‘Back To The Future’ was recently on TV again. According to the movie, I should now be driving a fusion powered flying car. Oh well. In another example of how things change more slowly than we may think, I just attended a presentation on Embarcadero’s latest version of RAD Studio, presented by David Intersimone (aka David I). Now David I has been around a long time – he (indirectly) taught me C++. Over 20 years ago I learned to program in C++ using one of Robert Lafore’s excellent C++ books, which came with an interactive computer-based tutorial. Along with this I watched a set of Borland videos, ably presented by David I. I also had access to the Borland C++ compiler so could try things out as I went along. So anyway, there I was at the beginning of 1990s having an interactive multimedia self-paced hands-on learning experience. I must admit that I’m finding it hard to see the vast strides we have made since, apart from the fact that we now have the web, which we didn’t back then, in fact I didn’t even have email. So the delivery channels have changed but I wonder what else we’ve achieved? The latest thing in self-study is, of course, the MOOC, and I have recently signed up for Waikato University’s new MOOC on data mining.  If those guys can teach me half as much as David I and Robert Lafore did in the last century then I will very happy.

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