These kids were born as I was graduating from Gallaudet

The closest thing to the internet we had back then was the VAX text system. and there were just two print servers doing printouts of homework. when the one in the basement of Benson hall broke down, as it frequently did, one had to trudge across campus to the EMG building and go to the basement there to get it picked up. and woe to you if you discovered a proofing error at that point, because it meant trudging back to Benson, signing into the logbook and waiting for an available [1st generation] IBM PC to redo your work on, and then saving it to a 5.25 floppy, and sending a fresh print command to EMG and another trudge across campus. [and back, too, since the dorms are back there where Benson is…]

‘what’s a floppy?’ some youngster asks innocently. ‘look it up on your cell phone, kid.’ I reply.

For most college freshmen starting school this fall, e-mail is passe and wearing a watch on your wrist is, well, unnecessary, according to the Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2014, most of whom were born in 1992. The list was first created by the Wisconsin school in 1998 to remind professors what cultural factors have gone into shaping the lives of their students. While e-mail was revolutionary for their parents, today’s college freshmen find it terribly slow, instead choosing to use their opposable thumbs to send dozens of text messages a day on their smartphones, which they use for telling time rather than strapping on a watch and surfing the web. Home computers have always been a part of their lives, although the ones they first played on in preschool are now in museums. The PCs and Apples of the early 1990s had hard drives with smaller capacities than today’s flash drives, used monochromatic monitors and were not connected to the internet. [see more at the link below]


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