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Ask Slashdot: What Were You Taught About Computers In High School? 632

An anonymous reader writes "What was taught to you about computers in High School? Computer use and computer science in schools are regular headlines, but what 'normal' do we compare it to? It's not a shared reference. A special class with Commodore PETs was set up just after I graduated, and I'm only starting to grey. Everybody younger has had progressive levels of exposure. What was 'normal' for our 40-, 30-, and 20-year olds here? And how well did it work for you, and your classmates?" For that matter, what's it like now — if you're in middle or high school now, or know students who are, what's the tech curriculum like?
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Ask Slashdot: What Were You Taught About Computers In High School?

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  • We... (Score:4, Informative)

    by bmo ( 77928 ) on Sunday October 07, 2012 @06:47PM (#41579379)

    ...were taught BASIC and 6502 Assembly.

    Machines used: the year before I got into compsci at the highschool - a PDP11
    First semester doing compsci: TRS80 model IV machines.
    Second semester: we got a bunch of Apple IIe machines, which is how we got the assembly programming done.

    Prerequisites were pre-algebra or algebra1 taken concurrently.


  • Graduated HS in 1987 (Score:4, Informative)

    by slasher999 ( 513533 ) on Sunday October 07, 2012 @07:27PM (#41579767)

    We had TI-99/4a machines and one IBM compatible in jr high (7th-9th) with a class in BASIC on the TI machines. Once we moved over to the HS building we had access to Apple II machines and compatibles (Franklin ACE) and a couple IBM compatibles. Computer classes were limited to BASIC followed by Pascal, both taught on Apple. There was a short lived computer club that explored special topics such as vector graphic programming and Assembly - also Apple II based. Classes were taught by the math department instructors, or two of them at least. Chances are many of them had never used a computer at that time. In hindsight this set us up quite well for the immediate future and even today I use techniques and concepts I learned in those classes. It was less about the languages we were using and more about the planning and problem solving needed to accomplish a task. I apply similar techniques to problems that I use Powershell or Perl to deal with today. Truthfully most of our time in the "computer lab" was spent hacking around with computers, dot matrix printers, a couple of paddles connected to one of the Apple machines, and bootlegging games. Adventure games and the Atari catalog were the most popular. Somewhere at the bottom of a box in someone's attic is a copy of Jungle Hunt that displays my name in the copyright field. Hex editors were fun.

  • by Mr. Underbridge ( 666784 ) on Sunday October 07, 2012 @09:24PM (#41580545)

    Not that it's what he meant, but computer-floppy-computer was probably the most common disease vector back then. In the pre-internet era, anyway. Floppies-from-home were plague-bearers. At one point I think my school had some sort of quarantine.

    So it's quite possible for a floppy virus to infect an entire lab, but I'll grant that Mr. Jock probably wasn't that savvy.

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"