High Tech Inventions

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High-tech Inventions coverHigh-Tech Inventions: A Chapter Book
Packard
2004

Any book with “high-tech” in the title needs to be considered for weeding every couple of years.

Here we have a kid with a Palm Pilot type of thing with a stylus, a cockroach cyborg, and a flip phone.

High-tech? Notsomuch.

-Holly

PDA with stylus

robot cockroach

Robot Cockroach

mobile phone

 

9 comments

  1. If I had seen that poor cyborg roach photo as a kid I would have instantly died a Tex Avery-style death with my eyes ah-ooh-gah-ing and my soul floating up out of my still-screaming mouth, conveniently complete with white gown, tiny harp, and sparkly halo. Who shows something like that to kids??

    And also, I still carry my Jornada PDA and my Palmtop. The palmtop (basically a tiny laptop about the size of two smartphones put together) never fails to draw oohs and ahhs from anyone under forty. They still sell on ebay for roughly what a new Chromebook would cost you.

  2. Why did they have to take off the insect’s wings and antennae? That bothers me. First, that they do it, and second, that they don’t bother to explain. Will this seems any different from pulling wings off flies to kids?

    1. Do they still do that? And I assume page 22 explained that the backpack would send signals that mimic what the antennas did. I want to say I remember that he took the wings off so the backpack would stay on.

  3. Of course, I am aware that 2004 was 15 years ago, but has technology REALLY progressed so far since then that this book is already outdated?

    1. It’s hard to tell if that’s a rhetorical question. In this case, the answer is an unequivocal “Yes.” Just consider that it was 2007 that the very first iPhone was released, which is 3 years AFTER this book was published, and likely rather longer since the content was actually written. So even taking just the smartphone revolution into account it’s outdated, but then add in things like Android (the Yang to Apple’s Yin), social media, tablets, smart TVs and 4K, smartwatches, the internet of things, ubiquitous streaming media, personal digital assistants, etc., and 15 years+ ago is a whole different era, one that’s barely recognizable in comparison to the everyday technology we have now.

  4. What does everyone think about the pronunciations? Ex: antennae = an-TEN-ee? When I was a kid, it seems like the books would choose words that I already knew how to pronounce, and then the phonetic pronunciations just seemed hilarious to me. Similarly, they would frequently ignore words that I might have needed help on. Maybe I was just a weird kid.

    1. I find pronunciations within the text rather distracting…. IMO, that is what a glossary is for. I also think it’s a little odd that the word “technology” has not been introduced in a book about “high-tech” until page 19.

      1. I agree that a glossary works better. Then you can check out the unfamiliar words on your own, and not be distracted by words the book “thinks” you don’t know. Good point about technology being introduced so late in the book, ha ha! Unless they added that phonetic spelling with every occurrence of the word?!

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