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by Eolake Stobblehouse

iMac: Giving Power To The Kids
March 29th, 2001

Take a look at this at this image.

It is from the wonderful Apple video about the opening of the first "real world" Apple Store.

I am not generally a rosy and romantic personality, but this is just too much. This tiny kid is interested enough in the iMac to risk life and limb climbing to the top of a high-chair to get at it. And you and I know that if there is any computer this kid can use, it is the iMac.

Dang, how I wish I had grown up in a home with a Mac. Of course personal computers were not even dreamed about when I grew up, but I can't but envy today's kids. Imagine the power. The knowledge-thirsty kid today does not have to rely on the kindness and understanding of grown ups to supply him with exactly the right books for him to learn about the world and anything he wants to know about. He has the Internet. And he is probably more at home using it than either of his parents.

And of course it goes beyond that. Using a small machine he probably can get his parents to shell out for (or older kids can earn it from a paper route), he can do things that just a decade or two were reserved for highly trained grown up professionals: Desktop publishing, computerized graphics, Web publishing, video creation and editing, etc., etc., etc.

He can even make his own business practically before he can read. He makes some art or whatever, and he puts a link to and say on his site: if you like my art, you can download it, and if you really like it, please pay me what you think it is worth. Boom, he has his own business. Or he can do the same trading Pokemon cards, or... well, I am sure kids will find approximately 80 million ways to earn money that I couldn't even imagine.

And this is not even talking about the power of self expression and connections the "cute" little machines can bring. Me, for instance, about half of my close friends these days are scattered around four continents, and I would never have met them if not for the web. Thousands of people are seeing things I created on the web... every day! I remember in the "old days" when I would slave for months to make an exhibition, use lots of money on invitations, and it might be seen by dozens of people.

We are not in Kansas anymore, folks. Except of course those of you who are:)

Yours, Eolake Stobblehouse

is a contributing editor to the Mac Observer, specializing in cultural matters, and comes to us by way of MacCreator. Comments invited.

The title of this column, "Fuzzy Logic", refers to an attempt to view the larger issues without getting lost in the details. Sort of "squinting" at things:) Of course it is also the term for an attempt in computing to get computers to look at the world like it is, in a spectrum of grays, instead of 1 and 0, or Black and White.

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