Technology in the olden days

Technology in the olden days

1. When I started at BYU, they had just implemented their online course registration system. It's possible that fall 1999 wasn't the very first semester it was in use, but it had to be relatively new. The way it worked is that you would log on using your id (three initials plus a number; mine was bmw43) and then register for the courses you wanted. But priority was given to upperclassmen - those with more credits could register for classes a few days earlier than those with few or no credits.

However: ALSO the way it worked was that if you logged in randomly the day before classes started and a class all of a sudden had a spot open (due to someone dropping it just then), you could register for it. There was a lot of luck involved. And craftiness. Because those of us with upperclassmen friends/roommates/siblings absolutely abused the system. I once wanted a spot in MCOM320 or some such class that always filled up on the first day, which would mean I didn't have a chance as an underclassman with not enough credits for priority registration. But I did happen to have an older brother at BYU, who was a senior and had a ton of credits. He registered for the class, got a spot, and then at a prearranged time when my registration day came, released the spot so I could snap it up. And that's how I got into that class (and maybe a few others).

These days, I don't think it would work that way - at my uni, at least, there is a proper record kept of order of registration, as well as a functioning wait list. But what can I say? I guess I went to college in the olden days. It was like the wild wild west out there.

2. Just now I was telling Miriam about how when I was growing up, we had channels 4 (ABC), 6 (CBS), 8 (NBC), 10 (OPB), 12 (...?), and 13 (Fox) on our TV, and that was it. I thought she was probably pretty impressed by how rustic we had it. And then she asked, "what are channels?" and I realized how that history is even more ancient than I thought.

3. The other day I ended up having to pull up the master list of all our iTunes purchases. I had a memory of us making our first iTunes purchase in 2003, but I had thought that was way too early to be accurate. So I checked: turns out it was 2003, during the summer! Some store was running a promotion where if you bought a slushie, you got a free iTunes song. We each got one, and redeemed for Blue Savannah by Erasure and Pure by the Lightning Seeds.

Foreign language study in elementary schools in Finland

January 13th, outsourced