escaping homework for Singapore computer whiz-kid

Mon Feb 9, 2009 4:33am EST
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By Kash Cheong

SINGAPORE Feb 9 (Reuters Life) - He's made headlines for his computer programing skills, but nine-year-old Singaporean Lim Ding Wen is only allowed to play with his desktop for just two hours a day, and provided he's finished his homework.

Ding Wen, who started using a computer at the age of two, became a celebrity of sorts after writing an iPhone application called Doodle Kids, which lets users to draw by touching their fingers to the screen, then clearing it by shaking the phone.

The application, available on Apple's iTunes store, currently has more than 27,000 users worldwide.

"Programing is easy, I just have natural interest in it," the fourth-grader told Reuters. "It's fun."

Lim's father, Lim Thye Chean, is a chief technology officer for a local firm, and the boy grew up surrounded by computers.

Lim said his son first asked about programs two years ago, and he started him off on an old, yellow, 16-bit Apple II GS computer, hoping it would be easy enough for him.

Since then, Ding Wen has mastered some six programing languages and completed some 20 projects.

"Ding Wen is not a genius. He just works hard at what he does. Anybody with an interest can do programing," Lim said.   Continued...

<p>Lim Ding Wen, nine-years-old, displays an iPhone with his program "Doodle Kids" for the camera in Singapore February 6, 2009. While most children his age sketch on paper with crayons, Lim, has a very different canvas -- his iPhone. Lim, who is in fourth grade, writes applications for Apple's popular iPhone. His latest, a painting program called Doodle Kids, has been downloaded over 4,000 times from Apple's iTunes store in two weeks, the New Paper reported on Thursday. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash</p>