With regards to computers, I was quite lucky growing up. My father has changed between jobs, but has always worked with computers at some point- many children see their parents obsoleted by computers rather than using them. I found myself in a number of schools thanks to frequently moving, but I recall all but one of them having a computer lab that I wound up using- this course has shown me that schools exist even in the States that have no computers, or leave them all in boxes for nobody to use. At twelve I got a machine of my own- it unfortunately had Windows ME on it, but I didn’t realize at the time why that was an issue, and it was more informative than having no machine at all. I also wound up with a book on C# and tried teach myself how to program- while the effort seemed futile at the time, I actually remembered quite a bit from it when I found myself in a proper Computer Science course at high school. From high school I had the final fortune of already living close to and being admitted to the University of Texas, one of the better schools in the nation when it comes to CS.
As someone who codes, I can say with certainty that computers are complicated. Getting an operating system to run properly with no memory leaks is complicated. Making it secure is complicated. Making programs that can run on a variety of environments is complicated. I see machines as fallible tools; necessary, mostly reliable, but very prone to particular errors that need to be known about. Nothing on a machine is perfectly secure; even before the NSA’s spying was publicized this was true. Likewise machines are never infallible; even if it’s running perfectly stable code (a myth in itself for anything non-trivial), hardware defects can and do happen.
This post was written by a student, and has been left unedited by the admin.