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quality of education
Matthew Leverton
Supreme Loser
January 1999
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So the university I attend is offering a course on Allegro this fall. I was digging around on the site to see if they had been using it in other classes. Turns out one professor is.

The initialization function that students are required to call ends with this gem:

1/* you don't need to do this, but on some platforms (eg. Windows) things
2* will be drawn more quickly if you always acquire the screen before
3* trying to draw onto it.
4*/
5acquire_screen();
6 
7/* set transparent text */
8text_mode(-1);
9return 1;
10}
11 
12 
13void wait_for_keypress()
14{
15/* you must always release bitmaps before calling any input functions */
16release_screen(); // seems optional; slows down next operations
17readkey();
18acquire_screen(); // but adding this speeds it up again
19}

I think it's time to change my profile location to Zimbabwe.

kazzmir
Member #1,786
December 2001
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Set i_love_bill to 1 to get some really awesome performance out of Allegro.

le_y_mistar
Member #8,251
January 2007
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tell the prof who you are, i bet he knows of you.

-----------------
I'm hell of an awesome guy :)

23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
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I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that universities have begun teaching Allegro. Maybe I should send my resume to the local campus ...

--
Software Development == Church Development
Step 1. Build it.
Step 2. Pray.

Matthew Leverton
Supreme Loser
January 1999
avatar

Name: Chris

Talents: I can cut wood.

Experience: 200,000 posts on a.cc.

Myrdos
Member #1,772
December 2001

23yrold: Heh, I think I'm the only person at the U of M who knows what Allegro is. Anytime they want students to do something with graphics, they reach for Java.

I graduated with a BSc in 2005, and I remember being annoyed that you seemed to know more C++ than I did. :-/

__________________________________________________

Goalie Ca
Member #2,579
July 2002
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I had friends in high school who knew what allegro was (how i learned of it actually). And friends in university know of it as well.. but not all.

I must say though.. cs profs can make really horrible coders.

-------------
Bah weep granah weep nini bong!

Rampage
Member #3,035
December 2002
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Quote:

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that universities have begun teaching Allegro.

When I was at school (some 4 years ago) a teacher asked us to do a graphic processing program using Allegro. I helped around 60 people to set it up under Linux, but none of them kept using it. They were interested in getting the grade, not in game programming. At least I made some money out of the worst slackers.

[edit]

3000th post! :D

-R

GullRaDriel
Member #3,861
September 2003
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That's .. horrible, depressing, disgusting !

"Code is like shit - it only smells if it is not yours"
Allegro Wiki, full of examples and articles !!

Samuel Henderson
Member #3,757
August 2003
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The only other person who used allegro at the high school I attended was the person responsible for unleashing me upon this community (and for teaching me the fundamentals of C over the course of a couple lunch hours ;D)

In college the only person I have known to use allegro is bamccaig, whom I unleashed upon the a.cc community ;D

=================================================
Paul whoknows: Why is this thread still open?
Onewing: Because it is a pthread: a thread for me to pee on.

James Stanley
Member #7,275
May 2006
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Speaking of Quality of Education, shouldn't the title of this thread have a few capitals in it? ;D

MiquelFire
Member #3,110
January 2003
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Quote:

Speaking of Quality of Education, shouldn't the title of this thread have a few capitals in it? ;D

Maybe Matt's shift key wasn't working when he type it up? :P

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Inphernic
Member #1,111
March 2001

I planned to use Allegro in one C++ programming course I held when I was in the school, figured something like a simple particle system would be perfect as a practical and interesting 'project' for the course. I planned something like:

  • specifying what is needed, 'modelling' the problem

  • how to simplify the problem

  • introduction to objects

  • modelling the needed objects

  • implementing the objects

  • running a 'simulation' in console

  • quick introduction to DirectX (and Allegro)

  • usage of external libraries

  • getting the particles on the screen

  • creating a library

When I had the first session, I was greeted to a class nearly full of "what's int main".. :'( We were left somewhere around the 3rd/4th bullet point before we ran out of time.

Trezker
Member #1,739
December 2001
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Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. ^_^

Kris Asick
Member #1,424
July 2001

I'm reminded of a Turbo Pascal course my mother took when she first went to university years ago. She dropped the course halfway through. About two or three years later I look over the material she was assigned for her first month and am able to complete the entire workload in one day.

Since then, I recall my programming classes in high school, and how only 10% of the students in each class actually realized how to properly do it, 70% took a whole class to do something which took the first 10% a fraction of the time, and the remaining 20% dropped out or stopped coming to classes 'cause they assumed it would be a bird course.

I remember one of my friends used to dispute the teacher in his programming class every day. (Which is not hard when your teacher spells byte "bite".) One day the teacher argued back that if he thinks he can do better then he should teach the class... my friend was tempted to actually do so. ;D

If programming classes out of random educational institutions have taught me anything, it's that such classes are not meant for people who want to program for a living, and that you can tell if you're going to make an excellent programmer or not because you can fix the mistakes the teacher makes! 8-)

--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- http://www.pixelships.com

--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- http://www.pixelships.com

Onewing
Member #6,152
August 2005
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This is really interesting and surprisingly, for me, on topic. :)

I just heard they are trying to create a bit of game development curriculum (well, they have been trying and failing miserably) at the University where I went. Guess what library they are going to use to teach the first class (which, I guess is junior level). Allegro!

And guess what book they are going to use to teach it. ::)

So, this is where I started talking to the guy I heard second-hand about this from. I said most people on a.cc ("what's a.cc?" he says) would not recommend that book, although the third edition might be better. He asks me what would be better. I started to think about it and then I said, "well, I don't really know what's better for learning allegro book-wise." I thought about it more and then said, "but, are we trying to teach them game development or allegro?" If I were a.cc, I figure I'd say it's more important learning the methodology behind code snippets rather than bluntly giving the code snippets in a given library. I suggested the students should be able to use whatever library they want, if they even want to use a library. This would be much more pratical.

I asked who was going to teach this class and that it shouldn't be any body here. They need to bring in someone who is familiar with the industry. This is the reason the previous attempts keep failing. Someone nearby mentioned I should apply to teach the class. Although I admit I was flattered, I remember the saying above "those who can't do, teach." I have no professional experience either, it wouldn't make sense for me to teach. Don't get me wrong, next to game development, teaching has always been my second choice, that's just something for the future to decide.

In a completely unrelated note, it was mentioned the University is trying to get Sid Meier (creator of Civilization games) to come and give a speech. I thought this was ludicrous, considering there isn't a game developer in any of the surrounding states. However, the University does have friends in high places in Wal-Mart, which could persuade things. Just a little random tid-bit.

------------
Solo-Games.org | My Tech Blog: The Digital Helm

Neil Black
Member #7,867
October 2006
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I took a programming class in high school... QBASIC. Within two weeks I was at the top of the class. A week later I was at the bottom. Boredom got me, especially when almost the entire class got stuck on arrays. By the end of the semester I had passed the teacher. He didn't know how to draw a line (I think the SCREEN 13 thing confused him), and I was making short RPGs using GET and PUT to throw graphics to the screen ;D Now, what little I know in C and Allegro amazes him. I hope to finish a short RPG, which I may or may not release online, to show him how far I've come since he first taught me what a variable is.

OICW
Member #4,069
November 2003
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ML said:

Name: Chris

Talents: I can cut wood.

Experience: 200,000 posts on a.cc.

Oh this totally cracked me down ;D

Anyway the OP seems like a bad joke.

[My website][CppReference][Pixelate][Allegators worldwide][Who's online]
"Final Fantasy XIV, I feel that anything I could say will be repeating myself, so I'm just gonna express my feelings with a strangled noise from the back of my throat. Graaarghhhh..." - Yahtzee
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23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
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Pfft; I haven't cut wood in 2 years. :P

Quote:

23yrold: Heh, I think I'm the only person at the U of M who knows what Allegro is.

/updates resume

Talents: totally way better than that David McCallum guy you shouldn't hire instead of me.

--
Software Development == Church Development
Step 1. Build it.
Step 2. Pray.

Dustin Dettmer
Member #3,935
October 2003
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Possumdude0 said:

A week later I was at the bottom. Boredom got me, especially when almost the entire class got stuck on arrays.

This happened to me in an intro C++ class. The teacher had us making this really tedious and incredibly boring command line 'teacher grade-book' app.

I asked her if I could make it cool (so I'd be motivated to actually do it) with some kind of snazzy gui.

She told me I should start with the basics and work my way up, and that she would fail me if I did that.

OICW
Member #4,069
November 2003
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Dustin: that I'd handle to her another C++ project of my own to show her I'm not at basic level.

[My website][CppReference][Pixelate][Allegators worldwide][Who's online]
"Final Fantasy XIV, I feel that anything I could say will be repeating myself, so I'm just gonna express my feelings with a strangled noise from the back of my throat. Graaarghhhh..." - Yahtzee
"Uhm... this is a.cc. Did you honestly think this thread WOULDN'T be derailed and ruined?" - BAF
"You can discuss it, you can dislike it, you can disagree with it, but that's all what you can do with it"

Dustin Dettmer
Member #3,935
October 2003
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She just wanted me to conform and be able to tell me that i was somehow suboptimal.

OICW
Member #4,069
November 2003
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Her fight...

[My website][CppReference][Pixelate][Allegators worldwide][Who's online]
"Final Fantasy XIV, I feel that anything I could say will be repeating myself, so I'm just gonna express my feelings with a strangled noise from the back of my throat. Graaarghhhh..." - Yahtzee
"Uhm... this is a.cc. Did you honestly think this thread WOULDN'T be derailed and ruined?" - BAF
"You can discuss it, you can dislike it, you can disagree with it, but that's all what you can do with it"

nonnus29
Member #2,606
August 2002
avatar

I'm totally disillusioned with the quality of education at the university I go to now. This past semester has been horrid. I had a programming languages survey course that amounted to learning how procedural features are used in Ada. We have a compiler course but it's not offered because the crappy cs dept doesn't have anyone who can teach it.

They have gfx class and from what I've heard people are making interactive 3d demos in it. And this class is taught by an 'instructor' with an MS, not a phd.

Phd's are effing stupid. From what I've seen they can't code and can't teach. You have to go to a name school to find profs that are worth a shit.

Goalie Ca
Member #2,579
July 2002
avatar

Over the past year or so I started to think that the problem was not the proffs at all.

There are only few people who are gifted, brilliant, and genius! Then there are those who are bright and can learn and do quite well in any situation.

These people are too few in number. It would be nice if you could send the smartest to the best schools and the best opportunities but economics does not favour that. Rather, there are 10x as many people just looking for some degree and some job and could not get through a more thorough and rigorous program. The correct solution would be to seperate students based on ability and potential (and interest). The present solution: dumb it down and focus on quantity of students getting through (edit: and teach them trade-like skills, as in how to use software package A-Z) ie: it becomes high school all over again. (edit: for the cycle to be complete the students become professors)

They say masters is the new bachelors. In many ways this is true. In order to get a basic grounding in first principles you pretty much have to do masters. In order to get some of the more technical jobs, grad school is the only solution. This is the road i'm going down, but I am doing it because I love research and I feel in some way like i have only scratched the surface in terms of basic fundamental knowledge. This feeling is very satisfying because it means my supervisor for my undergrad research did something very right. (edit: Learning to create knowledge is very important as well!)

-------------
Bah weep granah weep nini bong!

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