BASIC (Beginners’ All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) remains the simplest programming language, first used at Dartmoor College, New England in 1963, to teach Humanities students and other non-mathematicians to code, and specifically to build a time-sharing programme for mainframe time-sharing. This was back in the day when powerful computers filled a room, and people queued up for time to use it for advanced computational calculations – much as they continue to do today for modern supercomputers, telescopes, and other expensive and rare pieces of shared technology. This interview with one of the lecturers explains where BASIC came from and how the first coding class came about.

Now you can always know how many computers are available in the library at any given time.

We’ve added a handy new tool to the library homepage that displays the number of available PCs and laptops. Drawn from near real-time usage data, this little display gives you a good idea of just how busy the library is at any particular time and might help you decide whether it is worth carrying in your own laptop or finding a library desktop or laptop to use or borrow.

More and more of you prefer your own powerful tech to the existing library PCs, which while they are replaced regularly quickly pale in comparison with the breakneck pace of laptop and even tablet development in general. That’s why we are trialling large, curved screen displays, full-size keyboards and mice just waiting for you to plug in your device (or at a push, one of our loanable laptops) and play. Scan the QR code taped to the table beside these devices and let us know what you think and if you would like to see more of these elsewhere on campus.

Artist's impression of librarians upon the arrival of new eresources

Good news, everybody! We now have many more information resources of interest to surprisingly wide audiences, from everything tangentially related to computing to resources that help diversify the curriculum and more archives on British history from Victoriana to the modern day. Whether you are into History, Design, or Electronic Engineering, we have something new here for you.

Bring your USB-C socketed device or borrow a university laptop, plug in and play using our massive curved screen and desktop peripherals.

Plug your chosen device into one of our plug-in-and-play stations on the first floor and enjoy the use of a mouse, full-size keyboard and a monitor so large it had to be made curved for you to be able to see everything from side to side without moving! It’s the best of all possible worlds: the power and customizability of your own device with the luxury of a dedicated, modern desktop setup and peripherals.

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