Author Topic: Sometimes they come back: BBC Micro as a teaching tool at Bletchley Park  (Read 2606 times)

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Offline OCT

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On Slashdot tonight: ;)
British teachers realized that to enhance their A-level students' understanding of how computers work, they had to step back... 30 years in time:

The irony is how on a reasonably secured browser, this text gets the intro: "Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play."
« Last Edit: 23:15, 25 August 10 by OCT »

Offline andycadley

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It's a cool idea, though I think the teacher saying that is the fastest a BBC B can count is maybe being a bit harsh!  ;)  Still, I think there's a lot to be said for the benefits of learning to program in a restricted environment, especially in terms of having to think what you are trying to do before you start writing actual code. Older machines were certainly far less tolerant of the sort of random stab-in-the-dark efforts you sometimes see students trying these days.
One last puzzle though, in the BBC video are they calling it "shiP game"? Because it sounds a bit like something else that would also be apt.  ;D

Offline Ynot.zer0

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« Last Edit: 22:02, 26 August 10 by ynot.zer0 »

Offline Gryzor

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Oh wow.
kind of on topic.....

Retro seems to be the new Now  8)

Oh wow. I'd buy one, except that'll never come out and
b.even if it does come out it'll be expensive as hell...

Offline OCT

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c. While it would have some merit as a one-off case-modding feat, it's kind of pointless as a mass-produced item (unlike Jeri's emulation entirely stuffed into a Competition Pro replica).

Offline MacDeath

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IMO 8 bit computers can still be considered as didactical computers... after all this is what they were supposed to be in the 80's, but the snotlings we were decided that using those as playing toy was more fun... ;)

Yet even me who suck at coding, I can see a large difference between me and a guy of the same age who had only consoles... (except for the guys who seriously studied Computering at scholol of course)

I don't program, but I can manage my PC not to blown up...

nowaday's peoples have it easy because of he sum of hisdtory in computing which add-up...
They don't even need no more to understand the really basic steps a computer accomplish each clock...
And what they call assembler nowaday is not really that machine-close...

No wonder the best hackerz are 30-40 aged...

When you study in Litterature or Art or Law... you get to study history of the discipline...
Well in computering, this should always be the case...

first year should alway include 1 semester in 8 bit and one semester in 16 bit old junks...
This is also true for electronic studies... as designing stuff to connect to an old computer is a good starting point to understand the basics.

Also concerning graphics...
Old 2D based computer enable to learn how to manage pixels, as despite being fully 3D nowadays, the display is still in bitmap pixels on the screen.
« Last Edit: 18:41, 09 September 10 by MacDeath »

Offline robcfg

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The 'Digital revolution' has changed the human being even more deeply than industrial revolution and people don't understand that if that knowledge is not preserved and not studied , we're all losing an important part of our own history, and thus, of ourselves.

You cannot try to see how a computer works in a small black box, but older machines are like open books.

I find it a very nice initiative!  8) 

Offline Executioner

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The older machines almost forced you to learn binary and assembler in order to develop anything reasonable, and the hardware and assembly language was simple enough to learn. You really need to know all about bits and bytes, logic and bitwise operations, which are the building blocks for all computer programs. If you don't know the basics it makes it hard to learn anything else.