CALGARY PROGRAMMING SOCIETY HISTORY -- 1981 to 1985
1981 -- President/Founder Mike Smith (Teacher -- Lord Beaverbrook)
Computers were not really available in schools in 1981. One of the Science teachers (Mike Smith) at Lord Beaverbrook Senior School in Calgary decided that a good way to get additional computers into the schools would be to run a competition and get "donantions" from local business. With the assistance of many of the staff and students at Lord Beaverbrook the competition was first run in 1981.
In addition to Mike Smith, the main other organizers were teachers G. Donaldson (now at Winston Churchill) and G. Cunningham (now at J. Diefenbaker) and a number of students A. Nagatomi (Nagatomi Engineering) and D. Rudiak (A.G.T.)
Twenty seven teams from Elementary, Junior and Senior High Schools met the first year. Such was the state of programming in the schools at that time that ALL teams did the same 5 questions. In fact, it was not until the final question was marked were the elementary school teams knocked out of 1st and 2nd place.
The 1st prize (an ATARI computer from Visions) was awarded to a teacher from Okotoks (a small town outside of Calgary). This nearly cost Mike Smith his job as the prize was awarded to the TEACHER and not the school district. Mike felt that if the teacher was doing a large amount of work on the computer, then it would only be right, if when the teacher was moved then so should the computer!
Computers were in such short supply that the associated school boards were not happy about that situation. They wanted the computer for the district and not the teacher. Obstinate to the last, and being a teacher himself, Smith was not having any of this! The problem was finally resolved when the winning teacher took a year's sabbatical overseas and let the school board have the computer. All this fuss over a 64K Atari computer. Very different from the computer situation now.
1982 -- President Mike Smith (Professor -- University of Calgary)
The second year saw an expansion of the competition and other problems. Judges erasing diskettes by error so that the winner enteries could not be rejudged. The chief judge awarding the prizes and only after putting up the results later was it noticed that 3 teams were tied for third place. We shall not mention the infamous student problem of "kicking out the power cords" before programs were saved. All fun lessons.
1983 -- President Gerritt Cunningham (Teacher -- Calgary Board of Education)
1984 -- President Gerritt Cunningham (Teacher -- Calgary Board of Education)