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Computational Thinking in SoundTeaching the Art and Science of Music and Technology$
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Gena R. Greher and Jesse M. Heines

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199826179

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199826179.001.0001

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Getting Them StartedI Didn’t Know You Could Do That with a Computer

Getting Them StartedI Didn’t Know You Could Do That with a Computer

(p.78) Chapter 5 Getting Them StartedI Didn’t Know You Could Do That with a Computer
Computational Thinking in Sound

Gena R. Greher

Jesse M. Heines

Oxford University Press

“What’s an iPod?” “What’s an iPhone?” “What’s an Android?” Pose those questions to any gen-Xer or millennial and we guarantee you that there’s one answer you won’t get: “a small, handheld computer.” We’d also be shocked if their answers included anything like “a communication device capable of connecting to a wireless or cellular network.” You’re more likely to hear: “It’s like, a thing I use to chat with my friends, watch videos, and listen to music.” They can tell you what these devices are for, but they would have trouble telling you what they really are. Is this bad? No, not in and of itself. The computer has truly become an appliance, and some think about it no more deeply than they think about their toaster. Let’s credit the geeks in Silicon Valley for making complex devices so easy to use that, as they say about driving a car, “any fool can do it, and many do.” If your neighbor has a problem connecting to the Internet and comes to you for help and you ask what browser he or she uses, you just might get a blank stare. If you then try to break the ice by asking: “When you connect to the Internet (or World Wide Web) to look up something with Google or read your email, what program do you use?” An answer we commonly hear is: “I don’t know. I just click on the little picture that says ‘Connect to the Internet’ (or ‘Read Your Email,’ etc.).” This assumes, of course, that your neighbor knows what you mean by “program.” If not, it’s probably easiest to just ask: “Tell me the steps you follow to open your email so that you can read and send new messages.” Even though we feel that everyone should know a bit more about computers than this, we applaud the developments that have made computers everyday devices.

Keywords:   Adobe Audition, Chrome browser, Linux system, Pro Tools (Avid), QuickTime, WAV (WAVeform) files, Windows Media Player, autoethnography, converters, data storage, file types, mash-up projects, prosumer software applications

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