This week my kids are off school for Spring Break. Daytona and Cabo are out of the question for three caballeros ages 10, 7, and 5, but day trips around the Bay Area to learn about this or that are easy. Tuesday it’s San Francisco to learn all about the cable car system for Channing’s report on that topic. And Wednesday will be Computer History Day for the Cringelys.
It’s a no brainer for us to visit the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. That fabulous facility happens to be run by John Hollar, the guy who hired me in 1997 to write for pbs.org. My kids have never been there. But to make a full day of it we’ll include more than just the museum, we’ll be visiting with some actual computer history pioneers.
We’ll start the day Wednesday having breakfast with Woz — Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Then it’s on to the museum. After lunch we’ll go to Atherton to visit Doug Engelbart, best known as inventor of the mouse but of course he actually invented so much more. And we’ll end the day in Palo Alto with original Mac OS author Andy Hertzfeld, who now works at Google.
Understand that this is both an adventure and an experiment. Each kid got for Christmas a $99 Samsung HD camcorder and they’ll be bringing those cameras along. If they get any video at all (you never know with my kids) we’ll try to edit it into something and post it here if it’s even remotely viewable.
Now for your part: what questions would you ask these three men? Why? We’ll pick the most interesting and make sure they are asked and answered.
Back to you…