School Computers

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MattyC64c
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School Computers

Post by MattyC64c » Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:55 am

Obviously many of us remember the BBC computers at school. Do any of you remember what models they were and did your schools upgrade their machines while you were there?

When I was a 11 some road safety organisation brought a special computer into the school, I'm pretty sure it was early 1990 and this machine was the most powerful computer I had ever seen at the time. I have no idea what make it was, I do know that it used some form of CD-ROM or Laser Disc technology. If I remember correctly the picture quality from this medium was excellent. Any ideas what it was?

My primary school only had BBC machines, they never upgraded to the Acorn Archimedes while I was there.

I went to secondary school in September 1990 at the age of 12 (we were last intake of 12 year old's, the next year the age changed to 11). This school had mostly all BBC machines, I think they were all BBC Master's (maybe some older upgraded models too). They all ran on some type of network.

It was at secondary school I saw an Acorn Archimedes, although to my sorrow I never got to use one. From 1990 to 1994 the school still used primitive BBC machines, I think they only had about four Arches.

What did yours have?

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necronom
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Re: School Computers

Post by necronom » Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:02 am

In the seniors, we had Commodore PETs. Brilliant machines. I learnt to program on them, and I'd love to get one in the future.

We also had a few BBCs and another one that I think was an RM-380Z.

In college and the Poly, we used Prime mini-computers, though the library had about 3 PCs there that we used once.
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Re: School Computers

Post by merman » Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:49 am

At two of the primary schools I went to, they had BBC Model B's. I once skipped football practice, since it was a cold and frosty evening, to spend more time with the computer.

At secondary school we had Amstrad PCWs for a while, then got a room with more than a dozen Archimedes. And a network. And lots of excuses to spend lunchtime indoors. ;)
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Kilb
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Re: School Computers

Post by Kilb » Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:55 am

At my comp school we had one humble BBC B hiding in the corner. With a disk drive! Stealth mode engaged we would play Frak and of course, Elite in our Computer Science after school classes. The main quota were RM Ninmbus networked to a floating hard drive. Much fun with that storage device I can tell you

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Matt_B
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Re: School Computers

Post by Matt_B » Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:53 am

In primary school there were no computers at all; then again that was the 70s.

In secondary school, we were early adopters with some Tandy TRS-80s, a trio of ZX81s and only later did BBC Model Bs start to predominate. We won a couple of Commodore machines, a C16 and a C64, in competitions but they were mostly sidelined and just used for games during break/lunch.

At sixth form I went to another school and they had an entirely Acorn setup with around 20 BBC Model B and B+ machines networked. Pride of place though was the BBC Master 128 of which they had just three. Before I left they'd just received the first Archimedes 310 and a couple of Master 512s.

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Re: School Computers

Post by Antiriad2097 » Wed Oct 21, 2009 4:14 pm

BBCs were too expensive for my school, we had a single Spectrum and some ageing Pets. Which would have been great if we were allowed near them.
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Re: School Computers

Post by woody.cool » Wed Oct 21, 2009 4:49 pm

When I was at school, we had RM 480Z LINKs and RM Nimbus PCs
When I got to secondary, we had a room of BBC Micros for control tech (which were later upgraded to BBC Masters then Acorn A3000s) and mostly IBM PS/2 PCs.

Those PCs were censored horrible, with a very slow Windows 3.11 installation and horrid monitors that flickered like censored.

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Rinoa
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Re: School Computers

Post by Rinoa » Wed Oct 21, 2009 5:52 pm

I vaguely remember using an Acorn computer back in primary school (I think it was one of the only computers in the entire building!), but seeing as I started secondary school in 1997 they had fairly modern computers by then.
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Wil
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Re: School Computers

Post by Wil » Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:20 am

Our first school computer came in during my last year. It was a Compukit UK101(8k!). It's arrival conicided with the school's first video camera (b&w only) so, being on the cutting edge, we comibined the two. Made a film with the camera and did the end credits on the 101. Seems like a lifetime ago now :(

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Re: School Computers

Post by psj3809 » Thu Oct 22, 2009 4:42 am

During my years at school we just had BBC's. I was sooo looking forward to computer studies as after getting my Speccy i loved playing games/using the utilities/creating BASIC programs etc.

What a letdown ! Computer studies in my years (think about 82-87) was dire, creating Viewdata (Teletext) screens, learning binary etc. Hated it, wish i was a bit younger as i think once graphic packages and other utils came out the class could have been so much better.

Failed computer studies but ironically have been working in computers since i left school.

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Re: School Computers

Post by stvd » Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:01 am

Primary School - nothing
Secondary school (1982) - nothing. Computer Studies was not available until your 3rd year.
BBC's were shipped out after an in-school poll, to be replaced with about 48K Spectrums.

Yes, you had to learn binary and all the bad stuff (actually writing programs out in BASIC rather than typing them!)
but when it came to the programming parts, all the years of type-ins were really helpful.
While others used 'x's and 'o's for characters I designed UDG's, sound, loading screens.
Passed with flying colours although I don't work in computers. I wish I had pursued that path.
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MattyC64c
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Re: School Computers

Post by MattyC64c » Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:11 am

Does anyone know what that special computer was that I mentioned?

I'm pretty sure it wasn't an Apple and it definatly wasn't an IBM PC machine. It was either late 1989 or early 1990, and it must have had an early CD-ROM drive or laser disc. I'm realy curious as to what it was. Could it have been an Acorn Archimedies? One with an optical disc drive?

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woody.cool
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Re: School Computers

Post by woody.cool » Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:27 pm

MattyC64c wrote:Does anyone know what that special computer was that I mentioned?

I'm pretty sure it wasn't an Apple and it definatly wasn't an IBM PC machine. It was either late 1989 or early 1990, and it must have had an early CD-ROM drive or laser disc. I'm realy curious as to what it was. Could it have been an Acorn Archimedies? One with an optical disc drive?
Possible .... I've seen quite a few later Acorn machines with CD-ROM drives on them.

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lanky316
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Re: School Computers

Post by lanky316 » Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:22 pm

Rinoa wrote:I vaguely remember using an Acorn computer back in primary school (I think it was one of the only computers in the entire building!), but seeing as I started secondary school in 1997 they had fairly modern computers by then.
Mine was pretty much the same, maybe even a couple of BBC Micros at primary school. Our secondary school had more modern systems but not many. I assume they were in the process of upgrading to that broadband thing as no old machines meaning it was impossible to get on one most lunchtimes.

Incidentally, I worked at my old primary school and though all computers were recent they still had "Logo" and Grannys Garden for them. Never could convince teachers to let the kids on to see how they'd evolved :(
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Re: School Computers

Post by Antiriad2097 » Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:49 pm

stvd wrote:actually writing programs out in BASIC rather than typing them!
We did that. Teacher would put examples on the board too and we'd correct or improve them. Surprisingly he didn't hate me. He was a decent bloke, Mr Milne.

Its still the same though (or was a few years ago). For the C course I did (yes, that's old ANSI C, none of your fancy C+ stuff) we still had to write up the plans for the projects and do pseudo code then translate that to actual code. Thankfully we did get to type all that, but it was a chore when you just wanted to get hands on and get things running with such simple examples.
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