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BioSquirrel

You know what sucks?....

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By the time I was finally allowed to take Computer Science in high school (had to be in 11th grade in my HS), I was already a better programmer than the teacher (though to be fair, he was better at math than I was). Same with college (easiest A+''s I ever got).

I''m not trying to say I''m smarter than anyone or anything. The point I''m making here is that there''s a ton of good books out there and a lot of web pages with great tutorials (like this one). You can find really inexpensive copilers or make do with one of the free ones available on the internet and teach yourself if you apply yourself.

Chances are you''ll learn most about programming from experience rather than what you learn in classes anyway. I''ve always looked at programming classes as a waste of time, but I am grateful for all the stuff I picked up in my other classes. To this day I still can''t figure out what my Data Stuctures instructor didn''t like about the comments in my code - which always worked as it was supposed to, but he said the verbage of my comments was "coherent but incorrect"(?!?).

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O ya for about a year I have been reading books and bought MSVC++ but still I hoped I could get into some comp sci classes to learn something I didn't know, improve, or just to look good on a resume (although college classes probably matter more).

Edited by - BioSquirrel on January 11, 2002 7:29:55 PM

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But you have computers right?

I''m 27 and the first time i ever saw a computer in a school was in the 5th grade. We got to program a Commodore Pet. Oh the days of green monochrome displays. By highschool we finally had a pretty decent computer lab (about 30 386 IBMs with a single laser printer). Computer science? Closest thing to computer science in those days was typing class.

When i was in college, we had to use DEC VAX machines for our compsci classes. Nothing like having 2 minutes of CPU time per month on UNIX. Boy was it slow the day before homework was due. Ethernet in dorm rooms? Nope. Computer labs full of PCs and Apples? Nope. We had some Xterms and that was it. (they were fibre though, that was pretty sweet) Laser Printers? Nope. We had one of those really fast (read: very noisy) Tetronix dot matrix printers. Get too close the thing and u''d probably lose a hand.

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Benjamin Franklin

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Talking of old equipment...
My favourite class at Uni was "operating systems", not because of the content but because the lecturer pulled out at the last minute and we got the coolest replacement ever. The guy we got (wish i could remember his name) kindly came out of retirment just to teach us and had limitless anecdotes he fondly reeled off to us. This is my personal favourite.

When he was at uni and computers still used valves they were very privellaged to have some room sized supercomputer that was fed programs from punched tapes, you know the sort. Anyway it came installed with an unthinkably huge 16K of memory and kicked much ass, now a year or two after it''s installation the company who supplied said computer offered the university a memory upgrade for the princely sum of 32''000 pounds. A hell of a lot of money for 16K more memory but apparently it was worth it because pretty soon an engineer came to "upgrade" them.

The gentleman arrived one day decked out in his overalls and several of the staff fussed around trying to figure out where the new cabinates would go. Instead of hauling anything out of the van the bloke first grabbed his tool bag and headed for the computer with several of the staff in tow. Upon reaching it he produced a special key from one pocket and opened one of the cabinates to reveal hundreds of cables running this way and that, but one stood out, mainly because it was about an inch thick. Without any ceremony at all the guy drew out some bolt cutters and chopped the thing in half, turned, said "all done" and walked off. The memory had been there the whole time and the uni had forked out 32 grand for a cable to be cut.

Wish i could have cut cables for a living...

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We have a keyboarding class and a computer business class. The comp business class teaches you how to work with MS Office and how to use this business crap that would bore me to death.

But, yes, we have more computers than I have ever seen in one place. We have tons of labs, half Mac labs, half PC labs full of Dells.

Edited by - BioSquirrel on January 11, 2002 9:48:03 PM

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While my high school didn''t offer much in terms of computer classes (there was a BASIC programming class, but it turned out that the programming project in my trig class basically encompassed it, so it was really basic BASIC), I did find my way around a library. Seriously, if you want to learn, read. Also, if you can, meet some other people who are interested. It is kinda hard to learn if all you have is a book. Pronunciation of things like char and cout (as I heard it finally, it is "car" and "see out" respectively) just aren''t explained in computer books, and while that may sound like a pointless example, it helps to talk about stuff you know about as if you actually know about it.
So read a lot, and libraries are good for that. In fact, PC magazines are also there so you should be able to keep up on the latest news as well.
I have to say though 2 out of my 3 C++ classes in university really helped me learn programming in general. Working at a heldpesk helped me with tech in general. Experience is the best teacher, so if you come across something you don''t understand, like why a program won''t compile, ask. It''s fun figuring things out for yourself sometimes, but sometimes it is just faster to ask why.

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char pronounced car??? I''ve never heard it that way....
I''ve heard char, as in the way its spelled (as in CHARcoal), and pronounced care (as in charicter)
.....

Anyways, I''m 14, freshman in High School. We have a few computer classes - although we have 3 computer labs, with about 20-40 in each, and a computer in every classroom - that makes up about 125-175 computers (haven''t really counted) - all on a single T3 (averages about 2 kbps, a set back from my normal 500-1000 kbps average)
We have 5 computer classes that I know of - Computer applications (you sit there and write letters), Information Processing I (You sit there and write letters), Information Processing II (You sit there and write letters), Advanced Computer something-another (You sit there and write letters), and Novice HTML (You sit there and make websites about writing letters).
I know more about computers than all 4 of the computer teachers combined (well, 3 are teachers, and one calls himself an admin), my English teacher spanks his dog (just thought I''d throw that in), and one of my classmates put his mouse on the floor and tried to use it as a foot-pedel (this topped last year when someone tried talking into it)
So DON''T COMPLAIN!!!!!

"I''ve learned something today: It doesn''t matter if you''re white, or if you''re black...the only color that REALLY matters is green"
-Peter Griffin

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quote:

We have 5 computer classes that I know of - Computer applications (you sit there and write letters), Information Processing I (You sit there and write letters), Information Processing II (You sit there and write letters), Advanced Computer something-another (You sit there and write letters), and Novice HTML (You sit there and make websites about writing letters).

That sounds so much like my school its scary. I was finally allowed to do some programming, but they had to send it to someone that actually had a clue of what I was doing. I challenged 2 modules and got 95% on both. I am going to try and take a third one this coming semester. Here I come 95%!



Moe''s site

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quote:
Original post by BioSquirrel
My high school has no computer science classes...none...

This isn''t a good thing is it?

Mine didn''t either, so I took night classes at a technical school and classes at a local college second semester senior year. Mabye you hsould look into that.


Mike

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I was especially lucky in high schools, apparently. I went to public HS (graduated last year) and there were many more classes than what you guys are describing. Of course we had "typing" (even INTRO to typing.. but nevermind), and all the rest, but I proved to them I should be allowed to skip it all (doing the final project of the BASIC class in 30 minutes, formatted and colored seemed to impress them) and ended up in C++ in 9th grade, Algorithms and Data Structures in 10th, Computer Graphics, Artificial Intelligence, and Java in 11th, 3d Graphics, Software Design, and Discrete Math in 12th. Lots of kids did what I did - all the dorks I guess ;p - and the kids that really had never seen a computer before took Intro to Typing. It worked out pretty well.

In terms of computers... in 9th grade they were IBM 486 100 mhz or so, and powermacs. I don't remember all the upgrading they did (but it was a LOT) and in 12th grade we ended up with 30 G4 Cubes (with the flat screens[!]), 90 PIII 450 mhz, at least 200 PII 333 Mhz Compaqs, and of course all the older computers.

My school did have 3,000 kids though.. It was the third largest in the country, I think. Still is, I'd presume.

[edit: oh yeah, we also had 200 or so iMacs.. I must've repressed that bit. WHAT FLAVOR WOULD YOU LIKE!@%?!]

Edited by - rileyriley on January 13, 2002 1:47:33 AM

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Heh... Our computer systems suck All the internet connections go through a few servers (in another building (o nthe other side of town)), and we got a few SysAdmins, well... lets just say, when you approach them, they deny *everything*! (including them being sys-admins).

So, we are basicly on our own. In our own building, we got 1 ICT guy whom can do a few things (and is only usefull ''cause he got a few passwords), 1 "overseeer" (nice person, knows nothing), and 1 CS teacher (knows nothing at all...)

Thank god we (a few students) can get along pretty well with everyone, so now we are in charge of all the computer systems in school, I have to teach others the basics of programming, and we have to solve almost all the hardware/software problems ''cause teh SysAdmins never come when you call them

And all the PC''s suck. They are all fast, nice monitors, optical mouses and all, huge HD''s, and... DeepFreeze. Meaning that everything you install is wiped away when you reboot... sigh...

-Maarten Leeuwrik
"Some people when faced with the end of a journey simply decide to begin anew I guess."

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My highschool offers 1 typing class & "internet multimedia." In other words, they teach you how to surf the internet & do very basic html. (20 minutes with an html book = what they teach in a semester...)
Only two teachers have any programming experience - one with Pascal & the other in Fortran...but all they teach is Calculus (no comp. classes).
We have 3 computer labs with mostly 486 - pentium 1 200mhz comps running windows 95. The horror!
I do all of my programming in my spare time, reading comp books & tutorials on the net. A friend of mine builds computers, but doesn''t do programming...so, i think i''m the only one @ school that does C/C++, or any programming at all. Sigh.....

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At my school The work we do is so simple I have finished about 2 years worth of work in only 3-4 months. The only programming we do is learning python (*aaargh*) but since I already knew C they let me do the workbooks in C (*phew*).

Shame I don''t do any REAL programming @ my school, it''s mostly just Text processing etc.

------------------------------
Baldur K

"It will be happened; it shall be going to be happening; it will be was an event that could will have been taken place in the future."
--time travel explained by Rimmer (Red Dwarf)

"If you don''t gosub a program loop, you''ll never get a subroutine."
-- Kryten (Red Dwarf)

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Heh, sorry, I meant char pronounced "care" as in character. I was up for quite awhile before typing that.
But yeah. B-)

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My school is full of computer classes rangig from intro to typing to Advanced Placement Comp. Sci. in C++. we have Java, C++, HTML, Flash, Networking, and Compter Repair.
i''m in these 4
video programming in c++ (which isn''t that great but its fun)
PC system servicing (good class about hardware and such)
Advanced Networking 2 (useful considering i have a home network)A
Advanced Comp Sci with C++ ( so far out of the 11 chapters we did i had trouble on pointers.)

my school isn''t that great but we have nice teachers who know what they are doing for the most part.

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er uguys think thats bad?
jeez
weve got maybe 2 fully funcitonal comptuers out of 30 for a school of 1000
OMG!
beat that!
and thats today not 10 years ago
oh and a ISDN line for the net which never works
and we dont have any specific classes for this sheet
all we have is either IT which is just teaching u some basic stuff on IT
and Software Development
like a course on simple data structres and functions
and thats it!

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Guest Anonymous Poster
the school i went to had <200 people and it still had a good computer lab. I would go in there all the time during recess and program and sneak in games. i made little 2-4 player games for my friends. the lab teacher would let me play warcraft sometimes

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you could probably sign up for some CS classes at a county college (or a university if there is one nearby)... you might have to prove to them that you will be able to handle it, and they''ll probably want money, but it''s worth a try if you care that much.
personally, i''d say just learn on your own (from books and the internet) and take the classes when you get to college (for rounding out of your skills, a few technical terms, and much boredom because you already know most of it).

--- krez (krezisback@aol.com)

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