Volume 6 Issue 5
December 1999


Computer Repairmen
York Adams Council

Setting: Cubs are sitting around the work table (scattered with tools like soldering iron, screwdrivers, schematics, old computer parts, etc. and one computer that is the object of their concentration) obviously trying to get the computer to work.

Note: that the computer is on and running except that the monitor should be turned off so it doesn't appear to work.

Floppy disk - rubber disk like a jar lid gripper
Microchips - potato chips
Motherboard - wooden paddle or cutting board
Mouse - rubber mouse toy
Serial bus - Cereal box folded into shape of a bus
Computer case - brief case

Cub 1: Well we've got to get this thing working before [Den Leader's name] gets back from the store.

Cub 2: You're right! It was working fine when he left and we were playing Tetris. What do you think went wrong?

Cub 3: I don't think we did anything to it; it just kinda' stopped working all a sudden.

Cub 4: (Holding up "floppy disk") Did you check the floppy drive?

Cub 5: Yeah. It seems to be fine. (Holding up "microchips") I even checked the memory chips and they're okay too.

Cub 6: (Holding "motherboard") You don't think it's the motherboard, do you?

Cub 7: Nah. We didn't even touch that. (Holding up "mouse") And besides, we were only using the mouse to play the game.

Cub 8: (Holding up "serial bus") Well if we were only using the mouse, could it be the serial bus is the problem?

Cub 9: I think I know what the problem is. (Holding up computer case) Here, you guys get all these parts back in the case and I'll go get the help we need.

Cubs huddle around the computer case putting things into it while Cub 9 goes into audience and gets "appropriate help," for example, the Cubmaster or Den Leader. Cub returns with "help" and asks him/her [out loud] to hold this screw in the back. All Cubs stand back and Cub 9 turns on the monitor so that the computer "works."

Cub 9: I thought that's what it was—it was missing a nut!

The Gathering
York Adams Council

Setting: One Cub is sitting at his desk with his computer. What are not seen are several pinewood derby cars and a piece of stiff cardboard that will work as a car ramp.

Another Cub enters.

Cub 1: Were you able to get some?

Cub 2: (Holds up two or three CD jewel cases) Oh yeah! I got this one CD that has AOL Version 9 on it. And I also got Microsoft Office 2005. They should be really cool.

Another Cub enters

Cub 1: How 'bout you? Find any good CDs to use?

Cub 3: (Holds up two or three CD jewel cases) You bet! I got this one from my Dad; it's AutoCad 23. And my brother let me use his Dungeons and Dragons Naturally Speaking. How's that?

This continues with as many Cubs as possible bringing in CDs (jewel cases) to share. Once all of them are together, the Cubs prop up one end of the cardboard "track" and start to run their Pinewood Derbies down the ramp, saying: "Sure is a good thing we have this software to help us practice for the big race!"

Software Glitch
York Adams Council

Setting: One boy is sitting at a table with a stack of fanfold computer paper. He's holding the top sheet up, looking at it forlornly. Another Cub Scout enters.

Cub 1: Sure glad you could come over. I can't figure out what's wrong with this computer program.

Cub 2: Yeah, well I had a problem with my inverse trigonometric algorithms just the other day. I should be able to help you figure out this one.

Both boys sit down and stare at the paper, lifting different sheets and shaking their heads. Another Cub enters.

Cub 3: Any luck guys? (Mumbled "no" responses) Did you check the multitasking routine to make sure the WAIT FOR statements weren't asynchronous?

Cubs 1 & 2: Uh-huh. That all checked out.

Boys sit staring at the pages yet again. Sometimes pointing at different things, checking them, and shaking their heads. The stream of Cubs continues, each asking some inane computerish question, getting "positive" responses, until the last Cub comes in.

Last Cub: Well, guys, did you solve the problem yet? (Heads shake "no") Here, let me look too. All boys return to their review and begin flipping the sheets further and further to the back until they all stand up screaming and yelling "There it is! There it is!"

The Den Leader comes running in, asking what the problem is. They lift up the paper and show him (and the audience) the sheet with the code and the picture of a bug on it, as they say "We had a bug in the software!"

Abbott & Costello on Windows 95
York Adams Council

Costello: Hey, Abbott!

Abbott: Yes, Lou?

Costello: I just got my first computer.

Abbott: That's great, Lou. What did you get?

Costello: A Pentium II-266, with 40 Megs of RAM, a 2.1 Gig hard drive, and a 24X CD-ROM.

Abbott: That's terrific, Lou.

Costello: But I don't know what any of it means!

Abbott: You will in time.

Costello: That's exactly why I'm here to see you.

Abbott: Oh?

Costello: I heard that you're a real computer expert.

Abbott: Well, I don't know.

Costello: Yes-sir-ee. You know your stuff. And you're going to train me.

Abbott: Really?

Costello: Uh huh. And I am here for my first lesson.

Abbott: O.K. Lou. What do want to know?

Costello: I am having no problem turning it on, but I heard that you should be very careful how you turn it off.

Abbott: That's true.

Costello: So, here I am working on my new computer and I want to turn it off. What do I do?

Abbott: Well, first you press the Start button, and then

Costello: No, I told you I want to turn it off.

Abbott: I know, you press the Start button…

Costello: Wait a second. I want to turn it Off. I know how to start it. So tell me what to do.

Abbott: I did.

Costello: When?

Abbott: When I told you to press the Start button.

Costello: Why should I press the Start button?

Abbott: To shut off the computer.

Costello: I press Start to stop?

Abbott: Well, Start doesn't actually stop the computer.

Costello: I knew it! So what do I press?

Abbott: Start.

Costello: Start what?

Abbott: Start button.

Costello: Start button to do what?

Abbott: Shut down.

Costello: You don't have to get rude!

Abbott: No, no, no! That's not what I meant.

Costello: Then say what you mean.

Abbott: To shut down the computer, press

Costello: Don't say, "Start!"

Abbott: Then what do you want me to say?

Costello: Look, if I want to turn off the computer, I am willing to press the Stop button, the End button and Cease and Desist button, but no one in their right mind presses the Start to Stop.

Abbott: But that's what you do.

Costello: And you probably Go at Stop signs, and Stop at green lights.

Abbott: Don't be ridiculous.

Costello: I'm being ridiculous? Well, I think it's about time we started this conversation.

Abbott: What are you talking about?

Costello: I am starting this conversation right Now. Good-bye.


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