certainly no speed demon. It takes about 2 hours to boot to bash prompt ("init=/bin/bash" kernel command line). Then 4 more hours to boot up the entire Ubuntu ("exec init" and then login). Starting X takes a lot longer.
It is common to see newbies asking in microcontroller forums if they can run Linux on their puny little 8-bit micro. The results are usually laughter.
nothing more than glorified computer programming mills that barely prepare their students for that; not at all what I know to be "computer science"
Definitely , i have seen people programming from the very start of their career but do not even know what a clock is or does to a Microprocessor and they are deemed as programmers, As a good friend i always define to them that the starting of Computer Science is with a uC on BreadBoard and Mastering programming it along with knowing its very salient features and physics of working, I think the old guys in MIT were like this only(or many are still like this).