Speaking of going to a different school in junior high… I’m not sure why this popped into my head, as it’s something I haven’t thought of for decades probably, but all the talk about vintage computers apparently sparked another hidden memory.
While the school in general did have several C64 computers, mostly in the library, I was also part of a small selection of students that were chosen for what they called “Computer Lab” … a small room full of Apple II computers. 🙄🤷🏻♂️😏 I just remember how awful they seemed compared to the Commodore computers… with The Oregon Trail running on both for comparison. 😅 No contest.
Their computer lab with all the Apple computers also served as a room for a typing class later in the afternoon, but I knew that after we left the room was empty – and only the teacher would be in there doing whatever it was that she did with her free time. 😏 Everyone else in the class had basically zero computer experience, although they were the smarter kids in my grade. 🤓 Me, at least I had poked around on my own VIC-20 at home, and then the C64s in the library… so… I had learned a little bit of BASIC. 😎
I actually helped some of the other kids in the class at times, so it wasn’t odd that I’d be away from my own computer and messing with someone else’s, and that made me realize that I could pull off a pretty good prank. For a nerd, anyway… 🙄🤷🏻♂️😏 I mean, we were learning to code, so…
You could turn off the monitors while leaving the actual computers on, so… and unfortunately I don’t remember the exact details about this… but somehow I was able to go around to each Apple II in the room and quickly type in a program. There were probably only a dozen computers, and they were situated against three walls of this small square room, just so you can mentally picture it…
But I was able to bang out this little BASIC program on each of the computers right before class ended, as we were all finishing up and supposed to be getting ready to go to our next class. Apple computers only had an annoying beep generator in them, but that was perfect for my prank. 🤡 I think it wasn’t even more than four lines… telling the computer to wait a certain amount of time, ten minutes in this case, and then start rapidly beeping until someone stopped the program. 😁
(I mean, this is a demo created in 2015 and listen how bad even it is… heh)
It’s so weird though… because I’m sure that it worked… which meant that ten minutes after we left, one computer would start beeping – and then in about 10 seconds the next one, and the one after that in ten more seconds… until all of the computers were either beeping all at once or the teacher would be tracking around the room, killing the programs as they started. 😋 But it’s strange because the next day – even though I anticipated getting in some kind of trouble – the teacher didn’t even mention it, didn’t change anything about what we did… it was just strange. 🤔🤷🏻♂️
Well played, teacher… 😏 pretend like I didn’t just school you with my junior high BASIC programming knowledge and I’ll pretend like I didn’t do it. 😄 Hell, maybe she was impressed. 🤷🏻♂️ I’m pretty sure she knew who did it though… none of those other shlubs had any idea of what they were doing yet. 😁