Computer Coding

I was having the KHS ninth graders do some computer coding in class last week, and it got me to thinking about my experience with computers.

(By the way, if you are interested in playing with Computer Coding, go to www.scratch.mit.edu)

My first exposure to computers was in high school.  The really smart guys who took Mr. Austin got to play around on the computers, which consisted of a TV monitor and a cassette tape.

During my senior year in high school, my mom started the gifted and talented program in the Kellogg School District.  The summer after my senior year, she brought home a TV Monitor, a book and a cassette tape.  She had a computer system, such as it was, that she wanted me to play around on to see how it worked.

I remember programming the computer to make a line, and maybe making the line hit something (think pong).  It was quite a tedious process.

As I started college at the University of Idaho, one of the graduation requirements I had to fulfill was take a computer course.  Nothing like taking a Basic computer programming class that had no application whatsoever to my life.  (By my senior year, they actually had PC labs that taught things like Word Processing and Spreadsheet).

My senior year of college, one girl in my sorority had a personal computer that she used in the house.

Also my senior year, Paul, his sister Laurie and I had a class called Professional Presentation Techniques.  We had to pick a company and do several presentations based on this company.  We chose Hewlett-Packard, and one of the presentations was on a new computer they had designed that was so light, you could carry it in your briefcase.  This was in 1985.  HP designed one of the first laptop computers.

When I started my first job as the Director of Admissions at Dawson Community College in 1985, the computer system we were using was not programmed to do some of the things we wanted it to do for admissions.  So I had to learn how to program the computer system to perform some of the tasks in the Admission's Office.  There was a lot of trial and error, but we eventually got it to do some things, especially when it came to mailings.

I purchased my first computer in 1986.  It was a IMB PS-20.  It looked something like this:

(I actually still have this computer.  I just haven't been able to part with it.)

Into the 90's, our computers started having a dial up modem where we could connect to something news called the Internet.  What a change that was in our lives. 

They we went "wireless".  We didn't have to plug in our computers anymore.

And now I have a small Smart Phone that fits in my pocket, and I can check my email, Facebook and Twitter, all with the touch of a button.  And take a photo while doing it!!

Technology had taken us a long ways since my college days.  I enjoy the advances in technology, and wonder when it is going to end, or what the next big change will be.

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