Just DOS-ing Around

| Learning | July 19, 2017

(I am required to take a basic computing class in high school in 1998. I am already fairly familiar with computers and get my assignments done quickly. I often have time to catch up on work for other classes, but when I run out of homework to do, I decide to bring in a disk with some of my personal creative writing projects on it so I can work on those. The teacher is always cracking down on other students playing games, and apparently he doesn’t like me doing my writing, either.)

Teacher: “What are you doing?”

Me: “I’m working on a story I’m writing.”

Teacher: “How did you get that onto the computer?”

Me: “I brought in a disk.”

Teacher: “You can’t do THAT!”

Me: “Why not? I scanned it with my antivirus program at home before I brought it in.”

Teacher: “It’s NOT ALLOWED! Move over.”

(He sat down at the computer, removed my disk — after I had saved, thankfully — and exited to MS-DOS. I watched as he reassigned the drive name, so instead of looking for disks in the A: drive, the computer would look for them under some other letter. All this did was change the drive’s name, not its actual location or function. He got up, satisfied.)

Teacher: “There. Now you can’t use your disk anymore.”

Me: “Okay.”

(He left. It took me only a few seconds to find that he had changed A: to R:, so I put my disk back in and went back to writing. After a few minutes, the teacher noticed.)

Teacher: “Hey! I thought I blocked that garbage?”

Me: “How is working on a personal writing project garbage?”

Teacher: “It’s not allowed!”

(He reassigned the drive letter again. I found it again. We went through that song and dance three or four more times before he finally gave up.)

Teacher: “Fine. You win.” *big sigh* “At least you’re not playing games.”

(And that’s how I learned a few new DOS commands, which came in handy 12 years later when I got a job at a government agency that still used DOS-based systems.)

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