Computers from your school years!

So I'm curious... What kind of computers do you remember using in school? Lets discuss!

The ones I remember specifically are:

3rd Grade, 1999: We had two computers in our classroom: An Apple IIe with a green screen and a 5 1/4" floppy, and an IBM PS/2 with an internal CD-ROM drive (with a caddy), running some version of Windows 3.x. My report card from 3rd grade had a comment of "Nick has been a great help with the computers." Ha! The computer lab was stocked with Compaq DeskPro's (EN's if I remember correctly) running Windows 98.

6th Grade, 2002: The school had a Mac computer lab, and a PC computer lab. The Mac lab had a mixture of original tray-loading iMac G3's, and slot-loading DV G3's running OS9. The teacher had a PowerMac G3 with a massive CRT studio display. The library was stocked with Gateway E3200 desktops, and teachers had their choice of the iMac or Gateway for their desks. One tech teacher that taught typing had a classroom full of old school Vectra VL Tower's with Pentium's. Ran Windows 95. We played Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, and SimTower when we finished our assignments.

7th Grade, 2003: By this point, all the tray-loading Macs were replaced with slot loading 450-500Mhz models and upgraded to OSX. The teacher got a new G4 iMac and an external FireWire DVD Burner.

8th Grade, 2004: The PC lab was upgraded to brand new Gateway 310x or 510x models running Windows 2000 Professional. This lab was very different than the Mac lab, which was like a normal classroom. The PC lab had a raised white tile floor and was always freezing. Definitely was the school's original server room.

What about your memories?



  • When I was in third grade, our school didn't even have computers. Personal computing was just coming out of the realm of science fiction. I remember around that time seeing a room full of washing machine sized computing devices at some medical center on some kind of field trip. And some kind of green-screen typesetting system at the small town newspaper interfacing with a machine that made metal slugs to go in the printing press. Somewhere I still have the metal slug with my name on it. I think it was my second grade teacher's husband who worked at some computer center so she always had piles of continuous feed greenbar paper for us to draw on - and mysterious "8080" code printed on the other side.

    Google? No, a set of encyclopedias, a small town 3-room local library, and two parents with rocks for brains were my entire source of knowledge. If I wanted to know something beyond that I had to figure it out my damn self.

    I guess it was middle school when I first saw some Apple II computers.

    In high school, it was mostly Apple IIe, IIgs, and Tandy 1000s (barf). Not that any of the monkey fucks there had any idea what to do with them. I do recall helping setting up some brand new IBM PS/2s for the employees. Those monochrome VGA screens were really sharp.

    Really did not even learn much about "computers" in public school, most of what I knew I learned myself.

    At any rate, having seen all these advances and appreciating what it was like before, is why it irks me when the "whats a computer?" kind of people want to dumb it down and throw it all away.

  • edited January 2019

    Coming from a much later era, my elementary schools had IBM NetVista desktops with Williamette P4s (some were celerons) and 256 or 512 MB of RAM, running Windows XP Pro SP2/3 unbearably slow. I remember being very impatient and attempting to launch IE when the OS was loading services, causing me to open over 100 browser windows frequently. Some of them had win2k/me stickers affixed to them, and I thought they should have ordered 2000 licences to save us all some grief. They had Office 2003, Tux Paint and Kid Pix going from memory.

    The 4 or 5 eMac G4s with Tiger weren't bad though, but I had trouble adjusting to the quirks of OS X, like closing programs by their windows then by the toolbar.

    The school did nurture my hobby somewhat, by way of letting me take apart some beige box hanging around the computer room, "donating" their copy of Works 95 to me, and a ~800-page book in the library that talked about the up-and-coming "Katmai" processor, 95 OSR2's built-in scanner acquisition software, how the 486 is obsolete etc.

    We eventually got some newer ThinkCentres, ThinkPads and SMARTboards to prepare ourselves for a new decade. The boards couldn't be calibrated for shit, and one of the ThinkPads blue screened during a math class. And the machines were still slow!

    High school: we transitioned from Mac Minis and iMacs to Dell SFFs and beaten-up ThinkPad T5XXs running Windows 10. A few classes were disrupted by Windows updates and we lost our Adobe CS6 and some old port of a '90s basic CAD program to be replaced with Photoshop Express, a UWP monstrosity that is in the same league as MS Paint.

    And here I am in college, where all student-facing machines are Dell Latitudes or ThinkPad T500s running Windows 10 (ugh). It takes me up to 6 minutes to sign into the domain, and then there are quite a few startup items and some office extensions which make it slow as well. The staff look down on the Windows 10 and macOS-using zombies in their offices where Windows 7 reigns.

    Oddly enough, out of hundreds of student-owned laptops I saw, only two other people are not running macOS or Windows 10 (one with 8.1 and another with 7). I brought my T60 with win2k and my friend thought my 4:3 screen was weird. Lots of them also use Office 365 (when there are legit office 2016 licences for under 40 CAD on Amazon! where has the brain trust gone?)

  • In elementary school, we had a bunch of IBM PS/2 model 25's running DOS in the computer lab and a couple of Apple's (No idea on the specifics) in the library to play things like Oregon trail on. Then when I was in first or second grade, they started running electric and networking for the new machines which were Compaq deskpro's running this new fangled OS called Windows 95.

    Middle school was pretty much the same. Compaq Deskpro's running 95.

    High school started out the same. Compaq deskpro's with a mix of 95 and 98 SE. There were also some that had 2000, but it was rare. Toward the end, they had upgraded to Dell Optiplex GX150's (I think, can't fully remember the model. But it was the ones with the clam shell case) running XP.

    College had newer Dell Optiplex's all running XP in the beginning and by the time I graduated, they had been upgraded to Windows 7 and most of those same machines now are running Windows 10. Student laptops were varied. I used to keep a database listing everything I saw so I could look at the trends more objectively:

    So lots of mac's and Dell's running Vista. I think I was the only one crazy enough to run Windows 8 at that time before I graduated.

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