Sunday, July 06, 2008

600th podcast

Today I posted my 600th podcast! Wow, that seems like so many books. But when I think about all the times I wasn't able to post because of computer issues or even vacations, that still boggles my mind.

So number 600 was inspired by a movie I'm watching this morning. I teach intro to computers at a small college. The kids just want to learn to do the "stuff" and get out of the class. But I like to give them some background to computing history. I tell them about some of the men and women responsible for where we are today. Most of the kids have no idea how long a history there is. Most think computers have come about during their lifetime or shortly before. When I talk about modern technology, I love to show clips from one of my favorite movies -- "War Games". And that is what I am watching today. There are such great examples of "old" technology shown in the movie. From telephone couplers to tape backups, it is all there. And of course the premise that computers will take over and destroy us if we aren't careful.

Today's podcast is for THE SOFTWIRE: VIRUS ON ORBIS 1 by P.J. Haarsma, In this book, we have a kid who can control computers with just his mind. Of course this leads to him being feared by everyone since anyone who controls the computers, controls the world. Just like in War Games where a kid is the one who can control the computer and save the world. The Softwire is classic sci fi and a great read. It is also a nominee for the NH Great Stone Face award.

A group of children are shot into space towards the ringed planet, Orbis1. But during their 253-year trip, the life support systems failed and killed just the adults. Now orphans, the children are sold into slavery as soon as they arrive on Orbis 1. Johnny Turnbull is one of these orphans who discovers that he has the ability to enter any computer just by using his thoughts. He is known as the “softwire” and he is both feared and misunderstood. He discovers a computer virus and must destroy it before the warring factions on the planet go to war and destroy the planet that is now his home. This is classic sci-fi and a real page-turner with a lot of action, suspense and 2-headed aliens. Or are the children the aliens?

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