Computers may be ubiquitous now, but they were just beginning to enter the mainstream in 1990. Like any revolutionary technology, the desktop computer was viewed with more than a little scepticism by the average person. Luckily, David Neil of PBS’s Newton’s Apple was there to explain to a group of dubious high-schoolers that computers are not inherently evil. And he brought a two-storey exhibit to help illustrate.
In 1990, we still had a foot in the stone age. You’ve got to remember that high school students then lived before the internet. They used tapes and CDs, tablets were still just very small tables, and the average mobile phone looked like this:
And since computers were still primarily “something my mum uses at work”, kids didn’t have the native experience with electronics that many do now. That’s where How Computers Work: A Journey Into The Walk-Through Computer comes in. This educational short produced by The Computer Museum aims to demystify the inner workings of the desktop computer. By explaining it in a way that even their parents could understand.