Computer Science Teacher
Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

November, 2005

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    High School Girl Wins Microsoft Contest

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    A 15-year old girl from Puyallup won a recent Microsoft contest that looked for people using Windows XP in interesting ways. (News article here) Jeannine Johnson uses a computer and monitoring equipment on her dragster to check on its performance. I think there are a couple of interesting things here. There is the obvious message that neither cars nor computers are just for boys of course. But there is also the clear message that computers are getting involved in more activities, including sports, than ever before. No matter what our students want to do in the future computers are likely to be part of it. Getting some knowledge of them beyond the basic applications is going to help.
  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Does Bill Gates care about Visual Basic?

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    Channel 9 has an interesting interview with Soma Somasegar, the VP in charge of Visual Studio. Soma talks about how much Microsoft values Visual Basic (among other things). One of the things he does is list a number of line of business applications (applications that Microsoft uses to run the business of the company) that are written using Visual Basic. He also talks about Bill Gates having a strong interest in future developments in Visual Basic. If you had any concerns about the long term support of Visual Basic this would be a good interview to listen to.

    He also talks about his group and their relationship to the SQL group and other topics. It's an interesting listen.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Building Gadgets for Live.com

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    You and your students have probably heard of Windows Live the new interactive home page from Microsoft. One of the great things about Windows Live is that you can add all sorts of Gadgets to do interesting things. There is a web site where you can find gadgets that others have written already. Some of them are very cool and useful. They are interesting examples of what can be done.

    But of course the really cool thing is not using some gadget someone else wrote but creating one on your own. Building a Windows Live gadget requires that someone knows a little about JavaScript and DHTML. Chances are that if you are teaching an advanced web design course you are covering those topics. It may be that you are looking for a project to put that knowledge to work. Perhaps you want something "real" and something that students can share with others. Well then the new article called "Building a simple gadget for Live.com" is for you. Point your students at it and challenge them to come up with the next "killer app" for Live.com. Or at least suggest that they develop something of local interest. It's a chance to put what they have learned to work.

    This project way also be just the thing if you have students who are doing a lot on their own but who are looking for something a little bit different from what they have done so far.

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