Time: “The Computer Moves In”


In its January 3, 1983, issue, Time magazine named the computer “Machine of the Year” (as opposed to its usual practice of naming a “Man of the Year”). One article, “The Computer Moves In,” written by Otto Friedrich, described how computers promised to change the home, the office, the school, and perhaps even the very nature of human thinking processes. In the early 1980s a revolution of sorts was taking place. Before then massive, expensive mainframe computers were doing some of the routine work at large corporations and in government. These computers, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, worked behind the scenes, and the notion that a person could own his own computer sitting on a desktop was virtually unthinkable. But numerous companies, including Apple, IBM, Timex, Commodore, Atari, and others were developing less expensive, more portable computers that were finally within the reach of the consumer and small businesses. The computer revolution, Time predicted,...

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School computer lab in the 1980s (Library of Congress)

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