Another ~1960 computer kit

From: <(>
Date: Sat Dec 19 14:28:07 1998

>>But worse still is the fact that back in the early years of this century,
>>it appears that boys - say about 12-15 years old - were expected to try
>>woodwork, metalwork, using a lathe, wiring electric lights, bells,
>>telephones, etc, making induction coils, etc, etc, etc. Things that I bet
>>few boys ever try today. And yet, today, it could be made a little easier
>>for them.

Max wrote:
>There's little need to make coils these days, and wiring electric lights
>isn't very fun when one can play around with things millions of times more

Unfortunately, lots of "fundamental" knowledge gets left out when you
skip electric lights and go to things much more complex.

Clarke's law says that "Any sufficiently advanced technology is
indistinguishable from magic", but as far as I'm concerned light
bulbs, batteries, and wires still have an element of magic. The
concept that by connecting these two pieces of copper, I can make
a bulb elsewhere glow, is magic in itself. (Even more magical is
what happens when you short out the turns of a hand-cranked magneto
and try turning it...) One has to understand these basic elements
of technological magic if anything worthwhile is going to be done!

Unfortunately, in today's world of glitzy computer graphics and
sound everywhere, many kids feel that somehow unless their creations
live up to to Hollywood standards that they aren't worthwhile. And this
attitude is completely wrong. But talking with educators from
the local kindergarten right up to the Provost of Caltech, I've
come to realize that this is a very real obstacle to teaching
the fundamentals of not only technical subjects, but also of artistic

 Tim Shoppa                        Email:
 Trailing Edge Technology          WWW:
 7328 Bradley Blvd		   Voice: 301-767-5917
 Bethesda, MD, USA 20817           Fax:   301-767-5927
Received on Sat Dec 19 1998 - 14:28:07 GMT

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