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Thread: What classic computers did you use in school?

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    Cherry (Level 1) retro junkie's Avatar
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    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.

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    Cherry (Level 1) Astrosmash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryaan1234 View Post
    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.
    Dan B.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryaan1234 View Post
    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 is worth revisiting.
    "There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." --Bertrand Russel (attributed)

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    Kirby (Level 13) Push Upstairs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retro junkie View Post
    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.

    Possibility is infinity! You must be satisfied!

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    Pear (Level 6) ApolloBoy's Avatar
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    My elementary school had Apple IIs up until the late 90s or so. Number Munchers FTW.
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    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?

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    Strawberry (Level 2) Xian042's Avatar
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    We had Apple ]['s and I played the crap out of Super Bunny
    "Oh my lord it's nutty, yup!"

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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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    Great Puma (Level 12) jb143's Avatar
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    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.
    "Game programmers are generally lazy individuals. That's right. It's true. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Since the dawn of computer games, game programmers have looked for shortcuts to coolness." Kurt Arnlund - Game programmer for Activision, Accolade...

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom View Post
    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.

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    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.
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    Cherry (Level 1) sidnotcrazy's Avatar
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    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.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) YoshiM's Avatar
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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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    Insert Coin (Level 0)
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    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...

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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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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    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:

    820-0444-A

    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.

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    Insert Coin (Level 0) JackElam'sEyes's Avatar
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    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...
    Last edited by JackElam'sEyes; 03-06-2009 at 10:05 PM.

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    Strawberry (Level 2) AdamAnt316's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Oscuro View Post
    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:

    820-0444-A

    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).
    -Adam

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    Thanks for that information, Adam. It seems I need an Apple IIe Y-cable.

    Some good details on using the card here:
    http://vectronicsappleworld.com/appl...leiiecard.html

    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamAnt316 View Post
    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).
    -Adam
    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.

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