Why do we expect computer history to be taught? When you took Driver's Ed,
you weren't taught the history of the automobile, right? Are you shocked
when your kids in Kindergarten aren't taught the history of the English
language when they're learning to read? How about all the languages it was
Incorrect terminology might be an issue, but let's not confuse OUR passion
for history as stuff that everyone needs to know. Remember that things are
relative; some REAL old-timers scoffed when I told them my KIM-1 was a
computer in the 70s. "That's not a computer, it's just a big calculator.
Real computers have...". They were also annoyed that I had no knowledge
of computer history at that time.
If the tech support person knows that CP/M ran on 8080 and then Z80 processors,
does that help them solve a problem where the cable is simply unplugged?
Does it help their job if they know MOS Technology designed the KIM-1, not
I have most of the 6502 instruction set (hex values!!!) memorized ("Get them
out!!! PLEASE!!!")... does that make it easier for me to understand why
my microwave oven needs the date entered after a power failure?
Let's not get too judgemental about this, and keep things in perspective.
> wrote :
> Herb Johnson wrote:
> > I could not watch the entire clip, but essentially someone of high
> > school/college age and his father saw the TCF as overpriced and full
> > of junk. The youngster spent more time comparing old Macs (G3 G4
> > vintage) than deciding whether an Apple II was a "c" or an "e". He had
> > no clue as to what a pile of oscilloscopes were. I think the youngster
> > was attracted to bright shiny objects and screens with things in
> > motion - about the same level of attention as a bird. Dad said the
> > show was too small and cost too much - and he was going to complain
> > about it.
> > Sometimes I post here, about the value of exhibits with
> > interpretation, with explanations of what some computer did, how they
> > did it. I have a Web site full of computer history, people in time who
> > designed and built and innovated, decades ago.
> > Then I see a video like this one, which reminds me that so much of the
> > public is just like this kid. Totally, absolutely, clueless. Except,
> > about what to buy and how to run it from the keyboard and mouse and to
> > watch the screen. Maybe this kid can program something, hack a
> > computer case - who knows, who cares? And Dad, he just wants a deal on
> > something new, to find a Wal-Mart in a parking lot.
> > Today, I throw up my hands.
> Do you know what kids are taught about computers in school now-a-days? At
> my children's school its Windows, Word, Excel, Powerpoint. There is no
> history of computing. And this has been going on for years so this is
> passing on into our colleges. Do college computer science majors let alone
> other majors, learn anything other then microsoft these days? How many
> kids have actually seen the inside of a PC let alone an older vintage
> machine? In primary and secondary schools they don't show them anything
> about real hardware, just a few bare minimum terms "mouse, keyboard, CPU,
> etc". And even with that they teach incorrect terminology (How can I
> explain that what they called the CPU is really just a case, and that the
> CPU is a microprocessor mounted on a board with lots of other devices
> without my kid ending up getting an F? My daughter actually ended up
> getting her school's 8th grade computer award last year because she
> actually knew more then the teacher. And she's a singer not a geek.)
> The overwhelming majority of students appear to know nothing of what came
> before the PC and even with that they seem to believe that nothing existed
> beyond windows and that Gates invented the whole thing. Its all a magic
> box. Have you ever spoken to a technical support person today? If they
> can't follow a canned menu of clicks they are lost. What would be really
> cool would be if someone organized some sort of presentation for schools to
> teach the truth about the history of computers. Maybe a future MARCH project.
> >From the eComStation Desktop of: Mark Dodel
> Warpstock 2008 - Santa Cruz, California: