Completed VCE at Ballarat Grammar School 1988.
- Subjects - English, Maths A, Maths B, Physics, Computer Science, Music A (Practical).
- Ended up with pretty reasonable marks - I think from memory I got an Anderson score of
341 out of a possible 420.
Moved to Torquay at end of 1988.
Undertook 3 year Bachelor of Applied Science in Computer Science RMIT - 1989-1991.
- 1st year was fairly simple since many secondary schools could not offer
Computer Science courses due to the price of purchasing expensive computers. Therefore
RMIT had to cater for students who had not even ever used a PC! We mainly used Macs for
programming (Pascal) and word processed assignments but we were allowed to submit work from
PCs if we chose. There was a heavy component of maths (much harder than Maths A and B from
VCE!). Also studied systems analysis/design, Assembly programming (68000).
- 2nd year was an expansion on 1st year. Most subjects were still
compulsory. Topics were covered in more depth with more programming languages studied
(68000 assembly, Cobol, C, Lisp), data-communications, data-structures and design,
compilers, graphics, artificial intelligence, database theory. RMIT sold their lab of Macs
which was a good idea because they bought twice as many PCs for the same money - 1st
year students are now taught direct on PCs. We used mainly PCs (386s and some 486s) and
the VT100 style terminals for programming work on the unix mainframes. I did some
accounting and business studies electives.
- 3rd year was almost pure elective. I majored in data communications but also
studied computer graphics (using mind blowingly powerful silicon graphics workstations),
programming (Cobol, Fortran, Assembler, C) and artificial intelligence. 3rd
year students got to use the mega 21" Sun unix X-Terminals instead of the terrible
VT100 dumb-terminals. We had mainly 486s to use for PC work. I did some more accounting
and business studies electives this year.
- I commuted to Melbourne for the 3 years via train and very occasionally by car. The
worst part about driving to school was finding a park in the city, often no-where to park
and even if you did find a spot, it would cost $10 or so for a day. Commuting on the train
was not a barrel of laughs as trains were usually overcrowded and carriages were often the
older wooden blue style, not the newer orange style. However, since the course at RMIT was
very large, most classes for a given subject were held more than once per week as there
were way too many students to pack into one classroom or lecture theater. By juggling the
four different timetables around, I was able to get a schedule that usually involved only
3 (very long) days of classes per week. This made commuting to Melbourne tolerable.
- After graduating at the end of 1991, I was offered several jobs by various computer and
IT companies in Melbourne. The RMIT course was very well respected for the data-comms and
systems analysis aspects - compared with Deakin where the course seemed to be highly
orientated towards getting graduates jobs with eg Telecom doing COBOL programming.
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