I ran into some ancient history today that I can really relate to. In my first visit with my HS counselor and after all of the testing her evaluation suggested I would be most happy “running a computer in the woods” as a career. That was in 1958 and neither of us could come up with that career.
Now one must remember that the first desktop computer (8 square feet) arrived in 1962. 50 years ago this month. The LINC was put to work by MIT in biomedical research. It had 1 kb of memory and cost about $44K.
The LINC was a one-off. Three years later the first successful minicomputer manufactured, the PDP 8, sold for $18K. Following that the public experienced the ARPAnet, Atari’s Pong, the Altair 8000 (256 bytes of memory), the Apple I, the Apple II, the Pet and the TRS 80.
In 1981 IBM anointed it’s entrant into the industry as the “PC” and the nomenclature has stuck.
A year later the first laptop (GRID, >$8K) arrived followed by Compaq (83) and the first Mac (84).
So everybody gets into the act, the I devices start up with an iMac, Moore’s law proves itself and the industry rolls to the release of the iPhone 5. 5x2x1/4 inch, with 16 Gb of memory and priced at $200. Substitute your favorite here.
My first interaction with a mini was a PDP 11 in 1976. In 77 I realized that prediction of 1958. (Substitute the oil patch for the woods) Today I own a desktop, a laptop and a smartphone. My wife has two laptops, an iPad, an iTouch and the twin to my smartphone.