Saturday, March 5, 2011

Opening a Window(s) to the Past

When I was a senior in high school, I was the teacher's assistant for Mr. E., our school's French teacher. While he could never teach me to parle fran├žais with any skill (not his fault, BTW), he gave me an immeasurable gift by forcing me to learn how to navigate a computer so he wouldn't have to. Up until that time, I hadn't had any exposure to computers and hadn't the slightest idea of how they worked, what they could do, or how to use one. My "computer time" in the fifth grade was always taken by the teacher's assistant because my last name back then was at the back of the alphabet. Sucky but true. In our small town in the late '80s and early '90s, computers were seen more as fancy toys that only certain people would ever need to use than an integral part of our education before going to college. It's kind of quaint that educators ever thought that way, isn't it? I started with DOS 2.1 and I've never looked back. From knowing nothing at all about a computer, I sped through learning about DOS, Windows, and anything else I could find or that people would show me. A computer wasn't some horribly nasty machine I'd never understand, it all made perfect sense and I could make it all work*! I went from barely being able to type to writing my term papers and homework assignments in LeadingEdge. Mr. E., I thank you from the bottom of my heart. For the rest of you, I give you this awesome video:

(Scottish!) Man Installs Windows 1.0 through Windows 7 To See What Happens

Not only is it some fine geekery at work, but it's done with a wonderful Scots brouge, increasing the Awesome score by an exponential factor of ten.

*Just don't ask me to code in Virtual Basic or do any other kind of coding at all, really. I'm a great end user, but I have some kind of mental block about programming languages that I've never been able to shake. My HTML coding skills stop at about 1995. I'm not proud of that, but there you are.

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