On the awe of yore

In class today I introduced the students to cascading style sheets. I explained how you can build a website using only html but it’ll look pretty basic, so you use css to make it fancy. I went to use the analogy of printing something on a dot matrix printer versus a laser printer, but none of the students knew what a dot matrix printer was. (They’re third-years, so 20-22 years old). That’s kind of a shame – and not just because I had to come up with a different analogy.

I remember when my Dad brought home Our First Computer. To play games we had to load both sides of the cassette tape before we could play. And then it would crash at a vital point in Dragon’s Lair where you were trying to stay on that spinning disk while the wind tried to blow you off (ha! Rude). But remember how amazing it was? How other kids from school would come over just to look at it? How we’d never seen anything like it before?

But just like the telephone wasn’t that amazing because it had been there all my life, twenty-somethings now have grown up with computers, and so while things like iPads are cool, they’re not completely new things that knock your socks off. I wonder if they’ll get to experience the awe comes with seeing huge leaps in technology?

10 responses to “On the awe of yore

  1. You know what, NwN? You’ve upped my understanding of how to fancify a website in your first sentence. It turns out that “CSS” stands for “cascading style sheets”. Who’d’ve thunk? Cascading…. Aha! I’ve got it! At last!

    Not that I’m about to race off and play about with CSS, but at least I’ve got the concept now.

  2. hmmm, carmen sandiago… awe… just.. Awe.

  3. Your 22 year olds are stupid.

    I refuse to believe that the 2 years I have on them is enough for them to have never even heard of dot matrix.

    Mmm, tractor feed.

    Also, Commander Keen!

    • I tried it again with the class today and only two knew about them. It’s just way before their time. And they’d only be 22 if they took a gap year and I’m guessing most of them didn’t.

  4. I loved jump man on the commodore 64 and California / winter games.

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