Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Introduction to Computing

I'm taking a class at Indiana University South Bend called Introduction to Computing. For someone whose first computer was a TRS-80 Model IV, it's really interesting. I've always enjoyed computing, and my first major in college was computer systems engineering. But when my first lab in EE 250 (electrical engineering) bored me nearly to sleep, I changed majors to something easier: Math.

As it turns out, I would have been well-served changing majors to computer science, which dealt more with the programming side than the hardware side. In our class we have discussed wide-ranging topics such as how a CD player (and a CD itself) actually works, and how one can use powerful computers to map the interior of the human body. I've never been one to worry about the inner workings of the computer but I do use them an awful lot as tools, for digital photography, art, spreadsheets to analyze school data, PowerPoint presentations for instruction, and maintaining a web presence, such as updating this blog. So when we learn how a dot matrix printer works I get really interested, especially when it makes sense as to why my DMP-107 always made such a horrendous racket.

Isn't it ironic, by the way, that my computer, the TRS-80, with its powerful 64 KB of RAM was often called the "TRaSh-80?" It caused me to call my printer the "DuMP-107." They seemed to go so well together, trash and dump.

Last night in class our professor, Dr. James Wolfer, had us make a basic web page, and one of the characteristics it needed to have was an external link. I linked to this site. So, Dr. Wolfer, if you're reading this, the link works!

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