Teaching computing with old tech?

Teaching folk about computers is hard and rightfully so.

Back in the 80’s we had the BBC Micro, it was a overwhelming success in the education sector and sparked children’s and adults imaginations to get into computing and start writing their crap programs and sharing them with each other in the black market playground trade… that was not a thing.

What was a thing however is that most kids in the UK were computer literate back when we were back in the micro era when 2.0 MHz was literally considered the limit of computational power and old fusty people who were about as fun as an angry bee down your trousers were saying we should all just give and go back to writing pictographs on cave walls with our own sh*t.

I for one will not be doing my homework on the side of limestone cave – Said every 80’s school child ever.

Dart forward 30 years and flying cars are still not a thing and computers the size of a credit car are around 80x more powerful then the lovely Beeb up there.


I feel as if teaching people about computers today is more about teaching them how to navigate around an OS and do things in a very high level way, I feel it does not teach computing fundamentals practically, rather it teach’s you with words like Quadric Amplitude Modulation or QAM which make my tiny East Midlands brain literally implode on itself.

We are starting to see a resurgence of small Single Board Computers flood the market and they are making their ways into the education sector and having a large impact, which in my opinion is a good thing, people who can code and make a computer do what they want are much more valuable then people who have no clue what the hell a mouse is.

Close but no cigar mate.

I think that teachers could use these old pieces of antiquated hardware to showcase lower levels of computing to learners, using peek and pokes in BASIC to interact with hardware directly in an interactive manner could teach people a lot perhaps?

These old doorstops are a lot more simple then your modern behemoth PC and thus showcase this low level demonstration more easily, granted maybe BASIC does not have a place in today’s world full of PI’s and CHIP’s.

Not that one you utter buffoon!

I mean in a world full of tiny Linux based computers, does old hardware still have its relevance in the teaching sector?

Or have we all just moved on from BASIC and its whimsical ways, maybe its not hip enough, I think it needs more slogans and skinny jeans to be appealing and a Facebook page at the very least and possibly a Netflix show with 35 seasons that makes as much sense as a dress made from bacon.

But coming back to Netflix, I mean the BBC did the Computer Program in 1982 and that made people want to go out and learn about these “bloody massive calculators everyone is raving about”, maybe a Netflix series would grab kids attention and make them interested in the thought of learning about the lower rings of computer hell.

Needs more cat memes I think.

Either way to wrap up I think that it is entirely possible that teachers could utilise old tech to get people to learn about the computing fundamentals, maybe playing off the nostalgia of the older crowd will draw in the younger one so they can listen and learn from those who lived in that era and grew up with it all.

Anyway thats my post for the day out of the way so I am going to spend the rest of the day drinking ale and wondering what all the fuss at E3 is about, catch you later!


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