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I am pretty autistic, so there wasn't much that I had trouble understanding, but I still used to think that the little black squares on circuit boards had glass in them (which isn't too far from the truth), and that the circuit boards themselves were made from some kind of cardboard.
When I learned about faxes, I thought you could fax whole objects. Like in Willy Wonka. Ex. Scan a chair, and fax the info, and a chair comes out where you sent the fax.
In Denmark (where I grew up) a calculator is called something that would translate back into "Pocket Calculator".
Because of this I often wondered as a child, how such a device could calculate the contents of my pockets.
I thought the “rec” button on tape recorders said wreck and it would wreck your tape if you pushed it!
I used to believe that if you photocopied a piece of blank paper, the copy would make a new piece of paper. I thought that I was the first one to come up with this and was convinced my family could save millions of dollars in paper :)
I used to believe that the robots living inside the computer that controls displays, keyboards, and printers.
I used to believe that when you fax something, the machine crumbled up the paper and sent it through the telephone wires and when the other machine received it, the machine ironed it out. But that didn't explain why the person still had the original sheet! I couldn't figure that part out.
I believed that the sound from a speaker traveled around the speaker in a circle very fast, and if you poked a hole in the speaker, the sound would stop when it came around to the hole. I believed this until I poked a hole in our car radio's speaker just to see if it was true. My dad never found out. (Thank goodness.)
When I was a kid, I thought that when I turned off the computer, the characters from the computer games gathered around a bonfire and talked to each other about what I did to them the whole day.
When internet first came out & my aunt got a connection, I used to believe that they were able to buy anything they wanted for free by shopping online.
When AOL first came out and had it's signature, "You've Got Mail" thing, I thought to myself, "How in the world do they know that the mail man already came by!"
When I was little, behind my school there was a very large metal box/room thing with a little door that contained a power transformer or something. It had a small oval-shaped transparent panel through which I could see something that looked vaguely like a robot face. Because of that, I used to believe that robots lived inside power transformers.
I used to believe that nuclear power stations consisted of a giant room where they set off nuclear bombs, then siphoned off the energy from the explosions. Therefore the main danger of these power stations was that the giant room might be unable to hold in the explosion.
When I was 23 my sister and I were driving in California on a road trip when I looked up at the power lines and said "Isn't it amazing how the power is in those lines and then it just shoots into your house through the air?" She turned her head around in shock and questioned my statement. I further went on to detail how I thought power just shot around the air like cell phones or tvs. She set me straight on how power arrives at my house and the dangers of electricity loose in the air.
That i could change the radio with my mind (my parents were pressing the scan button)
I used to believe, as ridiculous as this sounds, that the world literally used to be in black and white (from old photos and old TV shows) and it magically turned into color (much like the wizard of oz).
It took me until I was about six or seven to realize that the film/photography technology was just not as advanced back in the day...
I used to believe that elevators were magical boxes that, when you pushed a button for a floor, all the intervening floors of the building collapsed upon themselves while the elevator stayed put. The floors were then magically rebuilt when you pressed the button for your original floor. Strangely, I didn't worry about what happened to all the people on those floors that collapsed.
I believed that there was a giant gathering where a man in red and white pin stripes stood at a podium and would hold up an item and declare the name it would be known by. Ex: I declare this a toaster; no long will bread be uncooked.
(Some back-info for young people: When I was young, there were no such things as digital cameras. So if you wanted to see a picture immediately after taking it, you'd have to use a Polaroid camera. After you snapped a picture, a square sheet would slide out of the camera, and then the picture would develop on the square sheet during the next few minutes.)
As a child, my family would never let me see a Polaroid picture in the process of developing (they probably didn't
want me to get fingerprints on the pictures).
Consequently, I got the misconception that the pictures would be ruined if you looked at them before they were completely developed.
I used to think that little people (or maybe mice) lived inside traffic lights, because there had to be something inside operating it.