Electronics Barn closing

From: Fred N. van Kempen <waltje_at_pdp11.nl>
Date: Mon Aug 2 13:57:15 2004

On Mon, 2 Aug 2004, Teo Zenios wrote:

> Sellam wrote:
> > That's pretty much the same siutation with most electronics surplus
> > stores. It's a sad fact: kids are, indeed, not building anything anymore.
> > We're raising a nation of end-users, thanks to a number of factors, all
> > boiling down to selfish indifference.

> I think there are alot of kids designing websites, programming, hacking, and
> making the occasional virus. The fact that they put away the soldering iron
> and took up the keyboard doesnt mean they are selfish or not creative, they
> just get into different tools then older people who didn't have a computer
> to play with when they grew up. When I was young I went out and purchased
> some ram chips to fix my dead C64 (was stupid and touched a staticy TV while
> my other hand was on the keyboard, ESD), equipment was expensive. Today if a
> pc card breaks its cheaper to chuck it and get a new/used one then it is to
> even think of looking for the parts to fix it, same with all other
> electronics. Electronics repair places were the first to disapear, makes
> sense that the surplus stores that supplied those buisinesses are next in
> line to go. Even Radioshack does not carry much in the way of electronics
> parts these days.

True, although there is a definitive shift towards software creativity,
rather than hardware. I am a borderline case.. when I was in uni. I
was playing with hardware ("Fred? Yeah, he's here.. look for two
short legs sticking out from under one of those PDP-11 racks down
the hall.. those are likely to be his.") but most of my classmates
were doing software-only, and, which is I assume what Sellam was
pointing out, they did not CARE what hardware their stuff was on.

These days, kids get taught Programming course in *java* .. when
I asked several teaching professors about that, they claimed this
is what both the industry (which will eventually take in those
newly graduated students..) *and* the kids themselves want.. they
want to learn about things, but not tied to any specific hardware

He got red in the face when I asked him how he's teaching kids any
base OS principles such as state-saving and interrupting. Meaning,
kids don't go there, pretty much. The next major version of a
known OS will probably be without interrupts, as none of the
programmers will have any knowledge about them anymore ;-)

Received on Mon Aug 02 2004 - 13:57:15 BST

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