Looking For Person Who Ran Computer Classes on Main Street in the Late 1970s.

Somewhere between the years of 1978-1980, there was a computer class on Main Street, does anyone remember or know the person who ran this class?

I believe the computers were TRS-80s & I think the location was the Hooker-Dunham building (138 Main) on the second floor.

Comments | 2

  • Ahh, the TRS-80

    I could help you if you were in Punta Gorda, Florida…. Ms. Long!

    The TRS-80 was my first experience programming. The first machines we got to use could handle 2k! of data, which those of us writing lines of code using BASIC (really simple text…) felt was ample to do just about anything we could imagine. When we got the 4k upgrades, we thought we had almost infinite room to write programs.

    I remember writing code to make graphics, to do some of my pre-calculus, some games. The fun and challenge was in working out the logic of the program. Sometimes you’d accidentally make an infinite loop and forget to put in a way to get out of it. Sometimes you’d want it to loop forever but you’d forget it tell it to go back and start over again so it would just do the operation once and stop.

    The TRS-80 was so cool! That is, until we went to a computing competition at a neighboring school. They had the early Macs. Colors, sounds, and all sorts of things our lonely TRS-80’s didn’t have. Our first computer envy!

    For me, the TRS-80 also brings to mind trauma! My teacher dropped dead next to me during class one morning. No joke. Her heart valve stopped working earlier in the day, the doctors said, and she fell over and went into convulsions right as she was getting to my computer to see what I was up to that day. (I was going to show her how I had created a game to build towers, and had just finished the part where the tower falls…. (weird!). I had to step over her to get out of the room when other teachers noticed and wanted us all out. Quite a day.

    It’s good for everyone to know some programming (and there are lots of online sources for learning and practice) because computers are at the heart of just about everything these days. Knowing how programs are created and how computers actually work demystifies them. It also gives you, the user of the computer, more power and control.

    Computing has drifted away from this a bit, encouraging the majority to use corporate programs rather than create things oneself. The TRS-80 didn’t do anything unless you told it what to do, line by line. Compare that to the computer/phone people carry today – it’s designed to make it difficult for you to program yourself. We have to trust and rely on others we don’t know.

    Someone should know who was teaching computing here around 1980. (Maybe the answer is in the cards of the Brattleboro game from that era? It has lots of high school-related questions and answers – maybe computing snuck in?)


    I remember learning BASIC and PASCAL in college on dummy terminals with tiny B&W screens attached to a mainframe that took up a huge room that had to be air conditioned year round because of the heat it generated. We celebrated when the science building computer room got its first color screens; everyone wanted to be first in line to grab those seats.

    The addictive game of the time was Rogue, a quest through multiple levels of dungeons depicted using regular keyboard characters and navigated using the keyboard and arrow keys. I found a 1983 color version online but the one we used was older and B&W. https://archive.org/details/msdos_Rogue_1983

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