Around 1988â€“1991 there was a weekly computer magazine in the UK called New Computer Express. This period coincided roughly with the time I was a freelance writer in the same field.
For childish reasons now lost to time, a group of us freelancers had a major hate-on forÂ NCE’s advice columnist. Writing under the name Uncle TechTip, this columnist seemed to answer most questions with something like â€œHmm, I don’t know anything about _____. Maybe a reader can help?â€ Almost without fail, he’d have readers write in answers for next week’s issue.
Not realizing that Uncle TT’s economy of response was a sly precursor to crowdsourcing websites, the neophyte journo brigade were incensed by his lack of knowledge. One of us wrote an Uncle TechTip Simulator in BASIC, which I recreate from memory for your enjoyment:
10 CLS 15 PRINT " *** Uncle TechTip Simulator ***" 20 PRINT 25 INPUT "What is your question for Uncle TechTip";a$ 30 PRINT 35 PRINT "Uncle TechTip's Answer: " 40 PRINT 45 PRINT "Hmm, I don't know anything about" 50 PRINT " ";a$;" ..." 55 PRINT "Maybe a reader can help?"