January 2, 2005 in Nation/World

Technology’s memory lane fades quickly

Associated Press

CANTON, Ohio – High school students taking teacher Marc Biss’s multimedia class know their iPods, MP3 players, DVDs and HDTV. Of that, there is no doubt.

But when it comes to microfilm, mimeographs and fuzz busters, you might as well be speaking in FORTRAN.

Not a single one of Biss’s 37 multimedia and Web design students at GlenOak High School knew what microfilm or a mimeograph were. The majority thought a fuzz buster was a vacuum sweeper.

Beta, eight-track tapes and 45 rpm are also lost on them. Junior Sam Bendekgey asked if Beta is a medicine.

Most of the students seemed vaguely familiar with rotary phones because some grandparents still use them.

Fifteen-year-old Neil Harvey thought 45 rpm referred to “how fast a modem runs.”

After getting an explanation, Harvey understood.

“You mean those giant black discs? My parents have some in the basement,” he said.

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