I invented logarithms. Yes, I am well aware someone beat me to it by several centuries, but I didn't know that at the time. The upside was, I can still run most scales on a slide rule just by looking at them and thinking of the log base for them.
You may wonder why I think it's important to know how to use an obsolete device. If we get another solar coronal mass explosion like they had in 1859, whoever has a slide rule will be king. Ditto for people who have cars with the old Kettering ignition system. Though, I can also make an argument that the most important thing will be to know how to start a fire without matches.
I have wondered why the luxury market folks don't make nuclear hardened engine computers for the most popular car models. Or, maybe the entire computer need not be hardened. Make a plug-in adapter which takes care of the large input pulses on the wiring harness. Probably dumb, but that is what I have been thinking about as we hear more about crud coming from the sun. Not to mention terrorists with A-bombs wiping everything out.
I was remembering my star English student. She is 14 now. When she was 12, she and her older sister started as part of a 4 girl group. When we finished the Laubach ESL books, the two sisters wanted something on computers. I had to really hustle each week to make up materials, since I couldn't find anything.
I did make up a lot of study material. At one point, I decided to teach them how cars operate. I included EFI and OBD-II. I think I had to ask on here for some way to induce an OBD-II code. I remember those sisters crawling under the dash to connect the scanner cable to read the failure, but can't remember what the failure is. I had to take a blanket from my bed to put on the car floor so they didn't mess up their nice clothes.
For the life of me, I cannot remember what I did to induce the check engine light for that class. It had to be simple and rapidly fixed again after class.
I also taught them simple programming in Basic; C++ (including showing them the defective random number generator only fixed in 2011); and Java. Then, the older sister asked for information on Povray, which I found and made a couple classes on that.
That 12 year old never blinked. Then we started reading reader books. Her sister had to bail to work. We are now reading Heidi, the classic Swiss fiction book series. I will be going back to the States next week, and have ordered GIRL OF THE LIMBERLOST and ANNE OF GREEN GABLES.
I have to ask her if she remembers anything about cars and EFT and OBD-II.
"Older people often simply aren't computer compatible."
Reminded me that in the late 90's, I introduced Linux into a Mexico City government office. One guy said he didn't know how to use Linux but did know UNiX. I told him you know Linux.. I put Mandriva dual-boot into his computer and my nephew said he didn't go home when it was time, he was so excited with Linux.
They tried to make the change, but it fizzled. My nephew told his mom the older people simply didn't want to learn, because they were too old. She heckled him, pointed out I was much older than anyone, but ran Linux. Heh, heh. I had an explanation but chose not to make it, based on false modesty...
Later, he moved to what we would call City Information and Referral. They needed new computers and didn't have the money. They called the entire staff together and told them we are changing to Linux. If anyone thinks they don't want to learn, or can't learn, please have your resignation in by Friday. Almost everyone learned Linux. They started with Mandriva, but later changed to Ubuntu. Special, important programs, they had programmers compile for Linux.