This mentality is taken a few steps further in my school. In the Computer Science lab, we have Pentium I's at 75-100 MHz running Turbo C++ 3.0 for DOS. The compiler runs in a dos box inside Windows 95 for god knows why...maybe we're being punished for the occasional crash of a student-made program with the eternal delay of a Windows restart.

By contrast, consider the English department's computer lab. Row after row of Pentium III's with 100Base-T ethernet cards, modern CD-ROM drives, and 4-10 GB of hard disk space with a few hundred megs used for the operating system and the useless toy programs that come with it. The sole purpose of the entire system: Microsoft Word 97.

The third main component of the school's pseudo-modernization tactic is the "computer in every classroom". It sits on a desk in the corner, has the same configuration as the English lab computers, and runs SASI. This is a program that the teacher uses once at the beginning of each period to mark who is absent, and again to enter grades, which are stored on a central server with practically no security. That is, if they're lucky. Last summer some idiot decided to replace the current working system with one that does EXACTLY THE SAME THING, but crashes several times a day, sometimes for hours on end.

A friend of mine "hacked" the system once...well, he happened to be in the room when a clueless administrator typed her Microsoft Logon password in full view of students. My friend retyped it on another computer, and got instant access to every bit of school records they had. He looked around a bit but didn't touch anything, and so was kicked out of his campus, and transferred to mine.

The entire district is connected to the internet by a fractional T1, and the slowest firewall/proxy server you ever did see. Not only that, but each campus' internal network seems to be linked by nothing but repeater hubs, as each NIC shows the network practically saturated at all times. I am tempted to run a packet sniffer/analyzer on it, and capture logs to floppy disk....too bad I finished their highest Computer Science class last year, or I would have enough unsupervised lab time to do it easily.

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