jardino
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From The Guardian

Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:11 pm

http://gu.com/p/4h9bf/sbl

This venture in science education would seem to parallel what's going on in the RPi world.

It's interesting that Microsoft are already involved.

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Re: From The Guardian

Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:27 pm

Wow, nerd holidays at Butlin's. Who would ever have imagined it?

Do the instructors ware red coats ?

Yes, it is very disturbing that MS is in there.

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Re: From The Guardian

Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:40 pm

Dave Coplin, chief envisioning officer at Microsoft said of the company’s involvement: “At Microsoft, we’re committed to helping people of all ages learn the fundamentals of computing while engaging in fun projects to create incredible results. We believe that computers and coding should become a literacy much like mathematics is today, and as such should be used broadly as a foundation across many other disciplines. Therefore, we’re delighted to be able to work with Butlin’s as part of their Astonishing Family Science Weekends to bring a love and understanding of computing that will empower the next generation to use technology to do amazing things that will help them and those around them achieve more in everything they do.”

http://www.traveldailymedia.com/233164/ ... -weekends/

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Re: From The Guardian

Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:50 pm

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?
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Re: From The Guardian

Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:59 pm

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?
Not just Linux, Open Source in general. Good on 'em. They were beginning to look like an increasingly irrelevant dinosaur with numbered days.
This is not the case by any means now.

Satya Nadella seems like a very nice man too.

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Re: From The Guardian

Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:29 pm

I'll take some convincing that Microsoft have given up their traditional strategy of
Embrace, Extend, Extinguish

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Re: From The Guardian

Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:55 pm

@hippy,

Dave Coplin, chief envisioning officer at Microsoft...

Something about that wants to make me throw up. It's some kind of inside joke I don't get or what?

...said of the company’s involvement: "At Microsoft, we’re committed to helping people of all ages learn the fundamentals of computing while engaging in fun projects to create incredible results. We believe that computers and coding should become a literacy much like mathematics is today, and as such should be used broadly as a foundation across many other disciplines...."

Hmm...So the chief envisioning officer's idea is to recycle a 35 year old vision. Anyone remember the 8 bit computers of the early 1980's? Especially the BBC computer? And the push for "computer literacy" by the BBC and others in the UK and no doubt else where in the world?

A vision that was soundly crushed to oblivion by the arrival of the IBM PC and all the closed systems of MS and others.

A vision rekindled in recent times by the likes of the Arduino and the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

A think MS's "vision" is simply a realization that their golden goose of a closed source OS and applications is going to be side stepped by the move to the cloud. They have to have a cloud platform and cloud apps of their own. To pull that off they need the support of the new generation of young programmers who are used to open source everything. Hence all the open source offerings coming out of MS now.

This is what I see when I go to Microsoft developer days anyway.

They almost had me won over with the nice fee lunch an two free beers mind....

@jamesh
Very disturbing? Seems harsh.
Given the history of MS I think I put it quite mildly :)
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?
It's possible I guess. At the end of the day they only exist to make money so I would not count on it.

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Re: From The Guardian

Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:35 pm

I don't see that Microsoft crushed the vision of computer literacy. And, even if one believes they did, that Microsoft say they are on the same page and singing from the same hymn sheet as the Foundation and other computer literacy advocates can only be a good thing.

Regardless of what one thinks about Microsoft, I believe it is only fair to acknowledge they have, over many years, done quite a lot to encourage computer literacy and facilitate coding.

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Re: From The Guardian

Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:58 pm

hippy wrote:I don't see that Microsoft crushed the vision of computer literacy. And, even if one believes they did, that Microsoft say they are on the same page and singing from the same hymn sheet as the Foundation and other computer literacy advocates can only be a good thing.

Regardless of what one thinks about Microsoft, I believe it is only fair to acknowledge they have, over many years, done quite a lot to encourage computer literacy and facilitate coding.
Well, a significant factor in the wrong direction was releasing so many operating systems rather than fixing them. Then there was the 'Let's put everything in a different menu and call it something else' alongside 'certified training; which purely meant you knew what they called anything at that precise moment. Then there were the patches which were larger than the product being patched. Then there was all that crap about the latest security updates which did not prevent things like.. https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/20 ... story.html

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Re: From The Guardian

Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:31 am

Markodius wrote:
Well thats more chilling than anything else

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Re: From The Guardian

Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:53 pm

Litzie wrote:
Markodius wrote:
Well thats more chilling than anything else
Slight misattribution for that link; it came from Markodius not myself.

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karrika
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Re: From The Guardian

Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:36 pm

For me it matters more what M$ does. During the years none of my submitted bugs were fixed, we were forced to update from one Windows version to the next, changing hardware caused lots of hassle due to licensing problems.

Nope.

Since 2007 I have not created anything locked down to Windows anymore. It will take years of good operations by M$ to earn back the trust. What they are doing today with Windows 10 forced telemetry updates is about as nice as a punch in the face.

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Re: From The Guardian

Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:49 pm

Hippy,
I don't see that Microsoft crushed the vision of computer literacy. And, even if one believes they did, that Microsoft say they are on the same page and singing from the same hymn sheet as the Foundation and other computer literacy advocates can only be a good thing.

Regardless of what one thinks about Microsoft, I believe it is only fair to acknowledge they have, over many years, done quite a lot to encourage computer literacy and facilitate coding.
Perhaps blaming it all on MS is a bit much. There were many players involved of course.

The observation is that in recent years there were less youngsters applying for computer science and engineering places at universities. Also that those that did get to a university CS course did not know how to program. Where as the generation that had Sinclair's, Commodore's etc in the bedrooms when they were 10 arrived at university knowing how to program often in more than one language.

This is not my observation it's Eben Upton's. That, he claims, is why he dreamt up the Pi.

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.

MS are now singing from the same hymn sheet as the foundation. I still don't trust them...

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Re: From The Guardian

Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:13 pm

Heater wrote:Hippy,
I don't see that Microsoft crushed the vision of computer literacy. And, even if one believes they did, that Microsoft say they are on the same page and singing from the same hymn sheet as the Foundation and other computer literacy advocates can only be a good thing.

Regardless of what one thinks about Microsoft, I believe it is only fair to acknowledge they have, over many years, done quite a lot to encourage computer literacy and facilitate coding.
Perhaps blaming it all on MS is a bit much. There were many players involved of course.

The observation is that in recent years there were less youngsters applying for computer science and engineering places at universities. Also that those that did get to a university CS course did not know how to program. Where as the generation that had Sinclair's, Commodore's etc in the bedrooms when they were 10 arrived at university knowing how to program often in more than one language.

This is not my observation it's Eben Upton's. That, he claims, is why he dreamt up the Pi.

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.

MS are now singing from the same hymn sheet as the foundation. I still don't trust them...
I suspect that whatever office suite became popular, the move to them as standard procedure is what caused the lack of new CS student being able to program, not MS per se.
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Re: From The Guardian

Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:53 pm

I believe the arrival of the IBM PC was the main catalyst for the collapse of what was a rather disparate home computer market and all that stemmed from that. As home computers disappeared, only a few moved into programming PC's.

There was some activity using GWBasic and QBasic but Windows GUI coding was complicated and that only improved with the arrival of VB later. VB was Microsoft's recognition that home programming on a PC was hard and was a positive step to improve on that. Every poorly written, badly designed, VB program is perhaps testament to home programming being alive and well on the PC.

People had also moved into a different era where the Web had arrived and they were creating Geocities, Angelfire and Tripod home pages and more interested in producing content than programming.

I don't think anyone really killed home programming; it's more that things simply moved on. When you don't have to do it yourself, being able to do it yourself becomes an arcane art, and the number of practitioners decreases. It's a common story, as are revivals of such lost arts.

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Re: From The Guardian

Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:25 pm

Look up the RM Nimbus. A machine that was released explicitly for schools at the end of the 80s based on a business machine that never even made it in the business world, the 80186.
That was pretty fatal for computer science, although "prettier" than the BBC Micro and easier to use to achieve things like spreadsheets.

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Re: From The Guardian

Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:46 pm

morphy_richards,

Hmm...The Intel 80186 was great. An 8086 with some essential hardware on board. Very easy to build embedded systems with.

For sure it was not supposed to go into desktop machines.

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Re: From The Guardian

Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:14 am

That machine set out the course of computer education for the next 20+ years. I don't think you can blame MS and IBM for making successful systems but you can proportion a big chunk of the blame for sidelining computing education to RM, an organisation specifically aimed at education for a sceptical manoeuvre with inappropriate hardware and (almost) a monopoly in schools in one form or another that continues even now.
Most schools who are in contracts with them are desperately trying to escape.

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Re: From The Guardian

Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:19 am

morphy_richards wrote:That machine set out the course of computer education for the next 20+ years. I don't think you can blame MS and IBM for making successful systems but you can proportion a big chunk of the blame for sidelining computing education to RM, an organisation specifically aimed at education for a sceptical manoeuvre with inappropriate hardware and (almost) a monopoly in schools in one form or another that continues even now.
Most schools who are in contracts with them are desperately trying to escape.
Schools like RM because they dont have to bother with hiring competent IT staff, they hate RM because of how much they charge for it. Most schools bounce between going to RM for the hassle free option, but then going it alone after a few years of big bills. I've seen schools bounce between both options 2 or 3 times in my years in education.
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Re: From The Guardian

Wed Mar 16, 2016 3:53 pm

morphy_richards wrote:... the 80186 ...
Somewhat interesting ... on the Archimedes (8Mhz ARM 2), and later the RiscPC (200MHz StrongARM), I remember having a 186 emulator, which ran Windows 95 well enough to be useful

Without resurrecting one I can't be sure of the details of what it was called, but I vaguely remember reading that whoever wrote it found it a lot easier to emulate a 186 on an ARM machine than the reverse, because of the greater number of registers, and more sanitary instruction set.

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Re: From The Guardian

Wed Mar 16, 2016 4:55 pm

Something is not quite right there. The 186 was a 16 bit machine. Same as the 8086 but with a bit different bus interface and some essential peripheral chips integrated. Win 96 was a 32 bit OS, in part, and needed a 386 to run.

I do recall that at one point the ARM computers you could buy were faster than an PC compatible machine available.

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Re: From The Guardian

Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:00 pm

Heater wrote:Something is not quite right there..
Acetylcholine deficiency due to age will account for that.
Or just bad memory.

Perhaps I should venture into the junk-pile fondly called the study, and see if the RiscPc still works ... if it's findable ... maybe tommorrow ... or the weekend ... Easter? Next Christmas? If I put it off long enough, I'll not need to do it!

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Re: From The Guardian

Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:26 pm

Do it now!

We need to know.

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Re: From The Guardian

Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:52 am

Well, that was a trip down Memory Lane!

So I found the Risc PC, and (eventually) fired it up.
And discovered it had a 486 co-processor for running the Windows stuff.

Most of the Archimedes software was long gone, but there were traces of it in the cracks in the floorboards, and from those, I'm guessing I was only using DOS on it.
There were traces of another OS, which (if I recall correctly) was copied from some stuff we had at BSkyB. EDIT: VX Works from Wind River.

So there you go.
Now to visit the municipal dump with the proceeds of the archeological dig.
Last edited by Burngate on Thu Mar 24, 2016 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: From The Guardian

Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:04 am

Burngate,

Don't you dare put that Risc PC in the dump. That is an important historical artifact. There are people out there who would love to have such a thing. Including me but I don't think shipping it to Finland is on the cards. Perhaps it needs donating to a computer museum. You have had it stashed away for such a long time I'm sure it could hang around a bit longer until someone takes it off your hands.

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