Computer education

From: Derek Peschel <>
Date: Sat Mar 6 19:41:51 1999

Max Eskin wrote:

> need additional network layers 'because Word can't understand the binary
> and needs it to be translated'. At this time, I was thinking about my

That sentence is so meaningless that it is pointless.

> recent experiences with the PDP-8. I wonder, wouldn't it make everything
> so much easier if every computer in schools had a PDP-8 emulator on it,
> and students had to learn to make simple programs in PAL before learning
> concepts like the OSI 7-layer model, etc? Because, it was obvious that
> the guy was being forced to avoid saying the word 'function' or
> 'subroutine' since people didn't know what it meant....

I hope *he* knew what it meant. :)

All of the other replies so far are totally right. I wanted to add that
perhaps a pair of computer terminals (or Teletypes, for the purist) would be
another important thing to have. You can show the simplest practical
comptuer network, you can explain how it works, and people can *see* it at
work and understand the concept of binary and the idea of protocols. If you
have some sort of test equipment then you can *prove* to people that it
does what you say it does.

Yes, the PDP-8 is simple enough that it's idedl for explaining computer
concets. I think there might be a "gulf of understanding" that students
must cross, though, before they can understand your explanations. (That
seems to be the case in my limited experience.) Hopefully all the people in
the class are familiar with computers.

-- Derek
Received on Sat Mar 06 1999 - 19:41:51 GMT

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