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From the Glass House to the Glass Cloud

Aug 05, 2010, 15:36 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David Lane)

"We have gone in a great big circle. For those of you who were only just being born in the 1980s, let's step back a bit. A company called Xerox, which is still around, set up a research facility in California. One of its goals was to make data entry easier for the legions of secretaries who were being trained on the newfangled, commercially available virtual terminal systems that were beginning to replace the typewriter in more and more companies, not just the shops that could afford the big iron that had been around since the mid to late 60s. A number of items came out of that decade that we look back on fondly: the laptop, made popular by Osbourn computers. Of course they were the size of a suitcase, but hey, you could do your work if you had a magnifying glass to read the screen with. We also saw the mouse come out of Xerox PARC, along with some gentlemen who, in the 1990s, would change the way we thought about IT. It was the dawn of the personal computer, and it would be a huge, profitable business, employing millions of people, many of us just trying to keep the systems running.

"The goal of the personal computer, and Windows, and the MacOS, and Linux, was to break the stranglehold that IT departments..."

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