View Full Version : What classic computers did you use in school?

02-27-2009, 02:37 AM
The first time I remember using a computer at school was using an Apple ][ in third grade in 1989. I think I played Oregon Trail, but I'm not sure.

In fourth grade, 1990, my classroom was one of the few in the school that updated to all-in-one 386's. I played some King's Quest and Carmen Sandiego on those, astounding the teachers with the knowledge of DOS I'd acquired from using my Dad's 8088. I remember showing a teacher how to access the contents of the disk using dir/p/w. I felt like a superstar :)

In 6th and 7th grade (1992 and 1993), my middle school still had Atari 800's, which was just about the best thing ever because I could bring carts from home (I had a 1200XL) and play Pac Man and Space Invaders during my BASIC programming class. In 8th grade, 1995, we finally upgraded to some generic Windows 3.11 boxes. That was my first experience using a mouse.

In high school, for some reason, we still had 486's, and none of them were running Windows, only DOS and Microsoft Works. My senior year (1999), my school got a big grant from Toyota who'd opened up a factory in my county and I think may have replaced the computers with Windows machines, but by my senior year, I no longer had any classes in the computer lab or any reason to go in there.

My freshman class in college (2000) was the first class at Ohio University to get new computers in each dorm room. I think they were Pentium II's, but I never really checked. The computer that year was only used for downloading music and movies with what was at the time the first high speed connection I'd ever seen.

Outside of the computer in my dorm room, all I used were Macs, since I was a music major. We still had the beige G3's in the music library, and they were buggy as heck. In the MIDI lab, they'd upgraded to G4 towers, and at the time they were so fast I couldn't believe it!

After I graduated, I started teaching one of the poorest school districts in Maryland, and those kids were using Mac Performas in the classroom from 1994-95. Ever since I got out of that disctrict, though, all the computers in schools I've taught at have been up-to-date. One even had a mobile lab cart full of iBooks!

What are your experiences with computers at school?

02-27-2009, 02:45 AM
The first computer I used in school was the Unisys ICON. It was pretty fun to use. :)

Later on we used newer computers. There's a game most people played but I can't really remember what it was called or much details about it. I do remember a part in it where a woman offers to be with you(I forgot how it was worded), if you agree your health goes up but your honor goes down. If you refuse, your honor goes up. It had pretty simple looking graphics, it was played around the mid 90s but it could be an earlier game.

02-27-2009, 02:55 AM
Our school did the Apples for the Students program, which meant we had a shit ton of Apple IIGS. My 4th grade teacher had a Coleco ADAM that he used quite a bit. The same teacher also used to send out letters to local corporations and we'd (the computer nerds) get to ride into the city to pick up all their junk computers that they'd donate and refurbish them while everyone else had to have class.

Middle school were just random 486 Win 3.1 machines that were very poorly networked. High school I think we had whatever the Pentium of the day was. College I bought a new Sony Vaio desktop and it was my first experience with broadband. Downloaded shit tons of porn on that thing.

My ex girlfriend went to OU. Athens ... maybe my least favorite place in the world.

02-27-2009, 03:02 AM
My elementary school had an odd mix of computers. They had some Apple IIe's, some original Macs, and, when they first came out, they got a few Power Macs. They didn't have anything in between the original Mac and the Power Mac. I never understood why they went with Apple. I swear those Power Macs were no faster than my hand-me-down Amiga 500 that was like 6-7 years old at that point.

Middle school was a bit better. They had a computer lab with mostly Power Macs, but if the lab was full, a few people were relegated to Macintosh Classic. Not a single non-Apple computer in the entire school, save perhaps what a few teachers had for their own personal use.

My high school had both a PC lab and a Mac lab, and both were decently up to date -- the Mac lab was full of iMacs and the PC lab was full of HP machines with Windows 2000. In Freshman year I took a typing/multimedia class in the Mac lab, and in Junior year I took an MS Office / HTML class in the PC lab. Good times.

I don't really have any interesting stories to share. I remember going on the internet for the first time in 4th grade. Back then they had no filters and no supervision, so you could do anything you wanted. But I didn't really do anything mischievous, simply because I didn't know how to get to any of that stuff. I do remember a program where you could type stuff, and have the computer "speak" it in a synthesized voice, and we would make it say dirty things and giggle. I also still vividly remember the opening tune that played every time you opened Claris Works.

Push Upstairs
02-27-2009, 03:52 AM
Grade school was mostly IIe's (Number Munchers!) and I think I got to use a Mac in middle school. High school had Macs, which were more than a few years old when I arrived there, but they had some networked "Tron" game. By 1997 the school had increased funding that we got Windows computers (200mhz I believe).

02-27-2009, 03:55 AM
You should add the years, I always hope that other districts besides mine were so behind in technology that they were using Atari 800s well into the 90s :)

02-27-2009, 04:52 AM
The BBC Micro model B and Master. But that was pretty par for the course in British schools during the 80s ;)

Game Freak
02-27-2009, 05:00 AM
Hehe, im only 15, not many old computers were ever used at my school XD I do know that we had a LOT of old PowerMacs that were used by the teachers. We had eMacs or something like that in the lab, and as soon as i left school there, they got an insane amount of awesome computers, a smartboard, everything. So unfair. I also saw an oriignal mac (i believe) at a camp i went to, which took place in another school. Finally, at another camp, though this is not computer related, there was a video game room. They had there, from what i can remember:

02-27-2009, 05:33 AM
We had Acorn BBC Micro's in my school in the UK. Were talking about my very first school here which I started in 1991, the computer lab was really really out of date. I presume the school had a grant for some computers years back and could never replace them. It felt kinda odd using these sluggish computers then going back home to play on an Amiga A600.

Ill always remember them fondly though as we were taught to draw using Turtle Logo or whatever it was called, Go Forwards 10 etc.
However, one computer lesson we were all allowed to play a game! I still dont know the name of this game to this day, but ill always have fond memories of it.
It was a Text Adventure about rescuing a Frog from the attic of a house and getting him outside.
It all sounds so friendly for kids at first, but the house had holes in the floor which youd fall to your death, a viscious dog near the door and all sorts of traps. Quite obviously the teachers never gave it a play test.

No child at my school had ever beaten this game before, it was stupidly tough. But that day, I became the first person to rescue the Frog and escape. I remember having to exit via a rope on a balcony, if you used the front door the dog would get you (or the frog).

If anyone knows the name of this game, please could you let me know? :)

02-27-2009, 05:57 AM
I used Apple II (the original one) in 1982 in my geek kid class in 5th grade (82?). I'm 99% sure that's the first computer I used.

We had TRS-80s in middle school (maybe 84 or 84). We even had a 'network' - you could print by using a selector switch to connect your computer to the 'print computer'.

We didn't really have shit for computers in high school, though I did take a Computer Math class. This had a network of XTs connected to a central hard drive. Only time I used to do any hacking; we used to take it down out of boredom, and try to set something up that would cause the system to crash in a later period. Turns out one of the guys I used to do this with got a taste for real hacking -- ended up doing a stint in the federal pen, so I hear.

My university was run by Luddites, so if you didn't have your own computer you didn't have a computer to use.

Grad school had totally awesome compute for the time. A real nice Unix server + network for mathematical simulations. Plus, a T1 connection for the internet -- this, in 1994. Lovely.

02-27-2009, 06:12 AM
From 7th grade thru the first half of 10th (ca. 1985 to 1988) I used Atari 800's and an 800XL. Played a lot of Conan the Barbarian and Karateka when I wasn't writing BASIC programs. Also remember playing Planetfall on them. Last half of 10th grade we got a couple IBM compatibles. I think they were XT class. Hercules mono graphics, two 5.25 floppies, no hard drive.

02-27-2009, 07:43 AM
We had a boatload of Apple ][e's in our "lab" in primary school. You were lucky if you got one of the three that had color monitors instead of those green monochrome ones. (Go Stickybears Go!) If you were REALLY lucky, you got to play with the Commodore 64C sitting over by itself in the corner.


Good times.

02-27-2009, 07:48 AM
had an apple][ in kindergarten. moved to a smaller, poorer school system for first grade, so no computers there. by third grade, they'd gotten a bunch of ibm model 25's. all-in-one's with no hd, dual 3.5 floppies. lots of word volcano, math blaster, sticky bear games, and print shop. by fifth they had upgraded to win3.11 boxes, but we only used them for solitaire and hearts in the mornings. used 95/98/me through middle/high school. used to spend my study hall and independent study courses playing duke3d and soldier of fortune deathmatches. i was always that guy running around grabbing up all the c4 and throwing it behind me hoping you'd chase me, not notice the c4, and get a face full of fail.

7th lutz
02-27-2009, 07:52 AM
Up to the 5th mark period in 11th grade, I mostly used Apple IIe computers for most of my classes.

I had to use an Apple IIE for many classes including computer science and for a science class in high school.

If I remembered correctly, the drafting class I had used NEC computers before the early part of 1996.

The High School I went to switched over to another brand of a computer back in 1996. I think it was a IBM computer. I can't remember what model.

02-27-2009, 07:56 AM
When I was in high school in the early to mid eighties our "data processing" class consisted of about 20 or so Commodore 64's. I don't remember actually learning anything in that class but we played a hellavu lot of games. :D

02-27-2009, 08:07 AM
I remember that in the seventh grade my Gifted and Talented class got to use an Apple IIe in the library. It was the first computer I had ever seen up close, actually, and since we were a poor Eastern Kentucky holler school it may have been the first computer ever to be installed at the school.

My friend and I would play games on it during the G&T period. The only one I have a strong memory of was sort of an adventure game where you tried to guide a girl named Cricket out of a spooky mansion or castle. I want to say it was called "Cricket's Castle" but probably not. I can never find any references on it so I'm probably misremembering.

Since I had played NES at the time, I was kind of disappointed that the Apple didn't have color graphics. We were never really allowed to get into it and do anything serious with it.

In high school we used IBM PS/2s and played Oregon Trail and Carmen Sandiego and Wheel of Fortune on them. I remember one of my assignments was drawing an electronic Christmas storybook using some kind of paint program. I learned to type on a typewriter, but by my senior year they did let me use a machine in the computer lab to write a paper on.

At my first college, which I attended from late 1994 to early 1996, they had a computer lab with some relatively nice Windows PCs. I remember I spent a long time poking around in them and playing Civilization and solitaire on them, which people were installing all over the lab. There was an Internet computer near the end of my stay there in the lab, but you had to have a special class reason to use it so I never got to. I saw two guys playing networked Doom once during that period, too, but that's as close as I got to LAN or online gaming until I got my Dreamcast

Around that time I got my first computer, too, which my mom bought me at great, considering our financial situation, expense for college. It was an AT&T 386 that was some weird configuration that was no longer supported at the time and already way out of date even then, but I really liked it and wrote a lot on it with a copy of Wordperfect 5.1 a friend helped me pirate from the computer lab and a lot of games like Wolfenstein 3D and some Lucasarts adventure games. I used it most of the way through college until it died on me.

At my second college they still had a lot of text-based terminals with amber screens installed in the dorms. We called them VAX terminals, I'm not sure exactly what they were. They ran a bunch of programs but I mostly used the Lynx browser. A lot of people used them for MUDs, too.

But even before I got a VAX account I was reintroduced to the Mac in my desktop publishing class. I thought they were interesting and one day my professor showed us how to get on the Internet. I typed in the only Web address I actually knew, one that I had seen for some gaming magazine, I think it was Gamefan. "So that's the Internet, huh?" I said to him, trying to sound nonchalant. But I was hooked and I would go back to that Mac lab as often as I could, getting on it and poking around in video game and other sites.

Later I discovered that there were better labs with less out of date computers in the non-journalism section of our school. The Macs in the desktop publishing lab were old and mega-slow. So I started haunting those. We had very good highspeed internet and I definitely made use of it by watching videos from sites like Broadcast.com in my library job, as well as downloading from Napster and downloading roms. My first roomate at that college also had the misfortune of having a Pentium computer in his room, which I used more than he did even though it didn't have Internet. After he dropped out, though, I just used my old 386 or went to the labs.

Later I also started working on the school paper and was introduced to using Macs professionally. We still had squat little Mac Classics at that time, although they upgraded to something newer by the end.

02-27-2009, 08:14 AM
The first computer I remember using was an Apple II with one of those monochrome monitors in 1987/88. We had a computer classes to learn how to use computers and BASIC, but it was mostly an excuse to play Edu/MECC-type games like Number Munchers, Oregon Trail, Odell Lake, etc.

Me and another guy weren't allowed to use the computers in the lab in high school (we weren't banned, at least not in so many words for grade 11 and 12) because we figured out the password for the admin, locked him out, and changed a few things. I think we got off lucky, because he was furious and threw out a few words like "suspension" and the like.

02-27-2009, 08:27 AM
I used Apple II (the original one) in 1982 in my geek kid class in 5th grade (82?). I'm 99% sure that's the first computer I used.
WHOA. Are we the same person? Let's see, Apple II computer? Check. Fifth grade in 1982? Check. "Geek Kid" class? Check!

Our school first got a computer when I was in the 5th grade, a single Apple II computer (with the green monochrome monitor and no sound except for the weird Apple beeps and boops from the keyboard itself) in the media center (i.e. library). I don't think anyone ever ever got to use it, at least I didn't. Just once, in my gifted student class, we got to look at a graphics display program; I remember that you'd press a letter and the display would change, each letter did something different. One letter activated a face that beeped and booped at you. But I never ever got to use it for real, I never played Oregon Trail, what have you. It's just a very obscure memory with no meaning or relation to my childhood, not even a footnote.

The very next time I got to use a computer at school was 11th and 12th grade when I took some BASIC computer programming classes. This would be 1988, 1989. The high school lab had about 8 or 9 Apple II's, all except one had the green monochrome monitors. One actually had color and we always fought to sit there. I wrote some pretty cool programs in class, including one called "The Heimlich Maneuver" (Quick! Press 'H' to perform the Heimlich Maneuver!). Good times.

My first two years at college (1989-91) I lived in a dorm room; there weren't computers in every room back then. There was one centralized computer lab on campus with a handful of computers. I actually brought my Commodore 64 from home and had in my dorm room, which I used exclusively for gaming and composing music. When I typed papers, I used an ELECTRIC TYPEWRITER. Yeah. Suck it, technology!

02-27-2009, 08:47 AM
In 5th grade we used Commodore 64's. 6-8th we used those little monochrome Apple things and played Oregon Trail. High school we had Tandy 386 systems with Windows 3.1... yay!

02-27-2009, 08:55 AM
Great responses, everyone. Thanks for contributing! :)

02-27-2009, 08:57 AM
Same here, I think most people in central Ontario, especially York Region, used the Unisys machines. Must've been a large contract. Anyway, those computers were terrific (Cross Country Canada & the fishing game) and certainly ones I won't soon forget.

The first computer I used in school was the Unisys ICON. It was pretty fun to use. :)

Later on we used newer computers. There's a game most people played but I can't really remember what it was called or much details about it. I do remember a part in it where a woman offers to be with you(I forgot how it was worded), if you agree your health goes up but your honor goes down. If you refuse, your honor goes up. It had pretty simple looking graphics, it was played around the mid 90s but it could be an earlier game.

02-27-2009, 08:58 AM
Like everyone from the UK who was born in the 1980s, my first three years at primary (read 'elementary' for those in North America) school were spent using BBC Bs and becoming an international Grand Master at 'Granny's Garden'. Thereafter, the school switched to Acorn Archimedes computers, which had precisely one game available for it.

That game was, however, Lemmings, so all was forgiven. :D

Heading into secondary school in 1994, Windows 3.1 was the order of the day (unless you were using the horrendously old Macs in the secondary lab) until about 1997 when Windows 95 came in, and the school had just about upgraded to 98 when I left in 2001. The electronics lab still used BBCs for PCB printing as late as 1999, however.

02-27-2009, 10:04 AM
I actually cut my teeth on a DEC PDP-11 after gaining access to it through my best friend whose father was the local college's football coach. I could write volumes on the havoc that we managed to cause on that system and its administrator. As for computers in school I think it was somewhere around 1979-80 that our school first allowed students access to their Apple II and it wasn't long after that my friends and I acquired a copy of Apple Adventure and "begged" to stay after school to sharpen our basic computer skills. At the time it was as close to the DEC's Colossal Cave Adventure that we could have ever hoped for. Now where did I put that Plover egg?

02-27-2009, 10:19 AM
Same here, I think most people in central Ontario, especially York Region, used the Unisys machines. Must've been a large contract. Anyway, those computers were terrific (Cross Country Canada & the fishing game) and certainly ones I won't soon forget.

While we started out with tape-loading Commodore PETs (PET-man FTW!), we eventually had a few of the ICONs as well. They came in around Grade 8 (1988) and were CGA-level colour systems. They were relegated to the library and you had to sign up for time to use them. Our everyday computers were the Commodore 64s (1 per class) that came in in Grade 7.

The teacher brought in some educational material (Lemonade, anyone?), but we spent most of our recesses playing either Rock'n Wrestle (http://www.lemon64.com/games/details.php?ID=2166) or Hardball! (http://www.lemon64.com/games/details.php?ID=1148).

02-27-2009, 10:41 AM
My first experiences with computers was on a really old Mac when I was in Kindergarten. By third grade, we had Win95 machines. Up until about 2003-2004 my school still used Win95 most of the time.

Steve W
02-27-2009, 11:27 AM
When I took a computer course, my school had TRS-80 Model III machines everywhere, which was around 1983 or '84. By that time I had already gotten my first home computer, a TI-99/4A, so I knew a bit about programming in BASIC. I brought in type-ins from one of my computer magazines that occasionally had TRS-80 programs in it, and also wrote a few other odds and ends on it. I still have a floppy laying around here with all my Trash-80 stuff on it. It saddens me to think that there's not much chance of it working anymore.

02-27-2009, 01:41 PM
I first encountered a computer in school in 1992, when I was in the fourth grade. The computer lab at the school had a bunch of Apple //es, along with an Apple //gs (which the teacher usually used) and, for a brief time, an Apple //c. The programs we used included Bank Street Writer 3, Number Munchers, and Lemonade Stand. We had a hand-me-down Apple //e at home at the time, so I was able to follow along in some ways. I remember the whole class being amazed when the teachers used a terminal program to 'chat' with a school across town.

In middle school, every computer lab had a whole bunch of Macintosh LC IIs. One or two of them in the library were hooked up to the then-new Internet, and a couple more had CD-ROM changers connected which were loaded with encyclopedia CDs, but most of them just used good ol' floppy disks, and were networked together via AppleTalk cables in order to be able to print to the library Laserwriter. Had all sorts of fun with ClarisWorks, Oregon Trail, and KidPix, among many other things.

By the time I got to high school, most of the computer labs used 486DX2-66 PCs, though the Mac lab had Mac Classics and Classic IIs. Eventually, most of those were replaced with modern computers. Interestingly, during my junior and senior years, the school librarian set up a crude TV studio in the library, for which he used an Amiga 1200 for on-screen graphics.

02-27-2009, 02:22 PM
I don't know the exact one besides the fact that it was an apple, but I do know that Oregon Trail and Number Munchers were the shit back in the day especially Oregon Trail when you had to shoot down the deer for food.

02-27-2009, 02:31 PM
The first time a teacher took my classmates and me to the computer room was in second grade in 1985. We had a room full of Apple IIe computers, which were only two years old at the time, and a cabinet with tons of different 5.25" floppy disk games, though 99% of the disks never worked. We'd play a mad scientist/monster creation game, Oregon Trail, some other math-related maze game with a timer, and drew pictures in Logo.

We used Apple IIe computers throughout the rest of elementary school and middle school. By the end of eighth grade, those two-year-old computers were now nine years old. We were still drawing pictures in Logo.

Then, I took a computer programming class in 11th grade in 1994, and was shocked to find my high school's computer room filled with...you guessed it...Apple IIe computers! Not 486s, not 386s, not even 286s or old Macs. No, my high school was still using those same computers from 1983, eleven years later.

I also took an AutoCAD class that year and we used 8088 IBM XT computers from, again, 1983. Imagine trying to render wireframe graphics in 1994-95 on an eleven-year-old budget home computer. (It'd be like trying to use Photoshop CS4 on an old Pentium II computer with 64 MB of RAM.)

02-27-2009, 02:40 PM
Apple II's for K-6, then we upgraded to crappy old macs running software that was 3-4 years old, then finally in 9th grade we got in on a state program to get new Dell's for our school system. We even got a letter of thanks from Dell and posters of the "Dude you're getting a Dell" guy for all the students.

02-27-2009, 04:27 PM
In Grade 1 we had a Commodore 64.. No... I wasnt in school in the 80s. it was 1997! It was a sad thing to use by then. Then we used Macintosh Classics until 1999 in which we got a bunch of eMacs which acted like crap.

02-27-2009, 05:15 PM
In 96 and 97 we used some variant of Mac. Umm, what was it called, those earlier models?

Oh and played Zoombinis!!

02-27-2009, 05:23 PM
TRS-80 Model III's in junior high (1982-1984), then in high school (1984-1988) we had Apple IIe's. In both cases use of these was very limited, meaning junior high had only two machines and high school had something like six or eight, and this was in a high school of 3000 kids.

I think there might have been a Mac Model I on the high school campus somewhere in one of the art classes, but I never got to use it.

02-27-2009, 05:55 PM
In 96 and 97 we used some variant of Mac. Umm, what was it called, those earlier models?

Oh and played Zoombinis!!

Are you talking about those small all in one Mac's with the 5-7inch screen? Most likely a Macintosh Classic if so.

02-27-2009, 07:25 PM
My elementary school had a computer room full of C64s, which I used to play such educational games as Ninja Mission, Space Taxi, and Frogger.

In high school we had Unisys Icon computers, which were pretty crappy overall, but had a few fun programs, like a speesh synth and a line animation app.

My high school had some Amiga for the AV dept. and the art room.
I got so much awesome Amiga software from school. In exchange for me teaching him how to use Deluxe Paint, the art teacher gave me all of the games and joysticks that they had, which came with the used A1000 that they bought from a student.
The funniest game that I got from him was Hollywood Poker Pro.

02-27-2009, 08:52 PM
BBC Micros and Archimedes. Oh, and a Macintosh Classic II in one of the English rooms for some random reason. Then they upgraded to a proper PC network whilst we were on Summer holiday one year.

Ed Oscuro
02-27-2009, 10:40 PM
My experience seems similar to Boatofcar's.

The library in Battle Creek had some Apple //s and MECC's Oregon Trail. YOU'VE DIED OF DYSENTERY! Never could figure out why you'd not want to start off as a banker. Even back then my favorite part was the hunting minigame. Later on they upgraded to Macs or possibly PCs with a photo-realistic (lol) version of the game (only saw it once or twice - apparently this was '96 or later, when Oregon Trail II came out). Terrible. Isn't there Deer Hunter for a reason? That's not Oregon Trail.

A few years later I was in a private Christian school (an experience I just wrote a short story about) and they had at least two runs of PCs. I recall at one time there being some ancient amber and green screened DOS machines, I believe; some of these DOS machines could run a Tron game (I think that was in color (http://neatorama.cachefly.net/images/2008-04/lincoln-tron.jpg), however).

Later on (I think) there were some machines able to play one of the Super Solvers games - I believe. Think "Super Solvers: Midnight Rescue!" I remember a platformer; in one Aztec-themed area you'd jump through holes in the floor and generally end coming in again through the ceiling. I'm also pretty sure I saw a copy of Castle of Dr. Brain (which I never recalled being played) in a closet in this same room; and there was yet another computer along a different wall (teacher's desk side, facing out towards the windows) which could play one of the Carmen Sandiego games.

Since then I've found Super Solvers: Midnight Rescue! and Castle of Dr. Brain at local thrifts - who knows, might be the same copies.

Come to think of it, it might not be such a bad idea to hunt down some more of these games (at the very least, I should try out the ones I've found to see if they match up with what I remember).

Other stuff: I took a computer class at the local CC, Kellogg Community College, around '94 or so and got my first floppy disk, a blue one. I used that thing for years. Sadly, it died, along with my old files. I fooled around with Claris Works on some Macs at the old Kellogg HQ building (at the time being used by the taste testing group) and saved files to it. Back to KCC for a second - they had Mario Teaches Typing, which I thought was amazing.

BBC Micros and Archimedes. Oh, and a Macintosh Classic II in one of the English rooms for some random reason. Then they upgraded to a proper PC network whilst we were on Summer holiday one year.
Nice. I actually got a Mac Classic II as a gift from one of my HS teachers; thing has 16 MB of RAM apparently - more than it's supposed to (I know I've mentioned this before).

Checked out Ninja Mission, thing looks rather similar to Karateka.

Push Upstairs
02-27-2009, 11:18 PM
You should add the years, I always hope that other districts besides mine were so behind in technology that they were using Atari 800s well into the 90s :)

I went to a few different schools during my early years so computer use and models varied some, but most still used the Mack Truck of computers...the Apple //e.

My earliest computer use was a //e which was circa 1985-1989. Of course at the time my parents had a //c at home (but that is for another discussion).

I used //e's (at a different school) from 1990 to around late '91 or early '92. Then I was attending a funded middle school that had Macs (which I only got to use for one quarter...some weird rotating class thing).

The movie to where I'm at now dropped me into a far less funded school that had a lab full of, wait for it, //e's with a whopping *two* Macs (which I never recall ever getting to use.

Pretty much in school (and at home) I was using Apple // computers up until 1994.

02-27-2009, 11:19 PM
Man I started out on a PET, computer back in grade school. I sometimes miss that old balck and green screen.

02-28-2009, 04:14 AM
We used Apple IIEe's at elementary school from Kindergarten (1988-89) to the fifth grade (1993-94), then they upgraded to some form of Mac's (can't remember the specific model) which we used until 6th grade and they also had Mac's at my junior high (1994-98).

At my highschool they upgraded to iMacs which had just came out not long after my sophmore year began (1998) and we had those until I graduated in 2001.

02-28-2009, 04:26 AM
no computers in my school, we weren't even allowed calculators (that was German school during the 70s you know).
Later at work we used this, well until the mid-80s:

02-28-2009, 07:29 AM

Um...what is that? :)

02-28-2009, 08:10 AM
Um...what is that? :)

It looks like about 5 different types of printer (regular, postcard, store receipt, ticker-tape etc.) crammed into one box. So... when did you guys get screens anyway?

As for me, the great majority of elementary and middle school was spent on old Macs that usually only had one thing that was at all interesting going for them - DinoPark Tycoon, which wasn't really that interesting as I was already well into games like Doom and Simcity 2000 and Quest for Glory 4 on my PC at home by then.

I'm sure there were Mac versions of some of those around, Sim City 2000 at least, but no one ever put those on our school computers. High school was a different story, as by then they'd switched to PCs and so you could start sneaking your own games on there in the computer lab.

02-28-2009, 08:39 AM
Um...what is that? :)

Punch card writer/reader, way before anyone's time here.

02-28-2009, 08:58 AM
Nothing but Apple's (Apple II, etc.) and Mac's all the way through high school. Didn't bother me. The software was great.

02-28-2009, 01:35 PM
K-5 Apple ][e in the lab. The usual number munchers and other fun.
Library had random "Performa" Macs, which meant "lower than low end" for the most part - still better than Apple ][e.

6-7 We got hand-me-downs from the high school, so half Mac LC IIIs, and half some of those all-in-one Powermac 5xxxs.

8-9 Various powermacs.

10-12 iMacs, and one XP lab. The XP lab was a joke. The network was badly maintained, people downloaded viruses and porn dialers, and people played random stupid games on it, making most of the computers unusably bad. The mac lab was decent and we got to make movies on iMovie for OS9.

University -> random PC boxes. They weren't bad, but nothing spectacular. At least the University of British Columbia knows how to program a PC network and lock people out of downloading viruses that screw up the computer long after you've logged out. They are getting a bit old tho, I dont think they are bothering to apply patches.

University in Japan -> basically the same as UBC, but with japanese windows.

02-28-2009, 01:54 PM
Grade 6 - 1980 - We had a small computer lab with a handful of Digital terminals, connected to some mainframe somewhere, but I don't know where or how. I think there was a TRS-80 in the room as well, but I didn't use it. I used the terminals for some French program (i.e., to learn french). Also, I played an artillery-launch game on the Digital. Took a couorse in Basic one summer.

Skip ahead to high school - 82-86 - The lab had a PET (Ugghh with a capital Ughh!). Also a bunch of TRS-80s and Apple ][s. Took some course in Basic again, but was happy for more computer time. For my final project one semester I wrote some 'program' on the Apple ][ that painted a picture on the screen of a sports car I drew out. Was pretty simple - I drew the picture on graph paper, and then wrote the program to draw the same lines, in the appropriate colors, on the screen. Aside from that my program didn't DO anything. The night Reagan bombed Lebanon I was at a friend's house typing up a term paper on his Coleco ADAM. I didn't know anything about the ADAM, and anytime I needed to do something other than type in my paper I needed him to walk over and help.

College - I didn't use computers. Had myself an awesome Panasonic electric typewriter from Macy's, with a 4k internal memory and a 1-line, 15-character or so, display.

After college, after puttering around aimlessly for a few years, I got myself a 486-40 and a Compuserve account, soon followed by a Netcom account, and my life was forever changed.

02-28-2009, 03:51 PM
What amazes me is that so many of you had so much access to computers, even programming classes, yet started school a decade or more earlier than I did. My schools really didn't have squat. I started kindergarten in '87, and for my first few years of school, I probably never even saw a computer (besides maybe in an office or something). Once I hit maybe 3rd or 4th grade, each classroom had one or two computers, and they were used for virtually nothing but Oregon Trail, Carmen Sandiego, and the Munchers series. I know I used Mac II's in school, but I don't know if I was using them that early. I have no idea how you guys can remember what you used so well. o_O Then in junior high we had a few rooms full of computers, but I didn't get to use them unless a class as a whole was using said room. I'm pretty sure I started using some kind of IBM PC at that point. Junior high also brought me my first exposure to the internet. One room was solely for the typing class, which everyone had to take. My earliest experiences with typing was on a typewriter, but I stunk at both. I think I was struggling to get 25 words per minute. In my 7th grade science/math room (had the same teacher for both), we had some really ancient monochrome, mouse-less computers, probably older than anything I used in elementary school. Played a lot of Frogger and other games on those. In high school we had roughly the same access to computers, but since we were expected to type all of our papers at that point, I finally got my own.

02-28-2009, 08:54 PM
My grade school computer lab was all Atari 800s and Apple IIs and IIe's. Oddly enough, they only had very boring, basic reading and math programs on the Ataris, while the Apples had all the fun stuff like Oregon Trail and Carmen Sandiego (okay, so they also had the painful Stickybear Teaches Typing on the Apples, but otherwise...)

I remember when they got their first Mac (which was actually a few years old already; even though they got it around '89 it was one of the earlier models). Kids got into fights over who got to play a game called Nigel's World on it. As I recall, you played as a cartoon Scottish photographer who traveled the world taking pictures, which displayed as real photos on the screen after you took them. I also seem to remember transition screens with Nigel traveling in various plaid-painted vehicles as clips of bagpipe music played.

Tron 2.0
02-28-2009, 09:16 PM
Most that i can remember the,Apple IIE then towards the end in high school Macs.

02-28-2009, 09:42 PM
Yup, my elementary school was heavily into the Apple ][ until I was in grade 5 or so. Pretty much all of them had green screens, except for the one ][GS - that had a purplish-blue screen for some reason. For some reason we did an awful lot of stuff with LOGO Writer, which seems a bit useless now, but was kind of cool at the time; in early grades we even used it for word processing before switching to AppleWorks. One day someone demonstrated Lego LOGO, which was sort of like a primitive version of Mindstorms.

Even though the school board switched over to Macs eventually, my high school got a lot of milage out of its Apple ]['s ; I learned how to touch-type on one of those. Sadly, by the time I managed to take the school's computer science course, they had finally been retired, so instead of learning Apple ][ BASIC (which might still have been vaguely useful on some level at that point), I was introduced to programming in Hypercard. I might have been better off taking Accounting instead.

But getting back to the Macs: they were of course Mac Classics, and I remember I got the privilege of learning how to connect to the school board's Telefinder BBS on their 2400 bps modem. The high school eventually got some LC 475s to replace them. I became very familiar with Clarisworks over the years, but I suppose there's really nothing it could do that you can't manage with Word alone these days. I also became very familiar with the headache of PC-Macintosh incompatibility.

As far as games go, I captured Carmen Sandiego in Where in Time is CS, which was no mean feat given the constant threat of someone maliciously erasing my username and wiping out all my progress, as was the case with Where in the USA is CS. For some reason the high school only had a very limited number of licenses for SimCity, and naturally it was uncommon that I could get to one fo the computers that had it installed before anyone else could at the start of lunch hour.

I think the main lab had one thoroughly ancient PC that was probably salvaged from a junk heap; someone nonetheless got Double Dragon running on it. Being in the Gifted and Talented program, I had access to one of the few usable PCs in the school: an IBM PS/1.

There's a game most people played but I can't really remember what it was called or much details about it. I do remember a part in it where a woman offers to be with you(I forgot how it was worded), if you agree your health goes up but your honor goes down. If you refuse, your honor goes up. It had pretty simple looking graphics, it was played around the mid 90s but it could be an earlier game.Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar, no?

02-28-2009, 10:36 PM
I just looked at a few pics of the Micro, and it looked a bit different to what I remember: no number pad or cart slots. Turns out it was BBC Master computers that we had.

In the DT lab we had one of those Turtle robots and a robot arm that interfaced via the Master's cartridge slots. They kept all that even after the PC network was installed as it was quite cool to fiddle with.

02-28-2009, 10:44 PM
We exclusively had Apple II/E and they stunk. In fact, since no one had any clue about computers, when there was a fundraiser to buy some new computers in my grammar school in 1990, they bought new Apple II's. I couldn't believe they were still sold new at that time! Would have been great if they'd had Amiga's instead.

02-28-2009, 10:49 PM
The first time I saw a computer at school was in third or fourth grade (~1982). Our school had one Apple II that was on one of those rolling multimedia carts and they would wheel it from class to class to give us small amounts of computer time. By then my family had already owned an Apple for 2 years, so I usually had to show the teachers how to do stuff like load games.

In 5th and 6th grade (1983-1985) we had 3 Apple II's set up in our computer lab.

In mid-high, believe it or not, they taught BASIC programming on TRS-80 Model 4 machines. Talk about taking a step back!

My senior year (1991) I took a "Business Computing Class" (the only computer-related class our high school offered) and it was offered on 286 PCs.

My first two years of college (1991-1993) we laid out the newspaper and yearbook on Mac Classics. We used Pagemaker for our layouts and Cricket Draw (ugh) for custom grapihcs.

My junior year, we laid out our paper on, uh, Mac LCIII's?

02-28-2009, 11:43 PM
Hmmm, now that this topic has got me thinking about it again, I really would like to figure out what kind of computer I was using in my 7th grade class. I browsed Old-Computers.com, and the only thing that looks remotely similar is this:


I'm positive that it was an all-in-one machine, and it had a smooth, rounded shape just like the SuperBrain. I'm also positive that it had some dark coloring like this, but I remember it being more brown. I could be wrong about the pattern of the coloring, but I'm remember the brown being more on the outside than the face. I don't remember it being as wide as the SuperBrain, and I don't remember floppy drives being on the side at all. But I'm not positive about those things either. But I am positive that it was monochrome, specifically black and white, not green or any other shade.

So what do all you 80s computer experts think? Does it ring a bell for anything else, or do you think it must've been some version of the SuperBrain?

Push Upstairs
03-01-2009, 03:34 AM
I think this thread has really made me appreciate the computer I have right now.

That, and my dad taking a Apple // nostalgia trip, only to comment about how he likes modern computers more.

03-01-2009, 10:42 AM
First computers I ever used were IBMs in 1995 in elementary school no idea what models. Jr high was way better we had dells and as some others mentioned I was a computer geek and got to skip class to play with stuff donated from the military (printers, old notebooks etc) lots of fun

03-01-2009, 11:15 AM
i was using some ibm computer all throughout elementary/middle. i think the school corp had a grant cause in a few of the computer labs at high school we got the same kind just with flat screen moniters. then the engineering computer labs have brand new ibm computers. cost 2k each :) then 2 of the graphics labs have newer apples. unsure on the model since im never in there.

03-01-2009, 02:48 PM
Hmmm, I'm 18 so when I was younger (think 1st-3rd grade) we were still using old computers, those of which I'm pretty sure (but not positive) were Apple II computers. I don't remember much, which is kinda sad, but in the 2nd grade I used to play on the Apple II (again, "I think") that we had in the classroom.

The computer had Oregon Trail, Number Munchers, and some game where you grow plants in a greenhouse in different conditions. It had a color screen, too.

There was one game(s) that I played that has been racking my brain for almost 10 years! It was actually 3 very similar adventure games on the apple II and you played as this guy in a department store, haunted house, or a funhouse. The name "Bobo's Funhouse" has stuck in my head: I remember seeing it on the title screen. The game had a very similar command style to King's Quest, where you'd type "take something", the only difference was that the game played as a side-scroller a-la Mario Bros. This game has been bothering me for ages because I've been actively looking for it for years to play it again. The school has since thrown out their old Apple II computers.

Ummm.... From 4th-6th I didn't use computers that much. At home we had a one with Windows 98 which I played with a lot, but at school we used the old generic-90s macs (not Apple II) from time to time.

In my high school years I used the school's problematic computers running XP and this school year the school got all new computers. The oldest computer is in the library. It's an Apple II with a green monochrome screen. It contains our library's entire catalog of books. The librarian uses it to print labels. I told her that if she finds any old software for it I would like to archive it.

03-01-2009, 02:56 PM
Let's see:

1983 - 3rd grade, my class got an Apple II, I was definitely the computer nerd. I knew how to use the thing before the teacher did.

1986 - 6th grade, my new school got their first computers: Commodore 64s with black and white monitors. Since I had one at home, I became the computer guy there too.

1987-88 - Junior High, took computer classes on IBM Pc Jr.'s, our library had one C64, and about 800 pirated games. Those were glorious break periods.

1989-93 - High school - our school did not have a single computer in it. I took one class back in the Junior High lab, still on the Pc Jr.

1993-98 - College - We had an assortment of old Macs, and Gateway 386s to work on. Nothing cutting edge, heck, nothing even current the entire time.

retro junkie
03-01-2009, 04:12 PM
There were no computers in my school. We did have electric type writers that were huge bulky things covering the whole top of a desk. I got out of high school in 73, I don't even think that they were considering a need for computers in schools at that point. Computers were something that you dreamed about while watching a scifi movie.

03-01-2009, 11:08 PM
and some game where you grow plants in a greenhouse in different conditions.

May or may not be the same one you're thinking of, but one of the games my school had on the Apple IIs was called (I believe) Botanical Gardens, which sounds like the same kind of thing as what you're describing. It also had a big spiral-bound reference book/manual that went with it, though I don't remember what exactly was in the book that made it necessary to use while playing.

Totally forgot about that one until just now.

Another good one - which I believe my school had versions of for both Apple II and Mac - was a trucking game where you had to pick up a delivery and drive it cross-country to its destination. Can't remember the name of that, but I remember having a lot of fun with it.

03-02-2009, 12:34 AM
The computer had Oregon Trail, Number Munchers, and some game where you grow plants in a greenhouse in different conditions. It had a color screen, too.Wait, that was MECC's "Lunar Greenhouse".

On the subject of mysterious Apple ][ games, this thread (http://www.digitpress.com/forum/showthread.php?t=72739) is worth revisiting.

Push Upstairs
03-02-2009, 01:51 AM
Computers were something that you dreamed about while watching a scifi movie.

Imagine going back and telling your younger self that in 2009 there are computers so small they fit in your hand.

03-02-2009, 02:31 AM
My elementary school had Apple IIs up until the late 90s or so. Number Munchers FTW.

03-02-2009, 08:22 AM
Used an Apple ][ in Elementary school. Don't really remember what we used after that until high school when we got Pentium's running Windows 95.

As a side note, has anyone else noticed that the agent, Murray, (on Flight of the Conchords) seems to be using a Vic-20 (or similar) computer?

03-02-2009, 12:23 PM
We had Apple ]['s and I played the crap out of Super Bunny

03-02-2009, 01:27 PM
My school, like most of the day, was Apple all the way. I used Apple IIe systems in early elementary, then Apple IIc compacts for some reason in later elementary. One of the labs had a IIGS. We played a ton of Number Munchers, Oregon Trail, and Stickybear. One of my teachers kept a stash of adventure games in a locker near the computer in his room, though, and I'd often hang out after school and play for an hour or two before walking home.

At home during those years, though, I had an NEC ProSpeed 286 (16 MHz!) laptop that weighed about 20 pounds, hooked up to a 14" EGA CRT. My uncled worked for NEC and shared the wealth, I guess. I did my homework in WordStar and Harvard Graphics.

Then we had 128k Macs in Junior high, and pizza-box LC Macs in the "creative" classes at high school. The rest of the high school was running Windows 95. My education finally hit Windows 2000 in college ... and yes, you could rename any program to EXCEL.EXE and get it past the security policies.


03-02-2009, 01:38 PM
Same story as most people on here. My grade school had 1 Apple ][ in the library. Once a week, 2 people from our class would get to play Oregon Trail or other such program for half an hour or so.

Jr. High was the 1'st time we had a real computer lab. On an early Mac. Not sure what model. The one with the built in bluish monochrome screen. The class was basically a typing class with an introduction to using a mouse at the beginning.

By the time high school came around we had PC's but I did take this one class my Junior year. It was some mathematical comuting class where we'd write computer programs to solve equations. It was in the schools ancient Apple ][ lab. This was in 1996! People would often have to start their projects over due to disk error. I always finished my projects in the first 5 minutes and spent the rest of the class programming silly little games.

Ed Oscuro
03-03-2009, 12:48 PM
no computers in my school, we weren't even allowed calculators (that was German school during the 70s you know).
Later at work we used this, well until the mid-80s:
So you had it until shortly after IBM finally dropped it from their catalog. :)

03-03-2009, 01:20 PM
We had Apple IIs in my private school from my time in K to 1st Grade, then I think by the time I was in 2nd or 3rd Grade the school had sold off or gave away the Apple IIs to members of the parish who wanted them and got Macintosh. In later years I noticed that in a couple upper classrooms there were just a couple of them left setting in there, but nobody ever fired them up.

I remember for the Apple II they had many floppy disks full of educational games, especially Math. The Macs had their own educational software such as Kid's Typing, and Math Blaster, but there were others on there that were more generic gaming, such as Sim Ant.

I have heard from my younger cousins who still go to my grade school, that they have once again upgraded the computers and now even have internet. I don't know what they have now.

All I can say was that Apple IIs and Macs had some good games for them, at least for children as far as I know. I never got to play any of the cool stuff as they didn't have games like that over there.

03-03-2009, 02:48 PM
What a great topic!

Seems like everyone had used a Apple IIe while in school! And so did I.

Also I used a TRS-80 for my first year of computer science.

Next was a slightly better computer, a Tandy 1000 TX, (I had a HX at home)...Man those were pieces of crap, but I learned so much from those simple machines.

The funny thing was I never used a mouse throughout school until I graduated. They litterally put Windows 3.1 in two years after I left.

03-03-2009, 03:53 PM
Pretty much every school I attended from grade school up to high school (80's up to 1993) the computer du jour was always an Apple IIe. Up until fourth grade I can't recall using computers in school. I saw them in the library but never got a chance to work on them-which wasn't a big deal as there was a powerful TRS-80 Color Computer at home :D .

I think the first time I really used school computers was in fourth grade. I remember having to do some question and answer thing. Fifth grade brought on the week of LOGO training. Middle school (6-8) I took two typing classes and by eighth grade my geekitude was well established that, on occasion, I'd be called out of a class to go to the computer room to fix the printers.

High school was the first time I saw an IBM PC in the class room. However I essentially went to "hick high", so the majority of the computers were Apple IIe's, a couple GS's and a rumored Mac.

The two IBM's were in the "Technology Center" (ie the home of the IIe's) and I think they were 386 systems. After finishing my final for the computer class, I asked the teacher if I could play a game on the IBMs. He said he didn't have any but I produced a stack of diskettes and stated I brought my own-Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp. Since the game could be streamed off of diskette, I just plugged and played with the sound off. Needless to say I started getting a crowd about me as many of these people never saw a home computer do that sort of thing (cartoon-like animation) before.

03-04-2009, 07:34 AM
In fourth and fifth grade (1994 and 1995) I remember there was one Apple IIe for each classroom. Oregon Trail is the game I remember most from back then.

Then . . . when I graduated to middle school the library was filled with IIes for word processing, and the actual computer lab in our school had some kind of 486 that ran Windows 3.11. In 1997 the computer lab upgraded to Pentiums and Win95. The library still had IIes, though . . . I remember being a library aide and having to go through IIe disks to see if they'd work. (Most of them surprisingly did.)

When I made it to high school we learned how to type on 486s running DOS and 3.11, mostly some DOS typing program. For all I know, they're still using those there...

03-04-2009, 08:38 AM
First time I remember using a puter was in 4th or 5th grade(87-88). I beieve it was a Commodore, don't know which model. The Apple ones were around too, but I dont think they had the green text thing right?
I do remember playing Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego in it too.

Ed Oscuro
03-05-2009, 02:25 PM
Hey, this is neat.

If you have a Mac LC (kind of a crappy model but that's beside the point), you can turn it into an Apple // compatible with an Apple IIe Card.

Turns out there's a TON of these around, and at reasonable prices too ($30 or so). Look up this Apple part number:


There is a downside, though; to run Apple // stuff from disk you'll have to get ahold of a 5.25" drive. Not sure how easy it is to connect one to an LC.

03-06-2009, 10:00 PM
For the life of me I can't remember the exact types of computers I used as a kid in school but I remember playing two games. Oregon Trail & this mystery point n click where you were at a hotel. All I remember about the 2nd game was that you could go to a cave on the outskirts of the hotel and talk to some fellow shooting a movie(I'm not sure if this actually happened) and the answer to the mystery had something to do with the hotel sign or at least something up there on the roof. It was a blast to play though...

In 6th grade I remember being one of the first classes to be part of the Maine laptop program. Basically each student was given a crappy Macbook to aid in our educational endeavors. Enormous waste of the state's money. Maine just doesn't know how to spend its money...

03-07-2009, 02:17 AM
Hey, this is neat.

If you have a Mac LC (kind of a crappy model but that's beside the point), you can turn it into an Apple // compatible with an Apple IIe Card.

Turns out there's a TON of these around, and at reasonable prices too ($30 or so). Look up this Apple part number:


There is a downside, though; to run Apple // stuff from disk you'll have to get ahold of a 5.25" drive. Not sure how easy it is to connect one to an LC.

One of the computer labs in middle school was full of Macintosh LC IIs with Apple //e compatibility cards in them, and 5.25" disk drives connected to each one. I can only remember using them once or twice to run Apple //e stuff, using them as Macs the rest of the time. I have an external hard drive with the software to run one of those, but have yet to track down the card itself to install in my Mac LC III. Apparently, you not only need the card, but also a special cable which goes with it to allow the use of the 5.25" disk drive (never plug one into the LC's own floppy drive port).

Slightly off-topic, but how many people used classic computers at home for school purposes, after they were considered classics? Throughout high school (late '90s/early '00s), I was known to use my Commodore 128D or Macintosh SE to type up homework assignments, since that's what I had in my bedroom (used GEOS 128 on the Commodore 128D, and some old version of Microsoft Word with the SE; both printed to good ol' dot-matrix).

Ed Oscuro
03-07-2009, 02:25 AM
Thanks for that information, Adam. It seems I need an Apple IIe Y-cable.

Some good details on using the card here:

I know I'll need some driver disks. One person on eBay is selling some, but I should just be able to download them elsewhere.

I should also find an ethernet card for my Macs so I can get online with 'em. Posting to the Roundtable from one would be hilarious, I think.

Push Upstairs
03-07-2009, 03:47 AM
Slightly off-topic, but how many people used classic computers at home for school purposes, after they were considered classics? Throughout high school (late '90s/early '00s), I was known to use my Commodore 128D or Macintosh SE to type up homework assignments, since that's what I had in my bedroom (used GEOS 128 on the Commodore 128D, and some old version of Microsoft Word with the SE; both printed to good ol' dot-matrix).

I used the //c to print up papers until 1994 which was almost to my freshmen year of HS. Giant dot matrix printer that used perforated paper. I hated having to tear off the parts with the holes in them, and thank the computer gods for inkjet printers.

09-28-2009, 09:29 PM
Well, I grew up at the height of the digital age.

So I used Apple II's, VIC-20's (love me some Turtle Graphics), TRS-80, C-64, "IBM/Jr./Tandy Compatibles", Macintosh (No color until high school), and Windows 3.1. I graduated two years before Windows 95, so DOS was still perfered over Windows 3.1.

I think I even used a Kaypro, at one time or another. One of those old Kaypros that came in what looked like a briefcase or an old record player, and had the disk drives and little 8 inch monochrome monitor built in.

I think this was this model - the Kaypro II

09-29-2009, 10:36 PM
From a span of Kindergarten to 7th grade (A span of 1996 to 2003), I used none other than an NEC Powermate VP75. For a 75Mhz Pentium with a basic video card and a retail edition of Windows 95, I was surprised how far I could push it; getting it to run games that it didn't even meet the minimum requirements for and have them still run at a playable speed. Also, it's very reliable; even when a local tech guy said that PC would never work again, I always managed to get it to come back to life with ease. I still have that PC, and it actually works much better than it did when we first got it (I made a few upgrades since it was passed onto me).

From 7th grade to 9th grade (2003-2005), I used this total piece of shit the local tech guy built (Ugly case, a 166Mhz AMD-K6 with barely enough RAM for Windows 98 to function with all the pointless stuff loaded into RAM we didn't need, several device conflicts, and many other things wrong with it). As much as it pained me to retire my trusty old NEC as the primary PC, I needed something with more power, and after I worked out it's problems myself (Against my Mom's better judgement, who felt more comfortible taking it to that same crappy tech guy who seemed to spend more time deleting our software and going through our personal files than actually fixing the problem), it wasn't too bad of a PC.

In my late 9th grade year until graduation (2005-2009), it was replaced with my own custom PC built in much the same way as the previous one, except this actuially turned out surprisingly well; being extreamly reliable for a 400Mhz Celeron running on a copy of Windows ME that happened to be on the hard drive I put in it (It's now in it'd 3rd version; with a 600Mhz Pentium III running on Windows 2000). It was great, though I faked it's death to get my parents to buy something new (It worked quite well, as I continued to use it for years while they used their own PC).

10-03-2009, 06:44 PM
Before preschool until about 2nd grade, my parents had an Apple //e (1990-1995ish, before Windows 95 came out), and my preschool class had Apple //es as well. My kindergarden classes had Macintosh LCs to use, and, if we were lucky, we could go to the library to use the Performas they had. The year after, the school bought a handful of Power Macintoshes, and everyone would race to use those. Good times, with all those old Mac games. I switched school districts, and the one that I stayed with until I graduated high school had Power Macs and iMacs. I`ve been an Apple fan all my life!

10-07-2009, 12:23 AM
I was born in 88, so I had some different hardware from you guys. I also went to private Christian schools, so no Apple discount (to my knowledge). The first time I saw Apple hardware in school was the girls with their shiny plastic iPods.

We simply called it "The Computer." It wasn't a real modern computer, I think it was a Commodore 64. It had a built-in keyboard and a cartridge slot in the back. We had two carts. One was a memory game where you pressed the first letter of the flashing facial feature and the sequence built up as you went. The other was a word processor, which we weren't allowed to use because it "didn't work." I thought it worked fine, but there's not much that kindergarteners can do with a word processor when you have no floppy drive to save to. I swear the carts had that Sega Master System grid label...

First Grade:
Computer class! With a computer teacher! They had maybe 10 DOS machines. This was the first time I saw a tower case, and they had 5.25" floppies in addition to the 3.25" ones. I thought they were cool because they were bigger than my Win3.1 machine at home, but older. We mostly played crappy games. We didn't have Oregon Trail, oh no... We had games with (what I thought were) misleading names. Timmy the Time Turtle did NOT travel through time! Pool Shark did not have anything to do with pools OR sharks! Hey, I was 7... They DID have Carmen Sandiago, but we weren't allowed to play it because it was for the older kids. >_<

Second Grade:
They upgraded/replaced the machines. They had Win95 on them with CD-ROM drives. However, no more computer teacher. The Spanish teacher taught computer class. He also taught music class... We started getting Win95 machines in classrooms, one per room.

Third Grade:
We got a separate computer teacher again, and a Spanish teacher that didn't teach anything else (but spoke less coherently). We had some creative writing software on the classroom computer, and it had text-to-speech.

Fourth Grade:
We finally start learning more specific stuff, like what's Windows, DOS, storage, etc. Not that I didn't know any of it already... The classroom computer is slow as hell. They liked me though, I knew how to defrag the drive and clear the cache, which let Yukon Trail run for another afternoon without crashing. System still froze when we tried to play CDs.

Fifth Grade:
School moves for various reasons, splits with the church they'd been at for 20+ years. Starts over with nothing at a different church on the other side of town (20+ years of donated equipment, books, etc are the property of the old church), so they need new computers. We get white-box AMD K6 systems with Win95.

Middle School:
They upgrade to Win98. We also get internet, a 56k line hooked to a ~20 port router. I start getting called to the office to fix their tech problems. We started actually doing research reports, so many afternoons are spent waiting for pages to load in IE5. This is around the first time I saw porn, as the guy sitting next to me couldn't spell "Porsche." Porsha made it through the filter, if they even had one.

High School:
This place knew what they were doing. They had just replaced their computer lab Dell Pentium IIIs with custom built AMD Athlon XP 2400s, 512Mb DDR333 with XP Pro. Those machines lasted until I left, and were more than enough to run Office 2003. The old Dells went to classrooms, where they ran Win2K and struggled to download student user profiles, the login process often taking 5-10 minutes. Switching them to XP made things worse, and everyone began signing hall passes to go to the computer lab rather than wait for those things. Even after they disabled customized profiles, they were pretty much worthless, we just couldn't mess with people's wallpaper when they left themselves logged in anymore. Senior year, the tech manager got a dual-core MacBook Pro, which was a big deal because the Apple reps came do deliver it. He ran Vista on it in whatever VM solution OSX uses, so we thought it was amazing to see him switch between them on the fly to do different stuff. Last I heard, they replaced the lab systems with MacBook Pros running Vista, and they were fast.

We did some great stuff on the school computers in high school. When the tech manager had amassed a pile of donated systems in the back of the lab, me and some friends convinced the school to let us use them for a "Linux club." We got an elective credit for networking them, installing Fedora Core 1, and setting up a login server. We didn't have a router, just a switch, so one acted as DHCP.

Of course, we did a few pranks over the years. When someone left their user account logged in, we'd give them an embarrassing wallpaper. Someone once asked me to photoshop the person's head onto a Teletubbie. That was fun until they disabled stored wallpaper to speed up the network. Another time, I sent everyone in the lab a screenshot of the BSOD, and we all set it as our screensaver. For the next few weeks, everyone's computer would "BSOD" after 5 minutes of inactivity, so the whole row was bluescreened while the teacher was talking. Then the band leader started teaching computer classes, and someone convinced him that "you can't use VNC if someone's monitor is turned off." One guy was about to get in trouble for browsing WoW forums instead of doing his work, but he switched browser tabs. The guy stared at the screen and asked him if he was doing his work or not, with the other tab right there on the bar. I felt bad, but I couldn't bring myself to point it out.

Now I'm in college and it's Pentium 4s everywhere. There's like two iMacs in the collaborative commons (a sort of study hall area with computers and copiers), but it's P4s running XP Pro everywhere you look. The classrooms for the tech classes have better systems, though. My accounting class is in one of them (I don't see why), and those machines run XP 64, have 4Gb RAM, and Xeon procs. Oddly, they're slow as hell, and mine almost crashed loading the PowerPoint for that day's lecture. Over at the epicenter (tech campus on the other side of town), we have dual-Xeon 3.0Ghz machines with 4Gb RAM, but I don't think they're running XP 64.

My computer repair class is over this week, and we sat at the dual-Xeon machines for the lecture, and used old Dell Pentium 3s for the hands-on stuff. We installed Windows 98, repartitioned hard drives, cloned hard drives, and messed with even older laptops. There's two old beige-box machines sitting on the counter there, with copies of Dark Forces and Civilization sitting on them, I would have rather used those. You know those motherboards that only have a keyboard port, and everything else has to be an add-on card? Yeah, those.

10-12-2009, 09:09 PM
In elementary school, I got to use C64's quite a bit, and maybe a VIC-20.
My high school had several Amigas, including a Video Toaster, and one of my teachers had an Apple II of some sort that he let us use every now and then to play Zork.
We also had a Unisys Icon network, which was just bizarre.

Kitsune Sniper
10-13-2009, 12:43 AM
I didn't use a computer until I was 15, and even then, the only available systems were probably early Pentiums running Windows 3.11 off a server.

I do recall using some sort of telnet-like system at a library at one point to check their catalog.

10-14-2009, 01:50 AM
some shitty Apple ones in the 6th grade, sorry i dont remember which they were. but it was color, with a mouse and i played carmen san diego on it. maybe a II or IIc? no clue personally, i had a Pentium 133 at home which was better. my hatred for apple has been breeding for a looong time.

we had a pc lab too, at first (like 3rd grade or so, cant remember) they had commodore 64. wow that thing sucked. it was way outdated back then already. afterwords they got some new fancy flashy macs, newer than the ones in back of my 6th grade classroom, power mac perhaps? they were metal! and we played some updated version of oregon trail on it. still sucked.

sorry i guess im a DOS child. IBM compatible or bust for me =D