The Future of Computing 1983 Style

In 1983 many people were discovering home computing for the first time. This book was unearthed recently and found to have some pretty accurate predictions for the future of computing.

Best of all though is the section on the history and future of computing. As with all computing histories, the emphasis is on how quickly things have progressed, with plenty of laughter at how ENIAC could carry out a calculation in three millionths of a second, while the 1980s machines could to it in one ten-millionth of a second. To put that into context, while the 1980s machine was thirty times faster than its 1945 counterpart, today’s fastest supercomputer is something like 260 million times faster than the 1980s model described in the book.


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These days everyone is pro. I was hired as a general assistant to the Technology Operations department of my work. I worked with them temporarily off and on for a year while we rolled out new hosting environments in Toronto, Chicago and Los Angeles. During that time I was asked to work on the VPs desktop. I was told that it had a memory error and I should try replacing the physical memory (RAM). The person giving the instruction was the full-time desktop support technician. I formatted and re-installed windows several times, tried different RAM slots and expansion cards, I even performed a full test of the physical memory using Hiren's Boot CD. Still, not working; Blue-Screen of Death error 0x0000020. I pull this little slip of paper out of a box of cds that came with the PC and one reads "Virtual Memory Error". Out of curiosity I pull up error 0x00000020 online and find it relates to swap file. So I run scandisk to check for bad sectors, found a few and the computer worked perfectly. However, the Tech wasn't happy with me, it took me a few hours and when I told him "That's because you said it was a physical memory problem, not virtual memory, and you told me to troubleshoot the RAM" he got really upset. I got let go a few days after I fixed a brand new monitor he was prepared to toss out. I fixed it by draining the capacitors - a relatively simple fix any tech should know about. I was "let go" due to incompetence. It is ironic that 3 months later they launched an internal investigation to see if I had hacked the Linux servers. Still, rumor is that I was let go for incompetence and the Tech who jerked me over is still here. I don't say anything, it's their company, their loss. But none of it will change the fact that I can fix monitors he can't and that I know the difference between physical and virtual memory. He may have won his career from me, but he's still ignorant, self-centered and deluded. Where is teh handbook on that?
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Argh stop referring to 1983 as though it was concurrent with the Roman Invasion! I already feel old!

14 in 1983 here though I was stuck with a Dragon 32 (which I still have).
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FYI, I put some scans of another Usborne book on my blog, if people are interested:
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