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View Full Version : If you were a kid once again, what would you want for Christmas?



Too_Many_Tools
12-11-2009, 02:35 AM
I see it mentioned often that kids aren't exposed to mechanical stuff any more.

So if you were a kid, what would you want for Christmas?

Choose from what is available today...not something that existed years ago.

Provide links and pictures if you can.

And hopefully some of us will be giving these choices to the next generation of HSMers.

One suggestion...all of us can spend time with a kid to help foster an interest in mechanical and electrical stuff.

Thanks

TMT

darryl
12-11-2009, 03:17 AM
Hmm. A whole bunch of neodymium magnets (the right sizes of course). An assortment of brushless model motors, the good batteries, and some carbon fiber.

Hmm. Getting a kid involved in todays technology- most of them just want to play video games.

I think one of the more important things that we could encourage them to get into is environmental protection science and sustainable lifestyle science. Ok, I know that's not a Christmas present in the traditional sense- oh, here's one, though not anything new- how about a snow shovel (with instructions) :)

When I was a kid I had both mechanical and electrical stuff- a mechanno set, and electronic kits. What's todays equivalent- robot kits? Powered skateboards?

Richard-TX
12-11-2009, 03:42 AM
If I were a kid again I would want parents that would give me the freedom to pursue my dreams and allow me to express myself.

Black_Moons
12-11-2009, 04:16 AM
Id want the shop iv finaly managed to assemble now :P
Failing that, my dad to of at least let me use his power tools -_-;

Forrest Addy
12-11-2009, 04:40 AM
I don't wan't nothn'. I'd settle for being kid again. Well, that is if you'd stretch a point and assume I'm an adult now.

Evan
12-11-2009, 05:11 AM
Man, that's the easiest question anybody ever asked me.

I want this computer. No requirement for software. I will make my own. A computer like this was what I dreamed of. When I was in 9th grade it was my goal to understand enough about computers to be able to design and build an interactive home computer. There were no interactive computers back then, only batch processing machines.

I learned enough to design the machine but I also learned enough to realize that I was 20 years ahead of the technology needed to do it. When I finally did buy a computer in 1979 one of the first things I did was to write a graphical computer game called "Dambuster". It was widely distributed by Commodore with their "educational" fun pack. It was pretty popular and I can still find references to it on the web.

From http://www.pcmuseum.ca/details.asp?id=24


Jeff Robbins on Saturday, July 21, 2007
First computer ever,would have been grade 7 or 8 at Prince Charles School. Had to sign up for computer time at recess or after school. Dambuster was the greatest game ever (at the time, I suppose).

Weston Bye
12-11-2009, 06:02 AM
My grandmother got it almost right one year for my birthday. She got me a shoebox filled with a hammer, nails, pliers, baling wire and other mechanical sundries.

beanbag
12-11-2009, 06:26 AM
I would have wanted a bike.

Yeah, sorry for being normal.

BWS
12-11-2009, 07:25 AM
A gun....preferably a nice S&W 4" .357 L frame.....oh and Santa make that SS.

hojpoj
12-11-2009, 08:41 AM
LEGO Mindstorms:
Mechanical Stuff + Programming Stuff = Win


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lego_Mindstorms

Charles Lessig
12-11-2009, 08:45 AM
A camera so I could take pictures of my friends. neighborhood
and all the stuff I was working on. Now I have to rely on what
I can remember. Charlie

rockrat
12-11-2009, 09:59 AM
Well, I had to think about the question on my way to drop my kid off at daycare.

I think that I would vote for the following, it would have to be a package deal.

1) Used non-working riding lawn mower or other motorized ridable thing
2) A socket set to work on the item
3) A small chunk of change to purchase needed parts
4) A remote control with servos to drive it

That would keep me busy for a while. I can imagine how cool I would be showing my friends how to mow the lawn from the shade of the porch.

I have always been interested in fixing things that have been discarded. It has given me more happiness than purchasing something brand new. Its already scratched up, so no worries there. If I break it, it was already broke; a chance to learn with no regrets. And someone always thinks its cool that you fixed something that they could never have done.

Thanks dad for my first socket set, hope I did ya proud.

rock~

Too_Many_Tools
12-11-2009, 11:21 AM
I have always been interested in fixing things that have been discarded. It has given me more happiness than purchasing something brand new. Its already scratched up, so no worries there. If I break it, it was already broke; a chance to learn with no regrets. And someone always thinks its cool that you fixed something that they could never have done.

Thanks dad for my first socket set, hope I did ya proud.

rock~

He is.

You did.

TMT

Greg Parent
12-11-2009, 11:22 AM
When I was 12 years old I got a chemistry set from my grandparents and a small Mechano set from my parents. I was in heaven.

madman
12-11-2009, 11:42 AM
The oportunity to go back to school again and Get a University Degree as a Engineer instead of Wasting a lot of my Time Getting Two Trade Tickets. Which in todays economy havent helped too much. Old European parents were Get a Apprenticeship and move out of our House and start youre life Ideals.

saltmine
12-11-2009, 11:56 AM
Probably an "old Skool" Gilbert Erector Set...a big one.
With lots of gears and pulleys, shafts, and millions of tiny nuts and bolts, and a big 'ol electric motor to drive everything....Kids today don't have anything that requires manual dexterity or imagination.

Of course, I hope I made a wise choice for a Christmas gift for my little grand niece. She's just short of two years old. Amazing hand-to-eye coordination, walking and talking before she was a year-and-a-half old. Strangely enough, she loves taking pictures....with Grandpa's $1400 Nikon digital camera.
So....I ordered a Fisher-Price, "kid proof" digital camera for her. Ya never know, it may start her onto the beginning of a long, productive career.
My brother thinks I'm nutz, but I think she will enjoy it, quite a bit.

When her father was young, I used to be the one who always gave the "coolest toys" whenever they had a birthday or Christmas.

deltaenterprizes
12-11-2009, 12:28 PM
[QUOTE=saltmine]Probably an "old Skool" Gilbert Erector Set...a big one.
With lots of gears and pulleys, shafts, and millions of tiny nuts and bolts, and a big 'ol electric motor to drive everything....Kids today don't have anything that requires manual dexterity or imagination.

I got one of those back in the early 60s, that is what got me on the electro/mechanical path.

It would still be a great gift today. It is amazing the mechanically incompetent college educated people out there. It amazes me they can change a light bulb.

Evan
12-11-2009, 12:44 PM
Probably an "old Skool" Gilbert Erector Set...a big one.
With lots of gears and pulleys, shafts, and millions of tiny nuts and bolts, and a big 'ol electric motor to drive everything....Kids today don't have anything that requires manual dexterity or imagination.


I forgot about that one. My father's dad bought me an erector set like that to play with on the many visits to them since they lived close by in Berkeley.

<digression>: My grandparents were very practical people and quite well off. My grandmother was a RN and my grandfather a civil engineer. They had a beautiful house with a panoramic bay view in the hills and the living room was finished in the finest white oak hardwood. Shoes were not permitted to be worn.

Also, I cannot ever remember either of them ever speaking in even the slightest harsh tone of voice to each other in front of me or anybody else.
</digression>

One weekend my father dropped me off and I had with me my brand new electric motor drive kit with multi compound gear set and a pair of fresh batteries to power it. I had recently seen the grade Z movie Target Earth and I set about building a 2 foot tall robot with swinging arms and 4 of those 3 inch metal wheels on the feet all powered by my new motor drive.

I fired it up in the bedroom and it rolled out the door and bumped off the wall which steered it into the living room. It started across that impeccable hardwood floor with a distinct sound of steel slipping on polished wood.

My grandmother saw this an immediately made to go over and pick up the robot to prevent further damage to her floor.

My grandfather uttered the closest thing to a reprimand toward her that I ever heard. "Sit back down", "He's learning engineering!"

The only other time I ever hear him say something like that was when I dug up my grandmother's rose garden to make canals but that's another story...

:D

Fasttrack
12-11-2009, 01:11 PM
I started wishing for tools when I was in 5th grade because I wanted to make a go-kart. Since then, my Christmas lists have alway been comprised of tools. Also, I often wished for HO model train kits, Estes model rockets and leggos.

:)

ulav8r
12-11-2009, 01:48 PM
At the time, I wanted the largest lathe that Sears had in their catalog and 2 or 3 guns. I would have added a Bridgeport if I had known of their existence.

Bruce Griffing
12-11-2009, 02:04 PM
I was in Fry's the other day and saw a microcontroller kit. It was about $60 and it contained a microcontroller, breadboard, an assortment of electronic parts, software and instructions. It looked like a very nice learning tool for a curious young person.

isaac338
12-11-2009, 02:36 PM
Hmm. Getting a kid involved in todays technology- most of them just want to play video games.




That attitude drives me up the wall - you know why kids want to play video games instead of head out to the shop? Cause everyone in the shop yells at us when we do things incorrectly, and it gets a little discouraging.

Taking shop classes out of schools was a poor choice, I agree, but then when you try to make up for it by finding shop time on your own, 90% of shop owners just think you're a dumb kid who'd rather be playing video games.

If the old timers would have some respect for the younger generation it'd probably make it easier on 'em, no?

I've got a ton of friends who have an interest in mechanical things but they didn't have exposure to it in school and god knows their parents aren't into it, so what do they do? Easier to play video games.

demerrill
12-11-2009, 02:45 PM
Got my kindergarten age grandaughter a tape measure two years ago. She had been fascinated with the one kept near my computer and was thrilled to have her own.

I selected one that displayed fractions as well as whole numbers, had a housing with no sharp corners, and, most important, a short (6') tape since the long ones being made these days have strong retract springs and thin tapes that can slice an unsuspecting hand.

I haven't been able to find a decent erector set like the one that facinated me as a child. I suspect that liability concious toy distributers now tend to shy away from kid products with small items that can be swallowed or stepped on by shoeless feet. (The strong magnets mentioned above threw up a red flag for me.)

David Merrill

Fasttrack
12-11-2009, 03:35 PM
That attitude drives me up the wall - you know why kids want to play video games instead of head out to the shop? Cause everyone in the shop yells at us when we do things incorrectly, and it gets a little discouraging.

Taking shop classes out of schools was a poor choice, I agree, but then when you try to make up for it by finding shop time on your own, 90% of shop owners just think you're a dumb kid who'd rather be playing video games.

If the old timers would have some respect for the younger generation it'd probably make it easier on 'em, no?

I've got a ton of friends who have an interest in mechanical things but they didn't have exposure to it in school and god knows their parents aren't into it, so what do they do? Easier to play video games.

Maybe ... but here's the thing: if you are really interested in something, you'll find a way to involve yourself. My father was "handy" and likes to dabble in wood working but knew nothing about machining. I knew nothing about machining. I had never seen a lathe or milling machine in person when I bought my 3-in-1 from Smithy (I was a Freshman in highschool at the time, I would've bought it sooner but it takes a kid a long time to save up the 900 bucks to buy a machine!) and I joined forums and read books.

I now own 36000+ lbs of old American iron (of which I am extremely proud ;) :D) and have become one of the most competent young machinists on campus. I work in a research lab and a machine shop on campus and I've been complemented by the "old timers" on campus quite often. I don't say this to brag, but just as an example.

I say respect has to be earned. I've met alot of students my age and I don't have a lot of respect for them because they are loafers. They lack ambition and are coasting through life, concerned only with the immediate day's pleasure.

Sure that is a generality, but I understand why the "old timers" give kids a hard time. If the kids are really interested, they'll stick it out and prove themselves. I've run across my fair share of grumpy old machinists these last few years, but it doesn't stop me from being interested in machining.

torker
12-11-2009, 03:47 PM
That attitude drives me up the wall - you know why kids want to play video games instead of head out to the shop? Cause everyone in the shop yells at us when we do things incorrectly, and it gets a little discouraging.

Taking shop classes out of schools was a poor choice, I agree, but then when you try to make up for it by finding shop time on your own, 90% of shop owners just think you're a dumb kid who'd rather be playing video games.

If the old timers would have some respect for the younger generation it'd probably make it easier on 'em, no?

I've got a ton of friends who have an interest in mechanical things but they didn't have exposure to it in school and god knows their parents aren't into it, so what do they do? Easier to play video games.
That may be so in your case...but it's a crock for the most part.
I've gone out of my way to teach more than a few kids how to machine or weld. I'm trying to get my "new son" interested in it.
They like it fine at first...then they start making excuses why they can't be bothered to show up. Ya...it really is easier to play stupid video games.
And...there is no "yelling" at the little dears...we wouldn't want to hurt their lil feelings.
Kids today just have it way too easy.
They need to chop wood, pack water and feed cows after school again.
And getting up at 5 to milk the cow would be a bonus too.
Russ

saltmine
12-11-2009, 04:23 PM
Ah yes....millions of tiny nuts & bolts....My brother and I must have swallowed hundreds of them....never did any harm to either of us.
I do remember going to the huge Macy's Department Store and asking my Mom if we could pick up another box of extra nuts & bolts for the Erector Set.
Hmmm, I wonder where they all went. My Erector Set had a huge AC motor with an attached gearbox. Of course, it had flanges where you could bolt it down or attach things to it. When I first got the set, it was all I could manage to move the motor/gearbox around....must have been a little kid, when I got it. My brother and I completely wore out the little wrench and screwdriver that came with the set. My uncle gave us both "real" wrenches and screwdrivers....thankfully. It was my first box end/open end wrench...I believe the wrenches were 1/4"......

If I'm not mistaken, Gilbert sold out to the Italian Meccano Company, who I think, still manufactures the Erector Sets....But doesn't import them to the USA due to liability issues.... I guess it's better to poison our kids with lead painted Chinese toys than let them pinch their fingers and eat tiny nuts & bolts....Boy! Sometimes I wonder how we survived our childhoods.

3jaw
12-11-2009, 04:34 PM
I agree with what torker said. I teach machine shop at the high school level and you can be sure that I yell at them when they screw up bad enough or misbehave and I don't really give a rip if I hurt their feelings.

On the other hand, if they do something impressive I praise them and tell them that they did a good job or that I'm proud of them.

Too many kids and young adults expect to be patted on the back just for showing up. This comes from being brought up on the notion that we have to make everyone feel good about themselves and that everyone is a winner. Feeling bad about yourself now and then is healthy. It teaches us humility and helps us to understand ourselves better in order to mature into responsible human beings who know right from wrong. Otherwise, we become self-centered narcissists who think the world should bow down to us.

Kids today also want instant gratification and video games give that. Machining doesn't. (Even CNC doesn't.) I fight this every day and try to teach them that for the most part, good things take time.

I am trying to inject a dose of the real world in my class and hold my students to a higher standard than they are used to. Am I always successful? No. Do I have some success? Absolutely!

I try to tell myself that my students are just kids and that the majority of them will grow out of this and become mature adults. It is the adult's responsibility to keep hammering home what is important in life and hope that is sinks in. The good news is that it usually does.

isaac338, your whole perspective on life will change as you get older. If you are like most young people, you don't believe a word I or any other adult says. Time will take care of that. How do I know this? I was once a kid too and thought just like you. Except for being physically younger, I wouldn't want to go back to that age and way of thinking for anything in the world!

Greg

torker
12-11-2009, 04:43 PM
My girlfriends boy...he's my new son...
Oh my...is he in for a rude awakening.
His whole life revolves around TV and video games. If he does happen to go outside...its to go downtown and pump money into even more video games at some arcade thing.
I think he got a taste of the future last nite.
I'm back in BC.
She phoned me all in a panic that one of the horses was missing when she got home at 11pm from a company Chritmas party.
It was -34 outside.
The pasture the horses are in doesn't belong to us and is full of booby traps and barbed wire. I haven't been out there long enough to clean it all up.
I was worried the gelding may have been trapped in something out there.
I told her she should go out there but the the first thing she needed to do was to get that kid up and out with her.
He was playing games...yet again.
15 years old...whining and bitching cuz he had to go outside.
Hope he enjoyed it...it's the first of many real life experiences for him.
For Christmas...he's getting a tool set from me. And maybe a welding helmet.
And he's gonna learn how to use them.
Russ

Bootj
12-11-2009, 04:59 PM
Being 30yrs old and not being out of high school that long ago, ok 12 years. The people I have to thank for my education or drive to learn the mechanical side of things would have to be my Grandfather and my High school shop teacher.
My grandfather is 78 years old and still works every day, blacktopping. My shop teacher now retired was a tough old guy wouldn't take any crap. My first project was to restore an old turret lathe.

Back on topic I would really like the shop my dad built after I moved out!
Paul

Hawkeye
12-11-2009, 05:10 PM
This is basically an Erector set with motors,microcontroler and radio control
Way Cool!!! forget being a kid again, I'd like one now!!


http://www.vexrobotics.com/vex-robot-kits.shtml

Evan
12-11-2009, 06:07 PM
forget being a kid again, I'd like one now!!


Yep. One of the best things about being an "adult" is that you get to buy your own Christmas presents. :D I just ordered one of these and it should be here in a few days. Then I just have to wait for it to stop snowing. It's an image intensifier with interchangable lens mount for standard camera lenses.

http://ixian.ca/pics7/zmt.gif

alanganes
12-11-2009, 06:28 PM
Neat-O, Evan!

I like that. Very cool.

Where is that coming from, if I may ask?

Evan
12-11-2009, 06:36 PM
It's Russian first gen and only costs $157 US. First Gen systems aren't great but will do what I want. This one has pretty good specs in large part because it comes with an 85mm objective. In particular it is the only unit out there that is designed to use standard camera lenses and runs on a plain old 9 volt battery instead of some really expensive hard to find lithium cell. It is also rated to -22 F which is very important for my astrophotography this time of year.

The importer is Ram Optik in Canada. They set up shop here to avoid US tech export laws. The US won't allow the export of any night vision devices.

lazlo
12-11-2009, 06:39 PM
I was in Fry's the other day and saw a microcontroller kit. It was about $60 and it contained a microcontroller, breadboard, an assortment of electronic parts, software and instructions. It looked like a very nice learning tool for a curious young person.

Yeah, but it's a PIC microcontroller. You might as well give the kid a piece of bone and a stone chisel :) How about something from the last 15 years, like an AVR, or even better, an MSP430.

I want a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas.

alanganes
12-11-2009, 06:59 PM
It's Russian first gen and only costs $157 US. First Gen systems aren't great but will do what I want. This one has pretty good specs in large part because it comes with an 85mm objective.


I thought the body of it looked similar to an old unit that one of my sons bought from the Harbor Freight catalog or some similar place a few years back. I think he paid under 100 bucks for it. Clearly of Russian decent, it actually worked reasonably well, but suffered from really crummy optics. The image intensification was pretty good for a low cost unit, but the lens really distorted the image badly much outside of the center of the field of view. Fun to mess around with, I always sort of wanted to try to fit a better lens to it. Another thing "on the list..."

Anyhow, thanks for the info. I'm sure you'll coax some great images out of it.

x39
12-11-2009, 07:21 PM
My Erector Set had a huge AC motor with an attached gearbox.
Mine had that too! It wouldn't even slow down for something as inconsequential as a little bit of flesh. I learned a very important lesson from that particular piece of apparatus (not that I've always heeded it)- don't stick your fingers in the moving parts! So, for my pick of a Christmas gift, I'd go for a Springfield M1A rifle.

mcskipper
12-11-2009, 07:24 PM
One year it was an Erector set w/ motor.
That 120V motor would take your finger off.
Would Mom get P.O.ed when one of those 6-32's go up her vacuum.

An other year it was a Lionel Train, still got it.

Being a farm boy we were always wrenching on something, great training ground. Loved the machinery, hated the farming!

Still using a tractor to plow snow.
Wife says "You can take me off the farm but not off the tractor"!

topct
12-11-2009, 07:25 PM
So if you were a kid, what would you want for Christmas?

Choose from what is available today...not something that existed years ago.

TMT

Access to the internet. :D

isaac338
12-11-2009, 07:54 PM
isaac338, your whole perspective on life will change as you get older. If you are like most young people, you don't believe a word I or any other adult says. Time will take care of that. How do I know this? I was once a kid too and thought just like you. Except for being physically younger, I wouldn't want to go back to that age and way of thinking for anything in the world!

Greg

Greg,

I'm not that young, and I listen intently to what my elders have to say - after all, they've already done the stupid crap I'm about to, and they can warn me about what's going to go wrong!

I think I just get annoyed because I hear time and time again "damn kids don't want to do anything but play video games!" .. I don't know if you all would consider me a kid but I don't even play video games and I have no desire to.

Anyways, I can't speak for my peers, and surely some of them are lazy idiots. I just hate that I have to deal with the initial attitude the oldtimers have because of the lazy ones.

Fasttrack, that's cool, I've been trying to get in good with the machinist at school. He's been at it for 40 years and most certainly has some tips to pass along. He's busy as all get out, though, so there's not much time for showing the ropes unless you're in a class that has shop time booked. We're on a say-hello-in-the-hall basis though, and he's always happy to offer advice!

boslab
12-11-2009, 07:54 PM
interner porn [aka machines]
i'm fed up
mark

3jaw
12-11-2009, 09:05 PM
I think I just get annoyed because I hear time and time again "damn kids don't want to do anything but play video games!"

I understand where you are coming from, but it has always been that way. The older generations think the younger generations are worthless and lazy. I heard similar complaints when I was young, only with me it was listening to loud rock and roll, cruising around town, and working on cars.

You will get your chance to complain about those "damn kids" in a few years, too. :D

darryl
12-11-2009, 10:09 PM
Isaac, I'm another one who doesn't care at all for video games. Several years back I tried to help a friends son get into some kind of occupation, something that he was actually interested in would have been good. Computers- graphics and animation, that's what it was. So, fine, let's see what future there is, and what it would take to pursue a successful career. We ended up getting him into an animation course- he was so ecstatic he almost peed himself. It was what he most wanted to do, and he went- for awhile. Then he quit, with all kinds of reasons why, but not one good one. He was living at my place at the time, I gave him a good deal on the rent, etc, and took care of many things that he couldn't afford to- he had it made living here and being able to take that course that he so much wanted to.

The last straw for me was when I found his video game on my computer linked to his computer, and him and his friends running back and forth, literally bouncing off the walls, damaging things- the only thing of importance being their video game. They broke all my kitchen chairs, marked up the walls- The next morning, I couldn't use my computer- it was running something from the internet and it was all I could do to stop that. I ended up deleting the game and all that I could find that was associated- lots of dial up stuff.

Later that day when he got his sorry ass out of bed, he went to get back into the game on my computer. When he realized that it was gone- man oh man, you would have thought I'd killed him. That was all that was of value to him in life.

My roomate of the past several months has just moved out. She can't afford her new place (this is going to really be impacting her in the next week or so when she won't have money to eat, let alone smoke) and her new roomate can't afford her. She blew the money she knew she needed to live on, on a computer game. She's 21, and the only thing that seems to matter to her is that computer and being able to download games for free. If she can't get the game free, then it's a toss up between money for smokes and buying the game. Making it through the month on the money she has doesn't figure in the picture.

What's really sick about it is that knowing what these young people are all about, I wouldn't want to hire them. I did try to help them, but they're useless. I've seen friends of mine go through the same thing with other young people.

Now I'm not saying they're all like that- but they seem to be the majority. Give them shovels for Christmas presents and hope it snows.

Sorry, I guess this has been a bit of a hijack of the thread- didn't really mean it to be.

Davo J
12-11-2009, 11:13 PM
There are so many great things these days it would be hard to pick just one. Young people donít realize how good their got it with the technology today.
On the video game subject I have a daughter and son in-law that are 30 with kids 11,7 and 3 all play these games at home all the time and like you said they will spend their last cent on them.
My son on the other hand is 17 and is more interested in mechanical stuff, has a go of the games every now and again but thatís it. If he doesnít know something he will research it. He works and in the past has lent his hard earned money to his sister to get a (urgent lay by out) only to find it was video games, and then had to wait 3 months to get it back while they bought more new games in the mean time.
I think it depends on the kids not the age, some are sensible and some are not.
If I needed an employ a worker I would pick my 17 year old son over my 30 year old son in-law any day. It is not only me thinking that way as the employers where my son has worked have always want him to stay on, were my son in-law usually gets the sack.
Sorry for the rant.
Dave

x39
12-11-2009, 11:32 PM
I think it's SOP for us old geezers to kick the younger guys around, but the fact is I know several young guys (18-25) who I'm proud to call my friends. Smart, hard working, driven, goal oriented, interesting to talk to... it's going to be fun to watch them accomplish good things.

saltmine
12-11-2009, 11:36 PM
Strange how the thread is going. A lot of today's kids are "slackers" and....much to my surprise, proud of it.

The other day, I was kinda watching TV (waiting for glue to dry on a project)
There was a program on called "Wrecks to Riches" A car show, about hot rod builder Barry White and his shop. As luck would have it, he usually recruits a group of volunteers to help with the "build". Sometimes it's cops, sometimes it's firemen, a cycling club, a group of "old Skool" car customizers...Most of the time they do quite well, and get the car finished on time, without destroying anything. Well, the show that was on the other day, Barry had a group of students from an automotive training school, UTI. Five guys who were paying a school to teach them how to repair cars, for a living. As usual, they all were volunteers. Before the show progressed half way, Barry was contemplating kicking most of them out of the shop. He called them together and commented about the majority of the guys not showing up for work on time, and some for not even showing up at all. "Not taking this job seriously" was one of his comments. They made a mess, had tools and parts strewn all over the shop, and ended up three days behind schedule, and he stood to lose money. Barry White tried to talk to each of them, mainly because the build was getting behind schedule and he needed all of them working, not "slacking off". Some of the guys "copped an attitude" because they didn't like Barry treating them like kids....(understandably) He ended up picking out one kid who actually wanted to do the job, and wanted to learn, and sent the others packing. They finished the build, on time, and Barry White hired the remaining kid as an apprentice. Unusual ending for this popular show. But, it goes to show what kind of future automotive technicians are being trained in today's trade schools. Scary....

Tony Ennis
12-11-2009, 11:43 PM
Slide rules are amazing and from $5 to $10 on ebay. Excellent for an inquisitive child. Same for the abacus.

Teenage_Machinist
12-12-2009, 12:45 AM
If I am ever raising a family, there is going to be "how to make stuff" at a young age...

Last year's christmas presents for me were so heavy as to kind of freak out the maillman.

But as a kid, I just don't know.

Wait, scratch that. If I were 8-13 again, I would want Lego. And I have a ton of it from that period...
It is become an art form.

airsmith282
12-12-2009, 01:12 AM
being iam a spoiled brat i never had to want for anything really, and now iam going to be 41 this month and ill still likey get what i want but , if i were a kid again the one thing id want i guess would be a cool go-kart or perhaps a really cool dirt bike..

Yankee1
12-12-2009, 02:18 AM
Did not get it. Finally bought one myself. Same with my first single shot .22 rifle. Back then the .22 cost a little over 13 dollars.
After ball games at the local stadium people threw soda pop bottles all over and I picked them up and cashed them in for .2 cents each. That was how I paid for it. My grandmother went down and purchased it as I was not old enough. I remember the storekeepers saying don't bring any more of those bottles kid I know you did not buy them here. I lugged my cart all over cashing them bottles.
Yankee1

mbensema
12-12-2009, 08:48 AM
Present day items that I would have loved to have are Lego Mindstorm and a DSLR.

http://mindstorms.lego.com/en-us/Default.aspx

I was always building something as a kid and having the Mindstorm would have been a dream come true. I also loved photography and had an Olympus OM-1 in highschool. At the time it was a great camera, but having a modern DSLR would have been so much more fun and not quite so expensive with all the bad photographs I had to develop while learning. I look through some of the pictures I took back then and wish there was a delete button LOL.

psomero
12-12-2009, 09:24 AM
Strange how the thread is going. A lot of today's kids are "slackers" and....much to my surprise, proud of it.

The other day, I was kinda watching TV (waiting for glue to dry on a project)
There was a program on called "Wrecks to Riches" A car show, about hot rod builder Barry White and his shop. As luck would have it, he usually recruits a group of volunteers to help with the "build". Sometimes it's cops, sometimes it's firemen, a cycling club, a group of "old Skool" car customizers...Most of the time they do quite well, and get the car finished on time, without destroying anything. Well, the show that was on the other day, Barry had a group of students from an automotive training school, UTI. Five guys who were paying a school to teach them how to repair cars, for a living. As usual, they all were volunteers. Before the show progressed half way, Barry was contemplating kicking most of them out of the shop. He called them together and commented about the majority of the guys not showing up for work on time, and some for not even showing up at all. "Not taking this job seriously" was one of his comments. They made a mess, had tools and parts strewn all over the shop, and ended up three days behind schedule, and he stood to lose money. Barry White tried to talk to each of them, mainly because the build was getting behind schedule and he needed all of them working, not "slacking off". Some of the guys "copped an attitude" because they didn't like Barry treating them like kids....(understandably) He ended up picking out one kid who actually wanted to do the job, and wanted to learn, and sent the others packing. They finished the build, on time, and Barry White hired the remaining kid as an apprentice. Unusual ending for this popular show. But, it goes to show what kind of future automotive technicians are being trained in today's trade schools. Scary....



UTI isn't a real trade school. it's a publicly traded, for profit company which pretends to be a school to scam the feds and unsuspecting students out of student aid money. they simply cram as many students as they can into inadequate "classrooms" to make the most money possible.

there's a lot of them out there these days, as it's good money for whatever scumbags decide to start up a school (or swallow a legit one like wyotech up).

look up corinthian colleges, inc.

education and for-profit never belong in the same thought.

saltmine
12-12-2009, 10:54 AM
In a nutshell, it sure didn't bode well for UTI. But, I kinda suspected UTI was a "technician mill" (like a puppy mill, only not as lovable)

You ought to hear the stories they tell their students...Like being able to earn $100K the first year they're out of school.

Most of the UTI, WyoTech, and Lincoln Tech students (ie: graduates) I've met seem to have the "deer-in-the-headlights" stare down pretty well, but seldom possess the skills it takes to repair and maintain ANY of today's cars and trucks.

My brother used to be a service manager and used to get stacks of job applications from grads from these schools. The song had a similar theme....No practical experience, good classroom scores, no tools, and usually couldn't make a sandwich without Emeril standing nearby. He hired one or two of them out of desperation (long story, sign of the times)
Usually they would show up late, expect top pay from the start, and thought the dealer should supply all of their tools. One clown showed up with a Bachelor's Degree in "Hot Rod Technology"...(we got a good laugh on that one). One guy claimed to have studied electrical system engineering for four years at WyoTech.... My brother had to let him go when he connected both terminals of a car's battery to the engine block, and then couldn't figure out how to use a fire extinguisher.....

Regnar
12-12-2009, 11:44 AM
Plans on how to build a CnC router that runs a dremel or simular. Also a promise to help build it and fund the project.

And here is your example
http://www.solsylva.com/