Bill Gates (born 1955) and Steve Jobs (same year) have much to do with your ability to read this post. I know they didn’t invent the Internet (that was Al Gore), but they perfected computers and operating systems making it possible for all of us to communicate anonymously in our underwear.
In 2019, there were over 2 billion computers in the world, including servers, desktops, and laptops. Considering probably only 45% of the world lives in something other than a grass hut with no electricity, that’s pretty good. World population is 7.8 billion, of which youth and illiteracy probably eliminate about 50% of the customers, so a penetration of 26% or more is significant.
Actually, Steve Wozniak (born 1950) was the visionary and partner of Steve Jobs at Apple, who conceived of and developed the PC. But Bill Gates and Steve Jobs tend to get the glory for the development of the personal computer onslaught. A pretty tacky but enjoyable TV movie was aired in 1999 called “Pirates of Silicon Valley,” which gave a dramatic presentation of the Computer Wars that made this post possible. You can get information regarding the movie here Pirates of Silicon Valley. If you ever get to Washington, DC you should check out the National Museum of American History. Review their computer exhibit Show. It is even better if you see it live.
It is amazing how attached I have become to my PC. Recently the hard drive crashed, and it felt as if I would not survive the interruption. It was just a few days before my computer was replaced, but I had a serious “Jones” while waiting. In the meantime, I got back online by going to the library and using their access. I like that my tax dollars are at work, but the library requires you wear pants. If they could bottle our computer addiction, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs would be selling it off the back of covered wagons as “Snake Oil.”
I can remember a time when the words, “The computer is down,” would set me off. It was assumed the person on the other end of the phone was lying. Now I know better. Today, everything is so integrated that if one thing goes down, everything does. If we have a phone problem in our office, it includes the phone system, Internet and our server. We can’t do business when this happens. Go ahead and get the bundled services from your cable company. Have them control your phone, Internet and television service. Maybe they can install cameras in your homes to keep an eye on you. Then lose one source and all the rest go down, too. You’ll be twirling your fingers wondering what to do next. Maybe a book or magazine will suffice, but the addiction will not go away. You’ll be pacing, while waiting for the service to come back.
Big Brother and Hal have arrived. Our lives are being governed by unlimited access to information. We can make the best of it and put it to good use. Or we can use it for evil. Boomers developed the technology, and the survivors will perfect it into whatever it becomes.
Thanks for your time. I have to leave and call Comcast about my modem problems.
Bake My Fish