ramblings of an aimless mind

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Learning the difficult way.

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An ancient relic of the computing age, the BBC microcomputer is making a comeback in a retro programming class. The idea being that it will help students understand computers better.

I applaud this decision. Students who are preparing for a programming career must spend some time working with computers that are decidedly not user friendly. Let me rephrase that, they ought to spend some time in user friendless hell, where no GUI exists, all commands are a mile long and have to typed out from memory. Where the error messages are cryptic and you are held to account for the tiniest error.

User friendly operating systems become friendly by abstracting a lot of the processes required to get any task done. While this may be ok for anyone who uses the computer as a tool to get their job done, it may not be the best idea for those whose job it is to know how the things work inside out. Obviously, it will be regressive to say that all GUIs should be scrapped, but spending some time working on extremely constrained and unfriendly computer systems can only be a good thing. It is a bit like working out with weights, not really necessary and a quite a bit of trouble, but beneficial in the long run.

May this initiative last long and thrive


Written by clueso

August 25, 2010 at 10:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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