25 Year Mark for PC’s

This month’s PC World magazine is celebrating their 25th anniversary, which pretty much coincides with the rollout of the IBM PC. Holy cow, has it been that long?

I bought my first personal computer, an Apple II with two 5-1/4 inch floppy drives and 48KB of RAM, in 1979. By 1982 PC Magazine was launched to cover the new IBM PC. (PC World was a spin-off startup after the earlier PC Magazine was sold to new owners, in the same year).

I and my friends enviously eyed the handsome IBM PC and the new upstart IBM PC Jr. But, in 1985, I bought my first Mac, a 512K. It still took a long time to fill up a 3-1/2 inch floppy. But the “PC” appellation was appropriated by popular usage to the IBM/DOS world, and later, of course, to Windows machines.

Before switching over to Wintel in 1997, I rode the personal computing technology explosion on a wave of successive generations of Macintoshes.

America and the whole world rode the same wave. From where I stand, it wasn’t so much the hackneyed phrase “paradigm shift” that described this era. It was the slow, logical, inexorable change built of many smaller incremental but dramatic changes. Think for a moment how the hard drive, or the CD-ROM, has impacted your world today (not to mention the internet, which started on mainframe-like institutional machines but quickly interfaced everywhere).

Whatever the era was, however historians will later define the PC age,  it changed forever the way we work, communicate, shop, bank, game, explore and travel, research, write, listen to music,  photograph, and wage war.

Like the automobile of the last century, PC’s became indispensable. But I digress. Holy cow, has it been that long?

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