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School computers may be overrated #2 :: Asperger Technical

 

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 Post subject: Re: School computers may be overrated
Post Number:#11  PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:33 pm 
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Joined: 1st July, 2007
Posts: 20
Location: UK
Has anybody ever encountered a British Telecom Merlin M4204T or M4213T computer? I don't think they were used in schools but they were used by the government according to a Wikipedia article about them.

They must have been a very interesting computer but there doesn't seem to be much information about them.


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     Post subject: Re: School computers may be overrated
    Post Number:#12  PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 5:03 pm 
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    Joined: 23rd June, 2007
    Posts: 35
    2 plus 8 wrote:
    Has anybody ever encountered a British Telecom Merlin M4204T or M4213T computer? I don't think they were used in schools but they were used by the government according to a Wikipedia article about them.

    They must have been a very interesting computer but there doesn't seem to be much information about them.


    An elderly neighbour owned a BT Merlin with a hard drive and a 5 1/4 inch floppy drive. He was a writer and used it for word processing. One of his relatives who worked for the Job Centre gave it him when they were chucking them out and replacing them with PCs. I remember the computer having monochrome screen and a keyboard with loads more keys than a PC keyboard, and I can vaguely recall the security socket on the back of the main unit that weighed a ton.

    I have no idea if the computer or the neighbour are still around today.


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       Post subject: Re: School computers may be overrated
      Post Number:#13  PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 11:22 pm 
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      Joined: 1st July, 2007
      Posts: 20
      Location: UK
      Old business computers don't appear to have been saved and preserved anywhere near as much as home computers have. If you visit most online old computer museums they are filled with numerous home computers but far fewer business computers.


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         Post subject: Re: School computers may be overrated
        Post Number:#14  PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:54 pm 
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        Joined: 23rd June, 2007
        Posts: 35
        Corporate scrappage policies sometimes prevent employees from taking old computers their workplace is chucking out. That BT Merlin from the Job Centre was pulled from a container full of old computer equipment when nobody was looking. My schools used to auction off their old computer equipment. Now the LA recovers decommissioned computer equipment for recycling meaning that even the teachers are no longer able to have old computers.

        There was a time when BT was scrapping its old electromechanical and analogue electronic telephone exchanges and they wouldn't let their staff or the public have pieces of equipment even for preservation purposes. Sometimes you were lucky to find scrapped equipment waiting outside of the exchange, such as that for the end of Letchworth TXE4.

        Image


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           Post subject: Re: School computers may be overrated
          Post Number:#15  PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:24 pm 
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          Joined: 3rd April, 2007
          Posts: 90
          I remember Woolston TXE4 in Southampton when it was still operating. There was also defunct Strowger equipment in situ and a System X exchange in use at the time. Gosport was one of the last working Strowger exchanges in Hampshire. It was changed over to digital on 24th June 1993.


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             Post subject: Re: School computers may be overrated
            Post Number:#16  PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:27 pm 
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            Joined: 1st July, 2007
            Posts: 20
            Location: UK
            Aneez wrote:
            Another motor and co-ordination difficulty I had was handling a bike. I was given this really cool looking Sonic Cybertribe bike for my birthday because my parents thought that its high tech appearance would encourage me to learn to ride it.

            It was too heavy for me to handle properly without losing balance. In Y5 my school had cycling proficiency and the instructor wouldn't let me take the test on the bike because I was too wobbly and had difficulty with the gears.


            Do kids with Asperger syndrome find a mountain bike or a BMX easier to handle? I had a Raleigh Reactor BMX when I was a kid and had no difficulty handling it. It was the bike I learned to ride on when I was 9 years old and I took my cycling proficiency test on it only a few months later. I have encountered many kids with Asperger syndrome that ride BMXs to quite a high standard, one of which is a talented stuntrider.


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               Post subject: Re: School computers may be overrated
              Post Number:#17  PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:15 pm 
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              Joined: 23rd June, 2007
              Posts: 35
              2 plus 8 wrote:
              Do kids with Asperger syndrome find a mountain bike or a BMX easier to handle?


              Interesting question. It probably depends on the individual. More kids and teenagers with AS that I have met have mountain bikes than BMXs. Some can ride a bike really well but a few over the age of 10 can't ride a bike at all. One teenager is on for his 4th bike and still hasn't got the co-ordination to ride it.


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                 Post subject: Re: School computers may be overrated
                Post Number:#18  PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:49 pm 
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                Joined: 3rd April, 2007
                Posts: 90
                There's an article in the Daily Mail A tenth of children don't know how to ride a bike 'due to parents' fears about strangers' but it doesn't mention anything about kids with AS that can't ride a bike.

                I know a 14 year old with AS who is an expert when it comes to computers and is studying A Level maths and physics but can't ride a bike because of his physical co-ordination.


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                   Post subject: Re: School computers may be overrated
                  Post Number:#19  PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:29 pm 
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                  Joined: 11th May, 2010
                  Posts: 56
                  Location: Leamington Spa, Warks, UK
                  IMVHO the best facility that schools could provide would be work experience.


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