"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Friday, August 12, 2011

August 12, 1981

In the summer of 1981 I had just graduated from college and had not yet started (or perhaps even found?) my first job as an "assistant media buyer" at BBDO in New York (at which, needless to say, I was horrible, although I like to attribute my horribleness to being 22 and not to any permanent character defect... jury's still out on that one, though). And I didn't notice it at the time, and probably wouldn't have had the foresight to see what was coming. (Who did?)  But thirty years ago today, IBM brought to market its first personal computer.

I remember the first computer I bought a couple of years later, a Zenith IBM clone, in the summer of 1984.  I think my mom and dad gave me the $2,000 or so it cost.   It had 512K of memory, an orange on black text screen, and floppy disks for storing files. I just this week bought my son a new MP3 player with 8GB of memory in a device that is about a quarter-inch thick and two and a half inches by one and a half inches, and which cost $79.   

Where on earth will we be in 30 more years?  

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