For many on this board, the PC is as normal a thing to own as a record player was in my youth. Of course, such has not always been the case. The IBM
PC was introduced on August 12, 1981 and the most basic model cost nearly $1600 or about $3000 in todays money. One with all the bells and whistles
was maybe twice that price.
Personally, I don't know quite what to make of the fact that ATS failed to note this watershed event. I read about it on a couple of sites and
thought I might do it myself, but got off on other things and forgot about it.
Now, maybe this thread would be better placed in Science and Technology, but the fact is that the computer has created almost as much social change as
changed the way we produce goods. It changed the way we move about
our world and where we live and shop. It changed the way we interact with other nations and the way we fight wars. It changed our courtship rituals
and our eating habits.
Has the computer had that much impact? I think so, but in someways the changes have been more subtle, because the things that make a PC possible are
also found in so many items that we use everyday without thinking about it.
Our cars are controlled by microprocssors as are our clocks and TVs. The computer is where we meet our friends and how we shop for gifts for those
friends. We use it to play games, pay bills, and do our work. Even people who are computer-phobic use computer technology almost everyday, whether
they know it or not, or even if they like it or not.
Even though I used computers for nearly two decades, it wasn't until about two and a half years ago that I finally bought one and, frankly, there's
no going back. I would no more think of living my life without a computer than I would think of doing without a car. In fact, I would sooner get rid
of my car than to get rid of my computer.
Let us consider what the PC hath wrought, while we acknowledge that the IBM PC wasn't really the first
, even though its introduction was the spark computers needed to become the ubiquitous machines that they are today.
[edit on 2006/8/13 by GradyPhilpott]