LIVERPOOL OLD BLUES . ORG . UK

The Liverpool Blue Coat Old Blues' Association - Founded 1838

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COMPUTERS IN 1985

 

Computers seem to have been with us forever, yet this article from "The Squirrel" is only 35 years old!

 

Maths teacher Mike Bishop goes to great lengths to describe the groundbreaking technology of the computer mouse, as if this is science-fiction finally becoming reality!

 

By 1985 the school had NINE computers, each costing almost £1,000.  And they had....  wait for it.....  COLOUR monitors!  Wow!

 

There is even speculation that computers could actually be used for teaching purposes.

 

Nowadays the school has whole rooms full of computer terminals, in fact pen and ink take second place to the printer these days.  Instead of the traditional blackboard, classrooms are equipped with "interactive white-boards".  Lessons are projected onto these boards from ceiling projectors, and teachers "write" on them with special "pens", then clean them with virtual blackboard dusters!

 

The Internet did not exist in those days.  The nearest thing was a fax machine.  Documents were produced with typewriters, mistakes corrected with "Tippex" or similar white fluid.  Duplication was done on a Gestetner machine, where the document was typed onto a wax stencil by a typewriter with no ink ribbon.  The stencil was pressed onto an ink-soaked belt and as each sheet of paper was pulled through, the ink coming through the holes produced the print.

 

The pocket calculator had been around for nearly a decade by then but, generally, students were expected to do calculations by using their brains, with perhaps some assistance from the book of "Logarithm Tables".  And for research, instead of "googling" the topic, they had to trek to the library and search for the relevant book!

 

Progress?   Perhaps...........

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