Tag Archives: basics

BBC Computer Literacy Project available on iPlayer

Original article by Rob Thubron on https://www.techspot.com/news/75281-bbc-makes-computer-literacy-project-archives-available-public.html

In context: For many people in the 1980s, everything they thought they knew about I.T. came from War Games. In the UK, the BBC tried to change this with the ‘Computer Literacy Project,’ which included a series of TV programs that “inspired a generation of coders,” and led to the commissioning of its own computer, the Micro. Now, it is opening up the project’s archives to the public.
The project ran from 1980 to 1989, with the TV shows introducing much of the UK to the world of computers. Some famous guests included Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Steve Wozniak, and there was plenty of coverage of machines such as the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum.

But the most significant element of the Computer Literacy Project was its introduction of the 8-bit BBC Micro. Part of the UK government’s plans to place microcomputers in schools, Cambridge-based Acorn created the BBC-branded machine, which was released in 1981 and sold until 1994. It featured a 2MHz CPU and 16 – 32 KB of memory. Demand for the Micro was so great that the accompanying 10-part TV series was delayed for a month.

Steve Furber, who led the design of the BBC Micro and the first Arm chip, said: “The BBC Micro not only gave folk access to a computer, but it also gave them easy access to its inner workings, something that has been lost with most of today’s very sophisticated technology.”

The BBC Micro ended up in an estimated 60 percent of UK primary schools and 85 percent of secondary schools and was still being used up until the early 1990s.

Those interested in a piece of tech history can check out any of the 267 shows, the BBC Micro’s 166 pieces of original software, and over 2,509 clips for free right here. It will be available for the next three months, after which time the BBC will decide whether to turn it into a permanent feature.

A Look at the History of the Internet

Throughout the history of man, our accomplishments have been marked by various ages. There was the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age.

These were primarily marked by the material used in the weapons of the day. In modern days we have gloried for a brief time in the Nuclear Age, but this rapidly fell from favor when we figured out we either could destroy the world, or die from all the waste from our reactors. With the advent of the Internet, we find ourselves in the information age.

Although most people think that the Internet is a recent development, it actually has its roots over 40 years ago. The US military saw the need to interconnect radar facilities all over the country. Later this ability would allow the exchange of information between educational facilities.

What we know as the Internet today actually got its start in the early 90’s. The advent of the personal computer in the late 1980’s spurred the growth of the internet. What started with a few college students talking to each other’s computers has grown to an international information exchange.

Remember the days when you would mention you had a computer to a friend and they would say, “Hey my friend Joe has a bulletin board, do you have a modem?” Once you figured out what a modem was, you went down to your friendly computer store and either bought one, or most likely had it installed. (I remember the days when I was scared to death to open up a computer case.) So you had your 1200 baud modem hooked up, listened to all those tones and viola, you were connected. It took maybe 2 weeks if you downloaded a picture, but you were actually talking to another computer. Heaven forbid that you even thought of video. No one could call you because the phone was always busy as you were exploring this strange new world.

Now we have DSL and satellite so we can talk on the phone while we text our friends on our mobile while we post to Facebook.

Information is king in this day. You can find most anything within seconds. We have new words, “I’ll Google that,” or “I Googled that yesterday.” A word that a few years ago did not exist has become a noun and a verb for finding information.

With the rise of the internet we have seen a new economy develop. “Ecommerce” has become the byword of the day. Today it is quite possible to live and never leave your home. This new economy has given birth to a new generation of entrepreneurs, the Internet Marketer. Selling information on the Internet has become a multi-million dollar business.

People like Armand Moran, Alex Mandossian, and Rich Schefren are among the top Internet Marketers in the US, as well as Michael Green, Michael Cheney, and the up and coming Alex Jeffreys in the UK.

Although the main advantage of selling information on the ‘Net is it is a fairly level playing field that most anyone with a few skills can be successful in, it is becoming a bit more difficult now. There is quite a bit to process from web site design, content, sales copy etc.

Unless you are very self-directed, and disciplined, one of the better ways to become successful is to find a mentor. A mentor can provide the information and inspiration to guide you along the way. After all, they have been down the route before and already made the mistakes.

Finding the right mentor can be a challenge. You must take care that you don’t get one who is willing to take your money and leave you standing. Some of the best places might be forums directed to the Internet Marketing niche.

Look for people with a good reputation check references. You can also try typing the potential mentor’s name and “scam” to see if there is any negative feed back about them, but do this with an open mind. Sometimes disgruntled people will leave undeserved negative feedback.

Can anyone know how long the “Information Age” will last? What is next on the horizon, implants that bypass the computer and let your brain directly access the Internet? Can you make it “big” on the “Net?” The only way to know is to find a mentor and give it a try.

About the Author: Gene Ilten has been involved in Internet Marketing for 5 years. You can find out more on his blog at geneilten.com.

Website Creation Simplified

Brief Overview Of The Nuts And Bolts

Before you start fiddling around with HTML editors, FTP clients, and Domain registrations, it’s important to have at least a basic understanding of how all this works. This Website creation overview gives you an easy to understand look at what the process of building your own Website really involves.

A website is a collection of files that work together to form a unified whole. These various files, from images to HTML documents and PHP scripts, or instructional software, are organized by a Web browser and displayed appropriately on a computer monitor.

Website creation is essentially the process arranging information in a way that can be translated by Web browsing software, such as Internet Explorer, and presented to human viewers. To do this correctly you’ll need to gain a basic understanding of coding languages like HTML, CSS, and possibly PHP.

The process of coding your site is literally the activity of entering numerous individual lines of alphanumeric code that tell the Web browser how to format and display your Web page. While seemingly complex at first, the truth is learning the most basic Web development code — HTML — is less complicated than learning to use the English alphabet.

Once you learn what the various command codes actually do, your next step is to practice organizing them in a structured manner within an HTML document. This is not unlike the process of creating a word processing document and saving it; the only difference is that instead of sentences and paragraphs you’ll be entering HTML tags and attributes.

Once your files are complete, they’ll need to be added to your Web host so other Internet users can access them. The Web host, or server, is a powerful computer that operates around the clock.

It is here that all the files and data that make up your Website will be stored. And you’ll need to register a domain name and synchronize this domain with your host machine so people can type an easily remembered Web address into their browser and literally navigate to your Website by establishing a connection with your host server.

In addition to learning how to create and save basic HTML documents, Website creation requires some level of proficiency in transferring files between your computer and a Web server. This is called File Transfer Protocol, or FTP for short.

To do this, you’ll need a software tool called an FTP client. This utility is installed on your desktop and can instantly form a connection with your Web host, allowing you to upload files to the Web or download them to your machine.

It is also recommended that you become familiar with the directory structure and hosting control panel your Web host provides. This will make it easier for you to manage your Website.

This sounds like a lot of work. But the truth is the average Internet user can become basically versed in all of this within 30 days or less if he or she puts forth an effort to learn.

It’s beyond the scope of this article to delve into the specifics of any particular technique. But I hope at this point you at least have an understanding of what is involved in learning the Website Creation process.
Timothy Aaron Whiston – Quickly and easily learn Web design with the author’s amazing online course.   You’ll be an ace Webmaster in no time with this full-blown Web design course at your disposal.