Saturday, June 13, 2009
Boy Have Computers Changed!
My earliest memory of computers was when I accompanied my dad to the TVA Widow's Creek steam plant in 1962 one weekend. Dad was called in to work on a crashed computer there and he thought I would be interested in seeing a power plant in operation. I distinctly remember the huge drum memory that held about as much information as a good programmable calculator today. When he was finished he showed me around the control room and I marveled at the "typewriters" that spewed out writing on long rolls of paper without anyone typing. While he worked I flipped through some magazines there and saw an ad for the first desktop computer I had ever seen. The price of this new computer was $10,000 and it had 16K memory. At that time I told dad that some day they would have computers for the home that will be much faster than this one and will be relatively inexpensive so anyone could purchase one. Dad laughed and told me I was probably right. Now I am sitting here typing on a computer that is several magnitudes faster than the one I saw in the ad and has 3.4 GB memory! It's funny how the future sometimes unfolded the way I imagined it.