Crayola Doodle Penguin; or Why I Hate Consumerist Computing

Posted on by Chris Warburton

I was in Toys 'R' Us today, buying some Lego, when I happened upon a "Crayola Doodle Penguin", which looks something like this:

Doodle Penguin

Now, the first thing that came to my mind was "Oh cool, Crayola are making their own Turtles!". For those of you who haven't had the joyous experience of using Logo in school, a "Turtle" is a simple robot with wheels and a pen, which is plugged into a computer via a long cable. Commands can be sent to a turtle, typically written in Logo, and it will follow instructions like "forward 100", "right 90", "pendown", etc. which, when it's roaming around on a large piece of paper, will produce pretty shapes. Logo also has loops, recursion and a whole host of other features, making it a fully fledged functional programming language; in fact, it is a dialect of LISP!

So it seems that in the 1960s our children were programming computers in a functional programming language to create recursive robot controllers, for fun; whilst these days our children are using computers to send 140-byte messages to each other, manually colouring in the 50 patterns that their unprogrammable robots are pre-programmed with.

This is the reason I hate commodity software, User-eXperience, GUIs, Web Apps and all the other bullshit!