Fellow blogger Brad posted this interesting rave about cross generational computer skills, in which he refers to the technologically illiterate baby boomers and the current generation who have such easy to use technology that it requires no knowledge. The the most tech capable people are therefore sandwiched between these two generations.
Anyway, this story popped into my head and I popped it into his comments box, but I liked it so thought I'd post it here too.
My depression/war generation Dad was one of the early users of computers in Brisbane. He was an electrical engineer who designed giant transformers (the sort that convert electrical current, not the ones that turn into fighting robots). In the late 1960s he used to go into the Computer Centre in the city and get them to put cards through their huge machines to work out complex equations for him. I didn't inherit any of his technological skills so I became a social worker and only started using computers when it became really easy.
Years later, after he retired, he bought a set of speakers for his home PC. He couldn't get them to work so he asked my son to come and help him. Ben is now an engineer himself, but was then a geeky teenager who had literally been introduced to computers on his grandfather's knee. A couple of hours later I went to pick him up, and the old pro and young nerd had still not been able to work it out. I immediately noticed the problem. They hadn't switched the speakers on at the wall.
One up for the technologically illiterate baby boomer parent!
Picture from here.