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Saturday, 03 April 2010


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Why did I think of Pandora's Box when I read this?

I've posted that link at a few other fora where I post. Most people think Apple or Commodore invented the inexpensive PC. Who would have thought it was really a curmudgeon in Albuquerque, New Mexico of all places?

On a related note, I just read about this in a book called "Fire in the Valley" which is a history of the development of personal computers. If you are a PC geek, read it...

If you think hard, it all come down to Steve Jobs actually.

Up until IBM PC comes along, we all use (or hack) our Apple II as far away as in Hong Kong in 1970s. That is Steve Jobs. If you can ask Bill Gates, he is a just a software firm for Apple. Microsoft still do Apple software and also in the worst moment of Apple, Bill has to intervene uncharacter of him. I think he knew all along who is really the who driving force of it all, even though all $ goes to him and his firm.

Now back to IBM era, if you let IBM and Microsoft continue without Steve Jobs, sorry we are still using C:>dir today!

Apple does not and still does not have the business model to handle a world of PC for everyone. The recent ignorance of netbook is that they simply cannot do this PC for everyone bit. But the key PC drive like the basic hardware architecture (PC with bus, which other than S100, is the main result of Apple II) and software architecture like Windows ... all comes down to Steve!

WIthout Steve, we do not has standard music playing machine (MP3 is everywhere before iPod), we are still not using a touch screen based phone and whilst we are not sure yet, ipad like OS. It is not others have not tried many of this before, Xerox, Go, Palm, ...

But I guess once the real innovative one is passed away, we would know whether innovation actually counts in PC world.

There are people which are pioneer but they can be missed as other would come up. But someone like Bill Gate business model (what! selling software, you are silly ... is the major thinking in 1980s), Steve Jobs several intervention (like all major OSs upgrade - Apple Tape/Disk Dos, Macintosh, Mac OS X, Ipod, Ipad, ...), Tim Berners-Lee (WWW and perhaps IP architect like Vint Cerf), Linus (open source would not happen with just free source), ....

May be he is the first but that kind of computer is coming and if it is not him, it can be others. But you really have to in those era to know how shocking that 1) you can win IBM, 2) you can sell software, 3) computer can be user friendly (remember that phrase, a major one many in IT do not understand, as a past IBM OS/370 technical support like me who was originally trained as PC and Unix support knew and in fact we have to put into product specification so that vendor know that their product has to be user friend!) 4) that you do not need to do error recovery and can just error occur and repair it later and you can have >1 network (Xerox's Ethernet and Internet) and ... (I stop here but if continue ... everyone has a MP3 and PC that can play MP3 and until iPod comes alone, ...)

You may not remember or if you are not in IT industry, know how the world at those time is. May be read a bit Byte can help. It has that device's advertisement but the device is not the only game in town. But those changes in idea by these pioneers is really made a difference.

Sorry when someone passed away we normally say they are such important and nice. I am sort of bad here. I do not think he is of the league as Bill Gate, Steve Jobs, Linus, Tim Berners-Lee etc.

For excellent further reading about the development of personal computers: order through this link or the Amazon link on the home page and it is two benefits for the price of one.


"Albuquerque, New Mexico of all places?" Harumph! Albuquerque may not have the high-tech cachet like Silicon Valley but it's been home to quite a bit of public & private sector R&D for a very long time.

MITS and Micro-Soft were gone by the time I arrived but a few times a month I drive past where it all started. Pretty humble beginnings.

Roger in the 'Burque

Then someone else thought, What if I SOLD everyone a computer??


Give enough monkeys typewriters you get Shakespeare. Give everyone a computer you get the internet.

Steve Wozniak invented the Apple computer, Steve Jobs came up with the idea that normal people might want to buy them.

What if we gave everyone a computer, with a network that didn't require and didn't allow advertising?

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