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The PC Turned 25 Yesterday with Nary a Mention on ATS

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posted on Aug, 13 2006 @ 05:30 PM
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 the automobile.

The automobile 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 personal computer, even though its introduction was the spark computers needed to become the ubiquitous machines that they are today.

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[edit on 2006/8/13 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Aug, 13 2006 @ 06:15 PM
The IBM PC was a total piece of crap when it was introduced--it was far inferior to other machines on the market. However, it did get Microsoft off the ground and IBM's clout helped Microsoft displace the other competitors in the OS arena. The only real benefit of the IBM PC was that it standardized (more or less) the internal structures and data bus interfaces. A little west coast start up company was even then starting to dictate how the real guts of a computer were put together and what they were capable of--that company was Intel. The 25th anniversary thing would have been best just forgotten altogether. If anything, IBM should hang their head in shame over its introduction.

[edit on 13-8-2006 by Astronomer70]

posted on Aug, 13 2006 @ 06:42 PM
I thought instead of posting about the quality of microsoft products...I'd say something
to the social consequences of PC's.

If given the choice between car and PC, I would probably have to invest in some good
sneakers. My career requires it, I watch TV on it, frankly it's scary and really cool too.
Most of the people I have more than brief encounters with are pretty much the same.

I believe we will recognize some psychological and physiological anomalies sometime
in the future concerning the exponential increase in the speed of information processing allowed for with computer technology. It's mind blowing really. I suspect it might be
possible to obtain some documentation to this effect, maybe with the airforce.

That's all got for now, perhaps I'll be back later.

posted on Aug, 13 2006 @ 06:57 PM
I can remember the very first time I ever saw a computer, kindergarten 1985. I was instantly hooked. Then it was just green letters on a black background. Then came color monitors. That was so cool. And they only keep getting better.

Computers have had a major impact on civilization. Even people who never use a PC are affected by them. Marvelous invention!

We've already come a long ways since the first PC's, and it will be interesting witnessing the future evolutions of computers.

posted on Aug, 14 2006 @ 12:37 AM
This is incredible, I never knew.

It is just great what a computer can do compared to way back then.

Man I am so thankful for the computer.

Was it the IBM PC?
Bzzzt! The IBM PC was introduced in 1981. It was perhaps the first to wear the "PC" label, but that was IBM's only innovation. They sure sold a bunch of them, though.

Make Model Introduced Price Technology Form
IBM 5150 PC 1981 ? 8088/VLSI desktop

Was it the Apple ][?
No, the 1977 Apple ][ was the first highly successful mass-produced personal computer, but not the first personal computer. Nor was the 1976 Apple 1, which can be considered an Apple ][ prototype since only 200 or so were made.

The Apple 1 signaled the end of toggle switches and blinkenlights, and launched the interactive graphical microcomputer as a new class of machine.

posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 03:30 PM
Thanks for the reminder Grady. I can't imagine my world now without one. I would most likely be watching tv and being filled with biased information and no debate.

posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 03:32 PM
Happy Birthday to the good ole PC! Looks like Dell have been having fireworks to celebrate! er... 'in' their laptops! Have you seen those things flame on? wow!

posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 06:22 PM

My first computer, the 48K Sinclair ZX Spectrum...At it's launch in 1982, the 'Speccy' was state of the art computing, whilst remaining affordable to the average joe, and repidly became thehome computer for most Brits

[edit on 15-8-2006 by timski]

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