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Oh, yes, we’ve all been there and done that.

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

It’s the mid ’90s, and the African university where this pilot fish is studying for a computer science degree is offering free computer literacy lessons for the community.

Computers are new and exciting, and everyone wants in. Fish teaches one of the classes, in English. But most of the students don’t speak English too well. When fish says, “Move your mouse up,” for example, half the class physically lift up their mouse.

But he gets a peek at a better approach one day when helping a fellow tutor, who is teaching the literacy class. This teacher needs to explain how to insert a diskette, the 3.5-in. successor to the floppy disk that is (logically) called in South Africa a “stiffy disk.”

He thinks of a technology everyone is already familiar with, and in the native language of the students, tells them to put the stiffy disk in the slot — just like a phone card in a pay phone.

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