Catch Those Bugs With The Net

, | Learning | August 15, 2013

(It is when wireless connectivity is not common. The class is Advanced Electronics, and students are showcasing projects they’ve built.)

Professor: “Okay [student #1] and [student #2], you seem to have some sort of device attached to a computer. Can you tell us what it does?”

Student #1: “It’s a long-range optical communications platform. See, you line these lasers up with similar device on another computer. [Student #2], can you power yours on?”

Student #2: “See, now we can send messages back and forth, and even pictures, if we wait a bit. It uses three lasers, one for—”

Professor: “Sorry to interrupt, but you said ‘long range.’ You’re about ten feet apart; have you actually tested this at range?”

Student #2: “Oh, sure! We stuck one in a window in [building #1] and another in [building #2] and lined them up, and we could send text back and forth.”

Student #1: “To be honest, we didn’t get any pictures through, though.”

Professor: “Hmm… when did you test it?”

Student #1: “Just a few days ago. The weather was clear.”

Professor: “But what time?”

Student #2: “Late at night, it made it easier to see the beams.”

Professor: “I think I’ve found your problem. Power the device on, please?”

(The students power up their lasers. One begins to send the other a black-and-white picture of the university’s mascot. Meanwhile, the professor is putting on a lab coat.)

Professor: “Now, [mascot] is happily flying across the void through flashes of light. But who likes flashes of light?”

(He runs across the room, jumping up and down and waving his lab coat between the two computers.)

Professor: “I’m a moth! I’m a dumb moth and I see light! It’s very bright! I love this light!”

(The professor sits down.)

Professor: “You get an A for design, and a C for forgetting about wildlife.”

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