Bonus- Monash Museum of Computing History

دوره: Python Data Structures / فصل: Chapter Six- Strings / درس 6

Bonus- Monash Museum of Computing History

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No, no we don't but I think it just broadens their outlook on IT and I think it's a danger with computing students that they become very, become very focused on the latest, and quickly discard the technology they're using when the next one comes along and forget about it. The world's number four digital stored program computer was left over, used till about' 65 So about' 72 or so it arrived on campus just for storage purposes. We've toyed with ideas of a web-based series of exhibitions, photographing all of the artifacts, and making sure that people can sort of browse through, and move through halls.

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Good students get a better understanding of something if they know the history of it. If they know where, if they know where it’s come from. That’s my, my view. So when I go to class, andI go to the interface design class, for instance, I can take them down to the museum and show them what an early interface was. We, we talk about interface design, and they think of their, their hand-held computer, their laptop, their desktop. And they look at the screen and they think that’s we have, that’s an interface, and sure it is but where, you know, how did we get there? What was the early interface with computers? And I take them down to the Ferranti Sirius and they say, well, what’s the interface here with the computer. So it’s, it’s giving them the idea of what an interface is by, by taking them back to something that’s that looks very primitive and, and then we look at the evolution of interfaces over time. We look at the different applications, you know, we go back and look at VisiCalc and WordStar and things like that and sort of progress through the different versions of these different products and You actually have like running VisiCalc? No, no we don’t [CROSSTALK] but I think it just broadens their outlook on IT and I think it’s a danger with computing students that they become very, become very focused on the latest, and quickly discard the technology they’re using when the next one comes along and forget about it. Even before we had the museum we were lucky, we had the CSIRAC, I’ve mentioned CSIRAC to you. The world’s number four digital stored program computer was left over, used till about’ 65 So about’ 72 or so it arrived on campus just for storage purposes. But we put it in a display area. When I first arrived and my teaching here in about ‘88 I began to teach. And I would always take my introduction to computer architecture students past it, it had so much to tell students about the origin of operating systems the primary function of operating systems to allocate resources and move the efficiency of use of resources. With the programming students I can show them things like punch cards and things like this. You know, how did we get information into the computers and show them things like that. So it might be part of one class in a semester, using the museum in particular for my classes. And others use it too in a similar way. But we do have school children coming on visits and then we have about an hour or two and we take them through the museum starting with the calculating machines. And we talk about what what did people do before computers, and about things like this. What is a computer? Where did we get the name computing from? And I’ve got this picture of women using slide rules in 1948,I think it was, in, this is in America, doing their calculations. And the idea that the first computers were people, okay, and, and often they were women, so that’s kind of an interesting bit of social history there. So trying to connect the computers and state of the technology to what was happening in society at the time. The physical aspects that are important today. That idea of physical is still carried forward even today as we’re looking to see what we can do with the full museum that we’ve created now. We’ve toyed with ideas of a web-based series of exhibitions, photographing all of the artifacts, and making sure that people can sort of browse through, and move through halls. We feel that even with that web-based teaching methods, we would still like to have physical artifacts, we’ve toyed with a box of artifacts that we would send out to schools that are working on our program, doing an educational program. So, the physical hands-on is a very important thing. Museum curators understand it. People who aren’t museum curators tend not to. We had a, a staff member in our, in our school. When we started the museum, I was talking to her and, and said oh, we will have slide rules in it. Now she had done an honors degree in maths. And she had not heard, she not that she hadn’t seen a slide rule, she didn’t even know what one was and that, to me, was amazing because when I went to uni, everyone carried a slide rule, you know. We all had this is my slide rule from my university. We all had these, as science students, engineering students, we all had these tools, and she was probably ten years younger than me, and suddenly had no idea what I was even talking about. Haven’t heard the word. So I think that really made me realize that history is so quickly forgotten and it is a danger that we just, yeah, we forget about these things, and if we don’t have them around for people to see, they forget about the history of the technology that they’re using and I think that’s a real danger.

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