As a kid, one of the TV shows that I used to watch with great interest was this series called the 'Automan'.
The story revolved around a computer programmer and a police officer by the name of 'Walter Nebicher'. Walter worked at the Local Police Department's Computer crimes division.
Originally, Walter started out as a regular police officer, working on tackling crime on the streets. Walter's boss, Captain Boyd did not fully approve of the work he had been doing and hence, Walter was relegated to the Computer Lab. A demotion of sorts?
Here is an excerpt from the opening/introduction from the TV show (also shared below int he video) and as narrated by the main character (Automan).
"... Walter must fight crime in his own way – in the computer room. That's where he's an expert. Fortunately for me, Walter's advanced knowledge of electronics led him to experiment with what is known as a hologram.
If you are reading this and you haven't seen the TV show, then you should check out the clip shared above before reading any further. This brief intro will give you a good idea of what the show was about and the right kind of background information about the two main characters.
Yes, in order to build the story and the narrative, there was the supporting cast, like Captain Boyd, Roxanne and Lt. Jack Curtis. However the majority of the TV show revolved around Walter, Automan and cursor.
Which brings us to cursor
Cursor was this flying and buzzing construct. Basically a hologram. But a hologram that would serve the function of a conduit between the real world and the digital world.
The really awesome thing was that Walter, as in a biological creature, could then hop along for a ride in these amazing inventions. That cursor had the ability to be able to provision these devices into the real world in a matter of seconds. These inventions and creations somehow made a transcendental leap from the digital world and into the 'real world'.
As a kid growing up in the 80's, we did not think much about the underlying technologies too much. All we really cared about was that this was a really cool TV show and we just wanted to see the good guys win.
Now that I look back, it's amazing to see how life imitates art.
Today we have:
Automan has been on my mind for quite some time now. Considering the rapid pace of technological change, I thought it prudent to recollect some of my memories from the 80's and document them in this blogpost.
A question for my readers: Has there been any TV show/content made during the past 10 years that inspires kids to take up careers in STEM related fields in the near future?