Re: I haven't heard any comment from any teachers
This is going to sound appallingly arrogant but fuck it...
The thing that educated me most about computers wasn't the clapped out BBC Micro I had in middle school, because it was just one program we used on there to teach us how to form sentences, a task that could have been more easily done with a blackboard and a book.
It wasn't in secondary school either, where we used Acorns for 5 years and only had a brief glance at Windows 95 in our final year and what "IT" information was in the course was confused and pointless.
No, my real education started at the age of 5 or 6 with my Amstrad CPC and learning to type out lines of code in BASIC. Fiddling with bits of information here and there to see what would happen (hint: it usually ended in the phrase "syntax error").
The next phase of my education came with my dad's 286DX PC and a floppy disk that offered to teach me the mysteries of MS-DOS. It started as boring distraction but the more I messed around with file systems the moer I began to enjoy myself and the knowledge I was gaining.
Phase 3 still haunts my nightmares even now and it's all thanks to Desert Strike. A highly frustrating game in itself but even getting to the final mission of the final campaign and dying to a lack of fuel was nothing compared to getting to actually run. Yes, from this monumental pain in the arse I learned how to edit config.sys and autoexec.bat files - the arcane mysteries of EMM386.exe, LOADHIGH and HIMEM, all trying to squeeze the right mix of memory in order to run it.
Then came Windows 95 and my inevitable surrender to a non-command line OS. Again, most of what I learned came from trying to run games - things such as drivers, installing new hardware and basic PC housekeeping. My dad had finally relented at this point at got me my own PC at last. The blistering speed with which it ran when it had a whopping 16Mb RAM.
I guess the point of this horribly self indulgent wall of text is that most of the stuff I learned about computers didn't come from school tuition, which in my teenage arrogance I saw as being vastly below me, but instead came from crashes, debugging and a burning desire to play games.
I still have fond memories of almost failing my computing A-level. I got bored with the database they'd asked us to work on and instead spent my time building a quite passable game of pontoon with an AI that knew when to bet and when to hold.