Businessman and Computer

Comic - Businessman and Computer

Author Commentary

I don't know why this tickles me as much as it does.  Probably just because I remember people buying personal computers without having any idea whatsoever what to do with them, and eventually doing something akin to this. Nowadays, of course, your average non-technical computer user can typically navigate a computer well enough to perform a litany of tasks on their own, though of course they will need to call upon the expertise of a skilled engineer to figure out where the hell the shutdown button is in Windows 8.

Anyway, hi!  How are you?  My son's been grounded for the last few days, so in lieu of TV and video games, he's been filling the dining room table with apple-powered clocks and penny/aluminum foil batteries and dishes of salt water from which he's electrically extracting hydrogen, he's built a doorbell for his room, and he's mounted an attempted wind-powered battery charger in the tree outside.  You can't walk anywhere in my house without tripping over some science.  It's awesome.

MRS. SHOEBOX'S ASSESSMENT OF TODAY'S STRIP:  *snort* It's funny because it's stupid!

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Businessman and Computer

03/25/2015 03:27 pm
Wow, how'd you get him into those things? Based on your commentary on this site, I'm guessing they're not those premade science kids you can buy. We're going to minimize screen time with our adopted kids, at least at first, and we'll need to have plenty of activities to do with them.

03/25/2015 04:58 pm
I date from the days when the PC was new, and a status symbol. The manager got one because the manager down the hall had one and they were keeping up with the Joneses. They still called in the secretary to take dictation if they needed to *write* something, like a memo.

The good part was they didn't require tech support for machines they didn't actually *use*.

At another point, a developer writing custom software for the bank I worked for told me about a demo he did for a room full of SVPs and EVPs. After the presentation, one styaed behind and said "In your presentation, you said X. Does that mean I can do Y?", and sat down at the terminal to demonstrate. He was careful *not* to demonstrate his proficiency in front of his peers. He might have gotten pigeon-holed as a techie and taken off the list of potential CEO replacements...

You have a *great* kid.

great unknown
03/25/2015 07:45 pm
Ground your son for a bit longer, and you will get getting into the realm of home schooling.

03/26/2015 11:04 am
Good job identifying the correct key. :)

I was the computer "expert" and when my dad pulled the "get Marge a bowling ball with Homer's name on it" move and bought *her* a TRS-80 Model III, I took to trying to make a Christmas program in BASIC on it. Alas, it booted to TRSDOS and not BASIC. I think $2,500 could have been better spent in 1982, but at least it gave me a hobby for _the_rest_of_my_life_ ...

03/26/2015 03:44 pm
Careful with that Hydrogen. One of my most vivid memories from childhood involves salt water, electrodes, test-tubes, forgetting which electrode was which, and snorting the chlorine that came off the other electrode. OTOH, that's a learning experience that sticks with you.

03/26/2015 04:47 pm
The hydrogen-extraction thing is from a kit, as is the apple clock. The rest is all him. As far as how I got him into these things, I can't take credit for anything but exposure and encouragement - he's got a natural curiosity for how things work, he's got a good brain for understanding it, and he's good with his hands. If he ever manages to learn patience on top of all this he'll be unstoppable. :)


Mike O
03/29/2015 06:36 pm
I remember being transfixed by the screen saver that consisted of a line bouncing off the monitor screen walls with traces of it trailing behind. Of course when the screen saver was on that means by definition that I wasn't doing anything with the computer. Also, I later learned that programming a line to do that is ridiculously easy, so what I was so amazed by was like when a magician says he pulled a quarter out of my ear.

02/03/2016 05:40 pm
Ummmm. Mikea how in the world did you get chlorine (Cl) from salt water (Na+) and (H2O)? Second, how exactly are you alive? Chlorine gas dissolves human tissue so i would assume that a solid chlorine or liquid chlorine would still be similarily deadly. Although my first question in a way explains the second.