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    Alex (Level 15) boatofcar's Avatar
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    Default What classic computers did you use in school?

    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?

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    The first computer I used in school was the Unisys ICON. It was pretty fun to use.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unisys_ICON

    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.

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    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gameguy View Post
    The first computer I used in school was the Unisys ICON. It was pretty fun to use.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unisys_ICON

    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fahlim003 View Post
    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 or Hardball!.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.
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    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

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    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.
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    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.
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    We had Apple ]['s and I played the crap out of Super Bunny
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    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.

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    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 .

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

    Kindergarten:
    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.

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    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.

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    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.
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    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).

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