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Thread: What classic computers did you use in school?

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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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    Alex (Level 15) Custom rank graphic
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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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    Cherry (Level 1) CastlevaniaDude's Avatar
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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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    Kirby (Level 13) j_factor's Avatar
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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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    Kirby (Level 13) Push Upstairs's Avatar
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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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    Alex (Level 15) boatofcar's Avatar
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    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

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    The BBC Micro model B and Master. But that was pretty par for the course in British schools during the 80s

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    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:
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    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?

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) smork's Avatar
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    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.

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    Cherry (Level 1)
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    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.
    Last edited by Dreadstar; 02-27-2009 at 07:15 AM. Reason: added Planetfall

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    Banana (Level 7) kaedesdisciple's Avatar
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    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.

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    Good times.

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    Strawberry (Level 2) JunkTheMagicDragon's Avatar
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    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.

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    Bell (Level 8) 7th lutz's Avatar
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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    Bell (Level 8) pseudonym's Avatar
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    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.

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    ServBot (Level 11) k8track's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smork View Post
    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!
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    ServBot (Level 11) aaron7's Avatar
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    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!

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    Alex (Level 15) boatofcar's Avatar
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    Great responses, everyone. Thanks for contributing!

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