When what is now Old was New

Orwell’s 1984 prediction now seems like ancient history, but the Apple ad that played on the topic of the novel, was aired only one time and that was during the Super Bowl of that year, is still the most influential TV commercial in history!

Reading Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs has been a great joy for me and causes me to flash back on those days when what is now old seemed “cutting edge” – and it wasn’t too awfully long ago.

In the early 1980’s, most computer programming was done by entering commands onto a punch card (one card per each instruction) via card punching machine and then submitted through a card reader (the sequence of the cards was of vital importance) to be executed by the machine. The smaller, more user-friendly computers like the TRS-80 (trash-80) or the Apple I would interact with the user by echoing typed characters on a one-line prompt. This was “state of the art” in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. It is laughable in retrospect.

I would strongly recommend this book by a superb biographical author in Walter Isaacson, for anyone who is roughly my age (fifty plus or minus ten) and in the technology field.

Steve D.

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