Nuggets of Wisdom

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Throwback Thursday: ABC Computer Critters

It may seem hard to believe now when even four-year-olds have their own tablets and smart phones, but there once was a time when computers were a rare novelty. While most households these days have at least one computer, that wasn’t the case more than 30 years ago.

With computers quickly becoming an emerging technology back then, the ABC network decided to help introduce people, especially young children, to this new technological wonder with a series of animated shorts known as the ABC Computer Critters.

These shorts were released in 1985, but even I remember watching them as a young kid occasionally on Saturday mornings as late as 1994. Watching them now as an adult really shows how much we’ve progressed since them:

Really? Computers are everywhere, you say? Even at the grocery store? Next you’ll be telling me that computers will replace cashiers entirely. Or, even crazier, we may end up with grocery stores where you can pick up anything without going through a checkout! How far out would that be?

Hard to believe that children back then thought it was weird to do their homework using those new-fangled “word processing” programs. Now kids these days find it weird that other children used to write book reports without a word processor. You mean to tell me that children actually had to write their reports by hand? Inconceivable!

Even with computer databases and spreadsheets more common these days, it’s still hard to believe that we still have offices that rely heavily on paper documents. We were promised a paperless future, and we’re still far from achieving it. How crazy is that?

Computers that use touch screens? What’s next? Touch screen computers that you can fit in the palm of your hand with 3000x times the memory of a floppy disk? Now that’s really far out, man!