Fun Look at the Past

Posted by at 9:36AM

Here’s a republished article from 1982, about the author getting his first computer:
“Computers cause another, more insidious problem, by forever distorting your sense of time. When I first saw the system in the back room at Optek, I was so dazzled by the instantaneous deletion of sentences and movement of paragraphs that I thought I could never want anything more. When the scientists at Optek warned me about certain bottlenecks, I had to stifle my laughter. In particular, they warned me that I might grow impatient with tape recorders as a way to store data. You have to understand, they told me, it can take five or ten minutes to load a long draft into the computer from tapes, whereas a disk drive (which would add a thousand dollars to the cost) could do the job in seconds. Typical vulgarians of the machine age, I told myself. How could they imagine that I would object to five or ten minutes, when I had been spared Darlene?
Three weeks later, I was griping constantly about the tapes and scanning the pages of Byte magazine, looking for a good deal on a disk drive. Ten minutes was intolerable when everything else happened in a flash…”
It’s a pretty funny thing to read in retrospect, especially the part quoted above, seeing as the emphasis is always faster, faster, faster.

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