My first e-learning experience (1981)

We had a Z80Â -based computer in our house in the early 80s. This is the model, the Ithaca Intersystems DPS-1:

ithaca_dps.jpg

To boot, you’d click up the two rightmost switches in sequence after turning the key.

I used it for simple programming in a language called MUMPS.

My first e-learning experience came unexpectedly. Accused by my 7th grade teacher at Our Lady of Jasna Gora of a crime I didn’t commit, I was sentenced to write the Preamble of the Constitution out 25 times as a punishment.

“Can it be typed?” I asked.

“I don’t see why not,” said the teacher.

“Can I do it on my computer?” I asked.

“You can do it on whatever you want,” he said.

It was 1981. He didn’t know any better.

I went home, turned the key and flicked the big orange switches. One MUMPS loop later, I leaned back in my chair, swaddled in the comforting screech of the dot matrix printer, pumping out my assignment.

E-learning was cool.

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