plugwash
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Re: From The Guardian

Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:36 am

Heater wrote:
All that "computer literacy" enthusiasm of the 1980's vaporised and kids ended up in school learning only how to type with Word and do sums with Excel.
When I want to junior school in the 90s acorn machines (BBC masters at first, later archimedes) still dominated but they rarely seemed to be used for much other than word processing or playing "educational games". I didn't go to a regular highschool for reasons I won't discuss here but at the school I was at for my highschool years things didn't seem much different.

Afaict by the time the switch to PCs in schools happened (I don't remember exactly when it happened but I remember we got a couple of RiscPCs with PC cards followed by a much larger number of regular PCs) the attitude of treating them as tools on which you ran pre-canned applications to facilitate tasks rather than as things to be learnt about in their own right seemed pretty firmly entrenched already.

Now PCs were worse in the sense that programming them relied on extra software. They were also worse in that they were heavilly reliant on stuff stored on the hard drive which brought up the problem that kids could break stuff in a way that couldn't easilly be reversed which led to the whole "locked down by IT" problem but I think the switch to PCs was a symptom of the real problem (once they had decided that computers were tools to be used with pre-canned applications it made sense to use the same computers and software buisnesses were using), not the cause.

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Re: From The Guardian

Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:05 pm

Interesting piece of history plugwash, sounds like it went much as I expected and have heard elsewhere.

That is the school side of things. Mean while at home there was the family PC. To big an investment to have the nippers hacking on. They can play games though. Then there were the game consoles to hold their attention. Gone were the cheap "toy" computers that kids could program and do what the hell they liked with in their bedrooms.

I recall attending a Personal Computer World exhibition in London in the 1980's. There they were running a "Micro-mouse" competition. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micromouse. There was a lot of young kids there pitting their robot mouse creations against one another. And a sizeable audience. I remember one young guy, looked about 10 to 12, had built his micro mouse from a tupperware food container with motors attached and a Sinclair ZX81 strapped to the top with elastic bands.

What happened to all that? A scene that all but died out until the Arrival of the Arduino and then the Raspberry Pi.

Back in my day there were no computers about. But we did have a metal workshop equipped with two lathes, a mill and a shaper. All serious industrial sized machines. Not to mention the aluminium casting equipment and a forge. Us young kids used to make all kind of things in there. Yet another avenue for young creative minds shut off in the modern world.

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piglet
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Re: From The Guardian

Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:21 pm

When I went to single sex grammar school, the only computers in the school were BBC Micros. They were made available only to people who were unable due to physical frailty to participate in any sporting activity.

The way it went was:

Big Strapping Healthy boys: 1st Team Rugby
Healthy boys: 2nd Team Rugby
Other boys: Rugby
Unhealthy boys: Football
The weak and feeble: Hocky
The infirm and too feeble to get to the playing fields: Computers

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karrika
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Re: From The Guardian

Thu Mar 24, 2016 3:28 pm

I believe I know which team piglet joined based on the avatar :P

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Burngate
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Re: From The Guardian

Thu Mar 24, 2016 5:47 pm

piglet wrote:...The weak and feeble: Hockey ...
After being kicked out of (single-sex) Grammar, I went to Tech College for A-levels.
To keep us "fit & healthy", we had to do something sporty, so we lads were introduced to hockey - and it was fun!

After a few weeks at it, we were asked if we'd like a men v. women match, and agreed to it, so ...

Saturday morning, Harrison Drive, we all turned up.
Heading out onto the field, one of the girls said "I hope you won't be too rough with us"

My advice to anyone in the same position: don't volunteer. Men's hockey is a gentleman's game. Women's hockey isn't.

timrowledge
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Re: From The Guardian

Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:58 pm

Hence the bumper sticker
"Give Blood: Play Hockey"
Making Smalltalk on ARM since 1986; making your Scratch better since 2012

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Re: From The Guardian

Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:08 pm

Burngate,
After being kicked out of (single-sex) Grammar,...
Sounds like there is a story behind that...

I did the opposite, I bailed out of a secondary school as soon as I could. On advice from the metal work teacher there. It was a really crappy school. I did my A levels in the local Tech College. That was great, all technical, Maths, CS, Electronics, Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering. No sport!

Heaven.

University was even better.

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Re: From The Guardian

Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:51 pm

Heater wrote:Burngate,
After being kicked out of (single-sex) Grammar,...
Sounds like there is a story behind that...

I did the opposite, I bailed out of a secondary school as soon as I could. On advice from the metal work teacher there. It was a really crappy school. I did my A levels in the local Tech College. That was great, all technical, Maths, CS, Electronics, Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering. No sport!

Heaven.

University was even better.
When I was in high school, I ran the school out of math courses, so--there's a long story behind this--knowing that the district policy in such a case was to permit seniors to go the local junior college for further coursework, that's what I did. I made sure to arrange things such that there was no space in my schedule for PE, despite it being supposedly required. School admins really couldn't understand why I couldn't find a way to fit PE in. Not sure if they *ever* twigged that I hated it.

Heater
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Re: From The Guardian

Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:05 pm

Wait a minute.

Back in my day one could leave school when one reached 14. Old enough to go to work and be a man, right? I was very much looking forward to it so that I could do my O levels at the afore mentioned tech college. But just then they raised the school leaving age to 15. Oh crap.

Anyway, point is that once you were out of school and into a tech college or whatever nobody could dictate to you about having to do PE or anything else. You were a student, an adult, not a pupil.

Thinking about it now, I could probably have left school at 14, surely that college fulfilled the educational obligations until I was 15. Perhaps we did not think it through enough at the time. Or perhaps the college would not have accepted me.

Waste of a year of my life anyway. Thanks government.

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ukscone
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Re: From The Guardian

Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:48 am

Burngate wrote:
My advice to anyone in the same position: don't volunteer. Men's hockey is a gentleman's game. Women's hockey isn't.
I played on the mixed hockey team for my college (we came 2nd in several regional tournaments :) ) and the girls were vicious and the girls from agricultural colleges the most vicious. I was goalie so all padded up but blooming heck i'm sure at least 7 of them are probably serving at her majesties pleasure or in broadmoor.

[we won't talk about my reputation :) as we are discussing vicious girls, not "completely head the ball" goalies :) ]

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Re: From The Guardian

Fri Mar 25, 2016 5:27 am

Heater wrote: Back in my day one could leave school when one reached 14. Old enough to go to work and be a man, right?
That's what my great-uncle did. Started out as an office boy at 14 and wound up as private secretary to John D. Rockefeller, Jr., But it was easier then. He was born in 1877.

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Re: From The Guardian

Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:28 am

timrowledge wrote:Hence the bumper sticker
"Give Blood: Play Hockey"
That's the other sort. Piglet meant field hockey, not ice hockey.
Note: Having anything remotely humorous in your signature is completely banned on this forum.

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Re: From The Guardian

Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:10 am

jamesh wrote:
Heater wrote: Yes, it is very disturbing that MS is in there.
Very disturbing? Seems harsh.

MS have been in the news a lot recently with lots of Linux announcements. Are they very disturbing too, or is it just possible that under Nadella, MS have turned the corner?
Some people wonder why Linux users still mistrust Microsoft. Well, here are just the latest reasons:
http://techrights.org/2016/03/10/charm- ... -distract/

via climagic
.... juxtaposed hear for the you~r consideration

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piglet
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Re: From The Guardian

Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:43 am

karrika wrote:I believe I know which team piglet joined based on the avatar :P
Yes - I was in the 1st team Rugby when I couldn't avoid it. Second row. At the age of 13 we played a private school and half the other team had full beards. It was terrifying! Then again we had a lad who made Jonah Lumo look thin and weedy. As long as we got the ball to him we were fine. He was like a human bulldozer,

DougieLawson wrote:Piglet meant field hockey, not ice hockey.
:) True.

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karrika
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Re: From The Guardian

Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:55 am

Thanks for sharing. It is good to know what kind of attacks goes on against Linux. The world needs some kind of legal scanner that would automatically counteract fake patents intended to take down Linux.

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