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Posts Tagged ‘computers’

Reading and writing and operating systems

Religion, politics, and operating systems – three things sure to start a spirited discussion. By January 2016, when the Houston Independent School District’s latest tech initiative hits full stride, the district will issue laptops to every high school student and teacher in the district. All 65,000 of those laptops will run Windows 7 and cloud-based […]

Digital textbooks are on their way

HISD is on the leading edge. HISD is the first of Texas’ large districts – and among the first large districts in the nation – to radically rethink the way it buys new high school instructional materials, shifting from printed textbooks to digital materials accessible from school-issued laptops. “Our rule is that, each time state […]

Rolling out the laptops

I look forward to seeing how this goes. Tens of thousands of local students will receive taxpayer-funded laptops or tablets this month as the Houston and Clear Creek school districts join the national movement toward digital education. School leaders say dispatching the devices can help bridge the gap between rich and poor families and lead […]

It always comes down to the IT guys

The joint processing center that’s on the Harris County ballot this year will need a new computer system to fully realize its gains. The so-called “jail management system,” which the Sheriff’s Office hopes will be up and running at least a year before the processing center would open, will allow the jail to track the […]

Laptops for fewer, at least for now

HISD’s proposed laptops for all proposal has been scaled back from an 18 school pilot to a ten school pilot in response to concerns that they weren’t quite ready yet for anything bigger than that. Lenny Schad, chief technology officer for the Houston Independent School District, told the school board via email this week that […]

HISD to begin laptops for all program

Starting small, and presumably growing from there. Houston ISD officials announced Thursday that they are prepared to give students at up to 18 high schools their own laptops next school year, becoming among the first big-city districts to launch a one-to-one computing program. “This is a way of transforming what and how we teach,” HISD […]

Laptops for all

HISD Superintendent Terry Grier would like to bridge the digital divide in HISD. Superintendent Terry Grier said his goal is to equip all 130,000 students in grades three through 12 with a laptop and hopes to start with at least some high schools next year. He will try to rally community support for the concept […]

CompSci in the curriculum

HISD Trustee Paula Harris coauthors an op-ed in the Chron advocating computer science to be part of the standard school curriculum. While STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education is a hot topic in education circles these days, only math and science courses are required for graduation from high school. The few computer science courses […]

Computer recycling

As a state, we do a pretty lousy job of recycling old computers and computer components. Texas ranks last in recycling computer parts among states that require manufacturers to take back their electronics, according to a report by an Austin environmental group that tries to keep computers and other electronics from landfills. The report, by […]

Space travel: Not as high tech as you might think

It may be the final frontier, but that doesn’t mean we’re using bleeding edge technology. [The International Space Station's] 44 primary computers that do everything from guide the station around Earth at 17,000 mph to monitor for fires are powered by Intel 386 processors, first built in the mid-1980s, with a clock rate of 16 […]

Mainframing

Ah, memories. As hot new servers have grabbed more attention, mainframes have been plugging away behind the scenes. For decades, they have been the technological backbone for banking, finance, insurance, defense, health care, education, government and other industries. “The perception is we’re old and gray,” said Jim Porell, an engineer who works on mainframes at […]

Close enough for computer work

Very cool. Engineers have long lived by a simple, seemingly obvious rule when designing new computers: The machines have to deliver correct answers. If asked to compute two plus two, a computer should answer four. But what if computers didn’t always have to answer correctly? Nearly a decade age, a Houston computer scientist posed this […]