Saturday, January 18, 2014

On the Cutting Edge

(Thanks to Alan Nelson for this screencap.)

We have this picture in our minds of what the early adopter looks like, particularly when it comes to computer technology:

Young. Peach-fuzzed face, willing to survive for days eating nothing but Skittles and drinking nothing but Red Bull. But young. Always young.

So consider Richard Halloran, Owns Home Computer. Back in 1981, he was an early adopter. Sitting there in his luxurious high-rise apartment in San Francisco (per this report), in front of his snazzy TRS-80 computer, he was on the bleeding edge. One of the first electronic newspaper subscribers in the nation. With his red Bakelite rotary phone and the dial-up modem, downloading the entire digital content of his chosen newspaper in two hours, at $5 per hour. (He got his news form a computer in Ohio; there were long-distance phone rates to consider.)

So, you nattily-dressed punks out there looking cool at Wal-Mart with your ginmormous tablet or phone-thingy poking out of the back pocket of your mom jeans, remember, in the distant future, you in your hipness will look as anachronistic as Richard Halloran, Owns Home Computer, to the geeks of the day.

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