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The Book Blogger Awards 2017

Computer Fun

Science Projects with Computers
Schulman, et. al.

This book is so old that the computer on the cover doesn’t have a mouse. I believe that girl’s finger is poised over one of the function keys!  Remember when bolding, underlining, etc. were achieved by some combination of <alt>, <ctrl>, <shift>, and a function key?  They made keyboard overlay guides out of cardboard so you could remember the combinations.  This book will win you no blue ribbons at the science fair, trust me.


0 Responses to Computer Fun

  • It’s programming in Basic. Sigh. I miss Basic.

  • Had a huge book of programs like that for the Tandy that my dad bought from Radio Shack circa 1983. Took 3 hours to make a Navajo blanket design

  • I’m too young to remember Basic first hand (my family’s first computer had MS-DOS and the first one I really used had Windows 95), but for years I assumed that if I had been born a decade or so earlier I wouldn’t have spent so much time sitting in front of the computer. After recently copying down my first game into a Basic compiler, I realized that is not the case. At least now when I have a several hour Wikipedia session I spend the whole time learning new information. I imagine it would have been much worse to spend several hours copying lines of code just to play a text based adventure (though, of course, that doesn’t stop me from being fascinated by old computer equipment and software).

  • Ah, BASIC. And then there was FORTRAN as well. Good old days or what?

  • A family that are irrevocable nerds together stay together.

    Or at least mine did.

  • Ah I enjoy nothing more than sitting down with the family and programing some basic.

    I also like the way only one person is actually using the computer on the cover. The others are clearly, ‘Screw that! We’ve got some real science over here with test tubes and chemicals!’

  • My now 28 year old son learned on a Tandy Color Computer 3. He got it when he was in Kindergarten. Later he got his own monitor, before that it was hooked to the TV. We would buy the Rainbow Magazine, for CoCos, and program in little games such as getting the penguin up the ladders and across ice to the top! We still have it in the garage. We ended up with a disk drive for it, and some of the games are still unbeaten. They ran soooo slow! I don’t think my current teenagers would have the patience. I liked how most games just plugged in with a program pack. Like an 8 track! By the way, my son continued on in computer science, he just got his Master’s and is a PhD candidate!

  • I loved programming in Basic!
    I did so well in my computer class at school… what do they teach in computers these days? I’m guessing that nobody learns basic anymore.

  • I love coauthor Ken’s last name though!

  • Back then we knew that computers were just a fad.

  • Umm. some of us still format using the function keys. If you use them often enough to remember them, etc are a LOT faster than going back and forth from keyboard to mouse.

    • Yes, I wish I could remember the function keys. I miss those cardboard templates. For some reason, I can use the keyboard all day, but get hand pain quickly when using the mouse (I’m only 40!). Plus, you are right, it is much faster to use the keys, and you can be more precise. My cursor seems to wander all over the place.

  • Clean BASIC, including the “Rem” line as annotation. Goodness, how I long for the day of intelligible code.

  • luv that chick’s hair.

    can one even buy a blow-dryer now?

  • We were supposed to come up with our science fair ideas ourselves, not copy them from a book!!….though really I’m just jealous I didn’t think of doing that, would’ve saved me a lot of elementary school angst trying to come up with another silly topic!

    • You were? In my gradeschool in the late 90s you were basically expected to take a science fair project from a book. In 5th grade (1997) I was one of maybe 3 out of the 90 participants in the 5th/6th/7th/8th grade science fair to come up with one on my own, confirming my nerdiness and further isolating me from my classmates. I didn’t do so again.

  • Nothing like a computer book that’s as old as I am!

    And those keyboard shortcuts have hardly gone away. That’s what the underlined letters in the menus are for (Microsoft calls them accelerator keys)! Press the alt key in just about any (Windows) program to go to the menu bar then press the appropriate key to go to that menu.

    True shortcut keys for thing like bolding are more common than ever. Here’s Microsoft’s list of what’s in Word: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290938