This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

History of the Future

UPDATE: Drat. This is a fake, as Sylvie so kindly points out in the comments. Snopes gives the details.

Malcolm Ryder turned up an entertaining picture of the home computer of 2004 from a 1954 Popular Mechanics Magazine in The History of the Future.  From the caption to the photo:

Scientists from the RAND Corporation have created this model to illustrate how a "home computer" could look like in the year 2004.  However the needed technology will not be economically feasible for the average home.  Also the scientists readily admit that the computer will require not yet invented technology to actually work, but 50 years from now scientific progress is expected to solve these problems.  With teletype interface and the Fortran language, the computer will be easy to use.

Easy to use and Fortran in the same sentence.  This reminds me of the oft-quoted line about there being a world market for five computers from Thomas Watson of IBM.  (The quote is disputed, by the way.) 

The picture is wonderful.  A steering wheel?  At least they do show a monitor and keyboard (the teletype).

I always wonder what people of 50 or 100 or 200 years ago would think when presented with the technologies we have today.  There was an episode of Bewitched (TV show) in which George Washington is zapped into the present day and keeps getting flabbergasted by things like cars and airplanes.  (Apparently there are similar ones with Ben Franklin.)

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