Why Alice?

Many of you have asked why we are learning to use Alice.  In the late 1990’s the computer programming industry started to see a distinct absence of females who majored in this discipline in college. In an effort to fight this, Carnegie Mellon created a program that would train people how to program, specifically for games. They sought to give it a name that everybody could identify with, so they picked Alice from Alice in Wonderland. Underneath the actions that you see on the screen, is a very complicated, intricate set of code that runs the program. The same is true of programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Flash, Final Cut Movie Software and most Web 2.0 programs. Over the top is a shell that allows the user to make things happen in a safe and user friendly environment. While I have no illusions that all of you will want to become computer programmers, I do want to expose you to the program and possibly spur some interest on your part. Remember my speech at the beginning of the semester. I stated that we would try to explore a variety of programs. Some of these programs you’ll like, others you won’t. Much like life, we can’t always get the perfect situation. However, it is my sincere hope that all of the students who take the introductory computer courses take away practical skills that will serve you in your future and present life. Please keep this in mind as you struggle with some of the assignments and fly through the others. To date we have covered Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Google Sketchup, Google Pages, WordPress and Alice. The exploration will continue. How we get there is the journey that we all share. Enjoy your break and please drive safely. Don’t get into an automobile or a situation that could have consequences for you or others.

Slán go fóill- Which is Gaelic ( the language of the Irish) for Goodbye for now.