On a happier note, this is an old story now, but I think it bears repeating. In this linked article from some years ago by Nicholas Negroponte, he writes about children in Ethiopia who were given tablet computers to learn how to use on their own, as shown in the picture. There were no written instructions in the boxes, just the tablet and the solar panel charger. Negroponte founded the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) foundation in 2005 to distribute the XO computers.. 2.5 million of these computers were distributed around the world.
This effort has been greatly successful. The children learned to use and program the computers on their own. My mother once told me that if she could find books on subjects children were fascinated with, they would teach themselves how to read. I have long admired Nicholas Negroponte for his creative thinking. I strongly recommend reading the whole thing at the link, as Instapundit would say. A hearty Hat Tip to Penelope Trunk. Photo credit : Matt Keller.
In the future, I’ll write about how I got my start with my first computer. There are a few parallels to this story, which is what attracted me to it.