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

December, 2007

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Max Builds a PC


    My friend Max is building a PC from parts. Over at Channel 8 (First post in the series here) he's looking for recommendations and suggestions about parts. Looks like a good conversation is taking place already but there is always room for more.

    Oh by the way did I mention that he's going to give the resulting computer away to one lucky contributor to the discussion? Yep, here's his plan:

    • In this series, I will present my point of view about a certain computer component (like a graphics card or motherboard)
    • YOU comment and tell me your point of view and why
    • Once we have all the components discussed and chosen, I'll build it and post video to show exactly how I did it
    • Here's the fun part... when I'm done, one of you clever community commentators will WIN the new PC!

    It seems like a lot of students are "in to" building their own computers. Perhaps it is the new car hacking for the 21st century. If you or someone (perhaps a student) are really all about the custom computer send them over to Channel 8. Perhaps they'll win their dream computer.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    How Do I - Videos


    I found out about a bunch of new videos that show how to do different things with different Microsoft development products. They all run between 10 and 15 minutes and focus on specific tasks. They are adding new videos every week so you may even want to subscribe to the RSS feed.

    What topics/tools do they cover? Glad you asked. Here's the list:

  • ASP.NET Ajax
  • Devices
  • Native Coding
  • Visual Studio Extensibility
  • Visual Studio Tools for Applications
  • Silverlight
  • Visual Basic
  • Visual Studio Team System
  • Windows Forms
  • Windows Presentation Foundation

    The site is called "How do 1? and you can find it here. I've already got my eye on a number of them to watch this week. I see them as a good way to digest things in a short period of time that fits into my schedule. I'd love to hear what others think.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Top November Posts


    November was an interesting month in some ways. It seems that when I really lay out an opinion piece it attracts more attention in both readers and comments. At the same time some informational posts quietly attract a lot of readers as well.

    Is Computer Science Dying was the most read and most commented on post largely because it got some good attention from Dzone. Comments from Dzone readers are honest and respectful. Some goods comments were left on this post. Thanks!

    Carrot, Stick, Attract, Retain, Boys, Girls which was about attracting more minorities and women - especially women also attracted a fair amount of comments and readers. Not everyone sees the shortage of women as either a problem or something we can or should make extra efforts to do things about.

    My Ideal First Programming Language rounds out the top posts in terms of comments last month. I think that anytime you get programmers or other computer scientists to talk about programming languages you'll get at least as many opinions and there are people in the conversation.

    Speaking about first languages. Links to My Game Builder (blogged about here in October but still getting a lot of attention) Scratch and Alice were among the most followed links in November. It sure looks like people are looking for innovative ways to teach young people about programming.

    The last top November post I'll mention is my comments about the Kindle from Amazon. Robert Scoble added it to his link blog which sent me a few readers. An awful lot of people were doing search engine searches for the Kindle though and that accounted for most of the traffic. That's still a device I think will be interesting to follow BTW. If the Amazon people are reading the Internet discussions and taking them to heart the V2 version might just really be amazing. One commenter pointed out that the Kindle could greatly reduce the weight of elementary school backpacks. There have been some studies that indicate that some children are suffering back problems from too heavy back packs. Could the Kindle be a solution to a health problem? Stranger things have happened.

    Thanks again for all of you who stopped by to read, the leave comments or to send me feedback via the connection link. You can also reach me by email at Alfred.Thompson (at) 

    I am in Texas (near Dallas) this week taking a course. I hope to keep up with blogging and email but course work will take priority during the day.

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