You walk down the front walk of your summer home and approach the moving truck parked in the driveway. It is a normal thing in today’s advanced society to work for the same company, but roam from place to place. You think to yourself, “How did they ever live without these portable computers all those years ago?” The ability to take a computer on the road with you wasn’t even a dream in the beginning, but now it’s a reality.
You open the rear door of the moving truck and step up through the narrow opening. The area is very crowded, but there is just enough room for your office chair and a few spare square feet of desk space. “Ahhh… advancements in technology,” you say to the bare walls of the truck. “Now then, let’s kick start this baby.”
After a long day of work in these tight quarters, you step out of the twenty-six foot moving truck and walk back into the house.
You are probably thinking, “C’mon, Tom. What are you talking about? There are no portable computers that require a moving truck to haul them.” Right you are, but this is – WHAT IF?
Here is what was reported in 1949:
Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and perhaps only weigh 1 1/2 tons.
-Popular Mechanics, March 1949
Didn’t know someone said that? Just hold on because there is much more to follow.
The truth of it all is that we’ve all been deceived. They have tried to convince us that these computers are worth something. The things we’re doing with them aren’t really productive, they are worthless. You don’t agree? Why not? A couple of really important people did:
-Sir George Bidell Airy (Astronomer Royal of Great Britain), in reference to the potential value of Charles Babbage’s analytical engine. Charles is considered to the the inventor of the computer today.
“What the ____ is it good for?”
-Robert Lloyd (an engineer at IBM) in response to colleagues who insisted that the microprocessor was the future of the computer industry in 1968.
Do you agree? Neither do I, but what if we had listened to them?
How many new computers are shipped every year? Not too many, as a matter of fact it has averaged .09 computers every year for the last forty-five years. Wow! How did we ever do it? Since 1943 we have developed and marketed five whole computers.
I realize that this sounds a little far-fetched, but I can prove it:
“I think there is a world market for about five computers.”
-Thomas Watson, Chairman of the Board of IBM, 1943
In reality, however, we have produced and marketed, not only millions of systems, but literally hundreds of different kinds of computer systems as well. He said five computers, but look at this list of computer types over the last thirty to forty years:
- ATARI 800
- Apple II
- Apple IIe
- Apple IIgs
- Apple Macintosh
- Commodore VIC-20 (I loved this one.)
- Commodore 64 (Another personal favorite.)
- Commodore 128
- Commodore Amiga
- Tandy 1000
I could go on, but I believe that my point is made – but what if?
We don’t need you. You haven’t got through college yet.
-HP Executive, 1976
Get your feet off my desk, get out of here, you stink, and we’re not going to buy your product.
-Joe Keenan, President of Atari, 1976
There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.
-Ken Olson, President of DEC, 1977
It is a really good thing that we didn’t listen to these wise people. If we had, we would have undoubtedly been greatly delayed in the development of the personal computer system. The first one, the HP executive, was responding to Steve Jobs when he offered HP his Apple II computer design. The second quote was Atari’s response to Steve, and the third quote is just a bit of wisdom from the era.
Steve ignored these people, and financed the development of the Apple II himself. This act launched the personal computer revolution as we know it today – for the most part anyway. But – what if?
Well, we could go on talking about people like Bill Gates and others. But I’ll be nice and simply end by saying I am really glad I have over 8 GB of RAM in all of my computers. Aren’t you, Bill? Or maybe he still has 640k.
Aren’t you glad that you have never said anything that turned out to be wrong in your life? I know I am!
Oh yeah… now for my prediction of the future. I predict that we will all evolve into computers and then the computers will rule the world. It will be like a matrix kind of thing. I wonder if anyone else has ever thought of anything like that?
The reality is that experts can often get caught up in their knowledge of the present and lose sight of the possible.
The point of it all is this: as we enter the new year of 2017, dream. Dream and don’t let those around you say your dreams are impossible. Just dream, plan and act and see what your future may hold.