Anyone went computing/video gaming at school?

Discuss and discover all the great games of yesteryear!

Moderators: mknott, NickThorpe, Darran@Retro Gamer, MMohammed, lcarlson

User avatar
Posts: 4148
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 7:26 pm

Re: Anyone went computing/video gaming at school?

Post by oli_lar » Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:13 pm

There was a good time at 6th form when the IT technician made a secret loophole for us to be able to play Quake 3 on the workstations. You had to load a certain clipart of a dinosaur into MS word and then do something in the picture settings settings and then Q3 would load. That technician was the sort who was unbelievably good at it - he always played as that eyeball and as soon as you saw him appear you'd have a railgun shot slam into your head. There was a similar exploit for RA2 as well.

User avatar
Posts: 6984
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:03 pm
Location: Sunny Eastern London suburb of Leytonstone and my own mind!

Re: Anyone went computing/video gaming at school?

Post by Katzkatz » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:35 pm

In primary school there was a BBC Micro. I think we played some sort of dinosaur egg game on it. Where you had to collect the right type of dinosaur egg and incubate it. Quite blocky graphics on it and you had a stick man to control. I can't remember every using it that much. Only twice really.

As for secondary school, we had RM Nimbuses in the Computing block(that's what it was called then). There was a computing club when I first started. Only in the lunchtime. It mainly involved loading those Smile games on the RM Nimbuses and playing them.

The RM Nimbus network was on an old coaxial cable system(on the BNC connectors). If you unplugged one of them the whole network stopped working. Plus there was a thing called an isolator switch, which kids loved mucking about with it. The main server was a 20 Mb Winchester disk. It quickly filled up, so sometimes you would log in and find yourself having to delete some files.

The main programs we used were Paint, Write, MS-Word for Dos(an early version), Caxton Press, some teletext type program, a database programme and a spreadsheet programme. Paint was very similar to the one in Windows at the moment. Made by ZSoft and using PCX files. Loved using it at the time, but when I got Deluxe Paint on my Amiga I knew which was better. Write was a very basic word processor. I even remember the keyboard shortcuts still in it. No many fonts or anything like that. The keyboards on those old RM machines were pretty decent. MS-Word for Dos we only used once I think. Not many memories of it. Thankfully Word has progressed. Caxton Press was a very simple DTP program for the RM Nimbus. You could use really wacky fonts, only on the headlines though. I remember the "Egyptian" font. There was some sort of teletext type programme, with which you could make a sort of presentation on it. My memories of both the spreadsheet programme and database are quite vague. We both used them in the third year(year 9 in new money I believe :lol: ).

There was BASIC and Pascal on the system, but we only used BASIC once. Did the "Hello World" programme. We mainly used Logo as part of maths lesson. FD 10, RT 10, Pen Up, etc. Moving that turtle around.

The RM Network was linked up to a some black white dot matrix printers. There was two colour dot matrix printers, which you had to log on to the computer connected to them. There was one inkjet printer, but only the GCSE retakers could use that, plus they were the only one who were allowed to use the PC with the 3 1/2 floppy disk drive.

At my secondary school you couldn't take GCSE Computing. We only had a lesson on IT every 2 weeks(alternating with Maths in the first and second year, and drama in the third year) up till the third year(year 9). It wasn't a GCSE option at the time I was there.

In the CDT(Metalwork/Woodwork in old money :D ) block at my secondary school there was some Archimedes. They were linked up to a couple of dot matrix printers on switch boxes. Plus there was a plotter there. You could control that manually. I think there was some word processing programme we used on them, plus there was a CAD programme, but I have very vague memory on that. The teacher used to get Acorn magazines in it regularly and we used to play the demos on the coverdisks. SWIV and Lemmings were great on that. We even managed to get the full version of Lemmings for them. We even managed to copy a few of the Archie disks using Xcopy on the Amiga.

In the music room, the school got an Atari ST. I think it rarely got used. The music software flicked the screen rather than scrolled, so it was a pain to use. I don't think it got linked up to the electronic keyboards much. It eventually ended up in the CDT block for some reason. Mono monitor as well.

In six form college there was another RM Network, but also a new block with RM Net, MS DOS 5 and Windows 3.1 on them. I did do A level computing there. We were allowed to use floppy disks, but had to virus scan them. Mainly we used Pascal to program, later moving on to C. Both on DOS. We used MS Works for a lot of word processing, later moving on to Word Perfect(still remember the keyboard shortcuts on that as well), MS Word 2 and MS Word 6. For spreadsheets we did use Excel. Remember mucking around with the formulas on them. I think we even mucked around with Access. Plus using Sage(arghhhh - still have to use that today). I do remember there was a vector drawing programme I used to use for doing programming charts. There was even a multimedia PC in the library block with a CD ROM. Oh dear showing my age! Plus a CDi! Remember the encyclopaedias on them.

We did manage to find a PC to which we could install some games on them. I think someone even managed to nick a SIMM from one of the PC's!

User avatar
Posts: 9028
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 2:55 pm
Location: Liverpool

Re: Anyone went computing/video gaming at school?

Post by TwoHeadedBoy » Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:41 am

Anyone remember a racing game, either on the Acorn thingy or the BBC one, in which the "racing" consisted of plotting your coordinates in, and your car would move to there? Taking it in turns to find the fastest route around the graph, but if you plotted outside of the track, you'd "crash"?
My comics blog (mostly lesser-known UK stuff from the 80s and 90s)
C=Style wrote:It's always refreshing and nice to see someone such as TwoHeadedBoy who is a SNES hating bastard at the best of times rate a SNES game so highly.

User avatar
Posts: 176
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:27 pm

Re: Anyone went computing/video gaming at school?

Post by Xtincthed » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:30 am

i spent 80% of the time in 4th grade of middle school playing on either my TI calculator or my school provided laptop :D
Dr. Retro's Video Game Channel
Website - Youtube - Facebook - Twitter
Playstation Collecting Community

User avatar
Posts: 4824
Joined: Thu May 18, 2006 9:36 am

Re: Anyone went computing/video gaming at school?

Post by killbot » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:25 am

My primary school had a single BBC (although they did acquire an Archimedes just before I left). We only ever got to play two games on it, although both were quite good - Granny's Garden and Robin Hood. Both were educational adventure games, but to be honest the notion of getting to play a video game at school was so novel that the educational content passed us by. The Robin Hood game I can't find any reference to online at all, but Granny's Garden is actually still available for modern PCs.

When I moved on to secondary school, I was delighted to find a whole room full of Archimedes machines. We didn't get to play games on them though, just use the word processor and spreadsheet packages. To be honest, even at this stage the teachers were aware that they needed to teach us about computers but still weren't sure precisely what we needed to know about them. So we got odd lessons here and there, covering various utilities in quite a piecemeal fashion. Of course, by the time I'd been there for a couple of years it was becoming increasingly obvious that the PC was the computer of choice for business and home use and so they began a very slow process of replacing the Archimedes with PCs. For a long time they had only one PC, which we would queue up to play Super Street Fighter II on during lunchtimes.

You can buy my book here: ... =wolfshead

NES, SNES, N64, GC, Wii, Wii U, GB, GBC, GBA SP, DS Lite, 3DS, MS, MD, Saturn, DC, GG, Xbox, 360

User avatar
Posts: 1231
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:51 pm

Re: Anyone went computing/video gaming at school?

Post by che_don_john » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:56 am

At my lower and middle school we had Acorns, courtesy of the Tesco 'computers for schools' voucher scheme. Also had a few RMs, but they were much more common in my upper school.

I remember one program which I think was called Logo. It was basically a maths/drawing program where you'd type in commands and the cursor (we called it a Turtle) would draw a white line. The aim (or at least, our teacher's aim) was for us to produce spiral patterns but most people drew cocks and balls.
CheDonJohn's Sale/Trade/Wanted/Giveaway thread

PSN ID, XBL Gamertag and Steam: CheDonJohn
Playfire profile


User avatar
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2015 7:48 am

Re: Anyone went computing/video gaming at school?

Post by demon » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:07 am

I went to public schools in Italy.

In middle school (11-13yo) in the years 1986-1989, we had a Commodore 64 which we used mostly for Logo, as part of a school curriculum class called 'Technical Education', but the classes also covered a lot of other topics from technical design & drawing, to finance & economics, to food industry etc. so the actual computer classes were sparse across the years.

In scientific-oriented high school (14-18yo) in the years 1989-1994 we had a regular class 2-hours-per-week of computer science and programming (I remember learning at least Prolog and Pascal). We already had IBM PCs with DOS at that time, probably the first ones were 286 and then they got upgraded.

User avatar
Posts: 64
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2017 2:35 pm
Location: England

Re: Anyone went computing/video gaming at school?

Post by miqrojamie » Sat Aug 05, 2017 5:51 pm

I feel that computing lessons are pathetic these days, growing up in school right now, we learn nothing about actual programming and other such things and mainly only basic things that would get you by if you used Windows 10... :/

That said, I have nothing else to contribute to this discussion, because I am 15, and sadly didn't grow up during the early age of computing like most people here. :P
Jamie Dignam | miqrojamie
My Blog

User avatar
Darran@Retro Gamer
Posts: 6736
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 4:34 pm
Location: Bournemouth

Re: Anyone went computing/video gaming at school?

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:37 am

I've deleted the Steve Davis account and all the posts quoting it.
It's a pity people can't act their age on here.

User avatar
Posts: 13153
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 7:26 pm
Location: Sheffield

Re: Anyone went computing/video gaming at school?

Post by sscott » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:21 pm

Now head of computer science at a secondary school in South Yorkshire. Yes I went. It was different back then on the BBCs and Archimedes PCs. Learnt BASIC. Now it's Python and some Sratch and Microbit programming but still good. :)

User avatar
Posts: 740
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 11:11 am
Location: London, a small village on Mars, just outside the capital city, Wubble!!

Re: Anyone went computing/video gaming at school?

Post by SpecChum81 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:59 pm

My Infants school had a Basic and an Acorn.

I have fond memories of playing games such as Granny's Garden for the first time.

Then at Junior School We used a PC with an early version of Windows.

But moving to Secondary School in 1993, I joined the Computer Club and we used MS Dos, with stuff like Paint and we got in to a few of the great Dos games, Hugo's House Of Horrors being a favourite of mine!

Great memories...
Press Play On Tape

User avatar
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 10:28 pm
Location: Surrey

Re: Anyone went computing/video gaming at school?

Post by lupogtiboy » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:21 am

First school was a BBC Micro, with the monitor on a stand on wheels. If we were good in class, we'd play Grannie's Garden as a class effort. I don't remember even touching a computer in middle school, in Secondary, they had BBC Master with Interword embedded. Always remember having to type '*IW.' at the prompt to load it up. In the library, they had 5 Nimbus computers networked together from a larger Nimbus server on the end of the desk, damn they were SLOW! They upgraded those to some Brother PC's with 486 DX2's about a year before I left.
Its small, its fast, its just gone past!

its not a proper job, and you can never go too far

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest