Another ~1960 computer kit

From: Lawrence Walker <>
Date: Sun Dec 20 14:10:03 1998

On 19 Dec 98 at 23:42, Tony Duell wrote:

> > On Sat, 19 Dec 1998 wrote:
> Some of the 'boy mechanic' books cover making simple relays/stepping
> switches (one such uses a clockwork motor made from an alarm clock to
> operate it...), in particular to extend homemade telegraph lines.
> Making a telephone exchange was not a common project, though. Making a
> manual switchboard was certainly the sort of thing that boys did about 50
> years ago if some the books I have are to be believed.
> -tony
 At the risk of exposing myself as an "old fart" , I was 12 50 years ago
and no one I knew was into that. Many did not have telephones, they
were expensive. We were more into "crystal sets" and Chemical kits.
 But yes you did learn casting and toolshop techniques even if your eventual
goal was university.
 You have to realize the pace of change has been tremendous and there are
limitations on what you retain unless you're using the technology on a constant
basis. I'm sure our parents were as shocked at our lack of agricultural lore as
we are at the absence of mechanical skills in the present generation.
 But you can always relearn something you've learned before. That is possibly
one of the tragedies of our educational system. Kids are not given the tools
that allow them to learn new skills.
  It's funny that slide-rules were forbidden in school Tests in my time as
calculators were for a later generation. I remember being shocked when my son
explained to me that he would be at a disadvantage without one at a later time
" No calculators" had by then gone the way of other impediments to the great
god "progress". I still remember my memorized by rote math tables. Don't know
if the present generation is deficient in that respect or not, but they're sure
slow without a calculator in hand.
 I'm odd-ball in that I like to have the control that comes from being able to
manipulate my environment, whether cars or computers and dislike Win98 or OS/2
for that matter since they remove that control from you. Have always disliked
electric windows and guages on cars that don't give you an analogue indication
of temp. or oil pressure. The present generation couldn't care less why or how
something works, the loss of control over your environment is a given and
either something works or it doesn't. Being controlled is a given.

ciao larry
Received on Sun Dec 20 1998 - 14:10:03 GMT

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