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

December, 2010

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Top Ten Indications You Are A Computer Industry Newbie


    Just for fun and because I am old[ish]. But more seriously, because people should know the history of computer science and the computer industry so as not to repeat mistakes.

    1. You think garbage collection came in with Java. Garbage collection has been around a long long time. BASIC  PLUS in the RSTS/E operating system had it over 40 years ago.
    2. You think cloud computing is new. It’s different more in implementation than in concept than the old mainframe computing.
    3. You think internet chat started with either ICQ or AOL Instant Messenger. There was Internet Relay Chat and VAX Phone long before that.
    4. You think the Internet and the World Wide Web are the same thing.
    5. You never heard of Digital Equipment Corporation. Once the second largest computer company in the world and a driving force behind the paradigm switch from mainframe computers to mini computers they are now gone. Lots of lessons you’ve missed if you don’t know that story.
    6. You don’t remember PostScript files. The standard for great printing before PDFs.
    7. The only mark up languages you know are HTML and XML. Few seem to remember that markup languages were used for document creation before web page creation.
    8. You don’t know what FORTRAN and COBOL stand for – FORmula TRANslation and COmon Business Oriented Language.
    9. You either don’t remember the term “Winchester drive” or you don’t know how it got that name. Hint: Sealed hard drive with a model number of 3030.
    10. You say “n00b” and not “newbie.”

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Interesting Links 27 December 2010


    If you are like me and like most teachers you are still on vacation. You have had enough of celebrations and eating large meals and finally have some time to think. If you read a lot of blogs you will notice that a lot of people are not blogging. I am addicted though – or so I am told – so still have some interesting links to share. I hope you will check some of them out and find them helpful.

    There are only a few days left to get a copy of the C++ Beginner's Guide eBook for free. At the end of the year this book will be withdrawn. So grab a copy now.

    Andrew Parsons (@MrAndyPuppy on twitter) linked to this Games for Change post on the Imagine Cup which includes Game Design winners for past 3 years.

    Hélène Martin has a thoughtful post based on her (and other people’s) recent travel disruptions from weather problems around the world. Travel woes – Can Computing help?  I can see this as a discussion point for students to learn about large systems and the room we still have to go to solve some problems that computing should be able to help with.

    The year end posts have begun. In this one, Ken Royal  (@kenroyal ) lists his People and Places 2010. I’m really pleased that he included me in his list. But go read his post as there are other more interesting people there and you may find someone new to follow.

    What a great use of Montage! Doug Peterson creates a site to look at information from educators in Ontario (Follow Ontario edu-bloggers). Create your own at Montage.

    Microsoft has started a new program to recognize a Microsoft Tech Student of the month. Daniel Van Tassel, a senior at the University of Utah is the first to be named. He’s done some interesting things already.

    Information about next summers CS & IT Symposium is now up. This year (2011) it will be three days in New York City! Calling all computer science teachers – get your proposals for talks in and make plans to be there now.

    Someone sent me a link to The Semicolon Wars Did you know that there were 6,900 natural languages and possibly as many as 8,500 programming languages. What does that say about the state of the art and of the types of people in computing? Possible discussion topic maybe.

    Santa's Outbox is some seasonal humor on the CACM Blog (@blogCACM ) - of course some of us know that Santa uses Bing Maps and not that other company’s product. Smile

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year


    An old-fashioned ASCII Art image to wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!


    Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon

    Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo

    Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva i s Novim Godom

    Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année!

    Froehliche Weihnachten und ein glückliches Neues Jahr!

    Kellemes Karacsonyiunnepeket & Boldog Új Évet

    Selamat Hari Natal

    Linksmu Kaledu ir laimingu Nauju metu

    Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan


    Chuc Mung Giang Sinh - Chuc Mung Tan Nien


    Vesele Vianoce a stastny Novy rok

    Selamat Hari Natal dan Tahun Baru

    Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo

    God Jul og Godt Nyttår

    If I missed anyone's language or got it wrong I apologize. I hope you all have a great day on December 25th whether or not you celebrate the birth of Christ in your own tradition or religion. And my strong wishes that you will all have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

    BTW I tossed that graphic together very quickly using Small Basic, a fun little language and IDE that is ideal for beginning programming. It also does much more fancy graphics. See the Small Basic tag for more ideas and information.

Page 1 of 7 (19 items) 12345»