[vcf-midatlantic] Great vintage computer article.

madodel madodel at mac.com
Fri Apr 14 15:01:12 EDT 2017

On 4/14/17 11:55 AM, Herb Johnson via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
> > A lot of people would like to see advanced forms of what we
> > used to call client-server technology do away with the
> > traditional idea of a stand alone personal computer.
> Funny for this old guy to read this. In MY generation, the "traditional" 
> idea of computing, was mainframe. The company and the government, owned 
> ALL the computers, all the data, all the programs. Most people were 
> powerless and computer-illiterate, and could not control or access their 
> own data.
> "A lot of people" - real people, not corporations - in that era, saw 
> personal computing (even time-share terminals) as a way to gain economic 
> and personal power, access to tools and knowledge, building of 
> communities. MOst 1970's microcomputing was about empowering people and 
> freeing information for personal and small business use. It started from 
> the bottom-up; IBM was late to the game.
> Now, who benefits when all the data is "on the server"? And access is 
> limited not just by person, but by content? Not you and I! I'm not 
> ignorant of the power of big algorithms across big data. But I'm not 
> ignorant of my own previous experience, when personal computers enabled 
> so many people to do so many things, for themselves.
> And that's *another* reason to preserve 1970's vintage computing. To 
> remember when that was true.

Reminds me of Stardock CEO Brad Wardell telling me that when in 1993 they 
released the then OS/2 only based game Galactic Civilization and it not 
only sold a large number of copies but got a lot of people to buy IBM's 
OS/2 Warp operating system to play it. Enough to get IBM's attention.  IBM 
then paid several game companies to port games to OS/2 to tap the pc game 
market. IBM never followed through and cancelled or just never released any 
of the games they contracted for. They just flat out gave up. All OS/2 
users got at the time was a beta version of Doom that somehow leaked out. 
Not much of a big deal as it was the same as the native DOS version which 
also played already on OS/2's DOS box. Stardock released a few minor games 
on OS/2 then they moved to Microsoft.


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