Now Try Explaining A Floppy Disk

, , | Related | December 23, 2013

(My sister and her children have come to visit for Christmas. I’ve put my 21-year-old son in charge of keeping my eight-year-old nephew entertained. Luckily, they both like computers, so most of their conversations revolve around those subjects. My nephew is talking to my son about the ‘Raspberry Pi’ computer, which is a credit-card sized home-made computer used to promote computer-science in schools.)

Nephew: “[Son’s name], what does a Raspberry Pi actually do?”

Son: “Well, it contains the processor and memory and all the chips needed to compute on. Then you plug in a monitor and keyboard, so you can see what you’re doing and interact with it.”

Nephew: “You have to plug a monitor in? What does the Raspberry Pi do then?”

Son: “Well, the monitor doesn’t actually do anything except show the commands the computer tells it to, the Raspberry Pi does everything; the monitor just shows you it.”

Nephew: “I don’t get it.”

Son: “Okay, you know on your computer at home, how you’ve got a keyboard, and mouse, and screen, and a big box they’re all plugged into?”

Nephew: “No?”

Sister: “Our computer is all built into the monitor.”

Son: “…huh. How about at school?”

Sister: “I’m pretty sure it’s the same there.”

Son: “D***… and you used to have a Mac, so that was all built into the monitor, too.”

(My nephew is looking more and more bewildered by the conversation.)

Son: “I know! [Nephew], you remember when you were at ours, and you were playing on my computer, and it had that big box attached to it?”

Nephew: *confused*

Son: “Y’know, the big black humming thing that glowed blue?”

Nephew: *slowly shakes head*

Son: “Oh, God… I’m trying to explain defunct technology to a younger generation. I feel so old. Now I know how dad felt trying to explain what a telegram was…”

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