[CentOS] Ken Olsen od DEC, 1927-2011

Wed Feb 9 00:34:08 UTC 2011
Raymond Lillard <ryl at sonic.net>

On 02/08/2011 03:28 PM, Dr. Ed Morbius wrote:
> on 17:02 Tue 08 Feb, Les Mikesell (lesmikesell at gmail.com) wrote:
>> On 2/8/2011 4:40 PM, Johnny H wrote:
>>> Thanks Mark, for this and your previous email.

>> Unfortunately, the thing he will probably be most remembered for is the
>> 1977 quote: "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in
>> his home."

I respectfully disagree.  One mis-statement in a public speech
does not come close to defining the man.

The statement is generally quoted without context as it is
here.  He was actually speaking of computer controlled homes,
(temperature, lighting, etc...)  rather than the PC (entertainment
and communication) found in most homes today.  We are of course,
sneaking up on the home control thing (energy management), so in
time he will have been mistaken in the context he intended.

Ironically, in those years my well appointed apartment was
furnished with a surplus PDP-8, an air mattress, stereo system
and a Mr Coffee.  This was of course prior to wife and family.  :-)
I did get to keep the stereo system.

> In fairness, Olsen wasn't the only one to make a comically understated
> estimate of future widespread computer use.  Ed Yourdon proclaimed in
> 1975 (the year Apple Computer was founded):  "unless you're very rich
> or very eccentric, you'll never have your own computer".  In fairness, he
> fessed up to it in a later book:  http://bit.ly/hlIO1v

Others have made similarly short-sighted remarks in public places.
Most of us make them on less exalted stages and so are not called
to account.