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Looking ahead in 1982

by henrycopeland
Monday, December 29th, 2003

As predictions for 2004 abound, you might enjoy reading Time’s 1982 Machine of the year article about PCs. A lot of the numbers are wrong, but the basic trajectory is remarkably accurate. (Via WSJ’s Realtime column.)

I was particularly amused by this passage:

In his 1980 book, The Third Wave, he portrays a 21st century world in which the computer revolution has canceled out many of the fundamental changes wrought by the Industrial Revolution: the centralization and standardization of work in the factory, the office, the assembly line. These changes may seem eternal, but they are less than two centuries old. Instead, Toffler imagines a revived version of pre-industrial life in what he has named “the electronic cottage,” a utopian abode where all members of the family work, learn and enjoy their leisure around the electronic hearth, the computer. Says Vice President Louis H. Mertes of the Continental Illinois Bank and Trust Co. of Chicago, who is such a computer enthusiast that he allows no paper to be seen in his office (though he does admit to keeping a few files in the drawer of an end table): “We’re talking when’not if’the electronic cottage will emerge.”

Any day now. I’m still a believer.

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