January in IT history

FRAMINGHAM (01/15/2004) - Personal Computers Hit the Mainstream

Jan. 3, 1983 Time magazine selects the PC as "the machine of the year," the prime mover and shaker of the past year. "Several human candidates might have represented 1982," notes Publisher John A. Meyers in a note to readers. "But none symbolized the past year more richly, or will be viewed by history as more significant, than a machine: the computer." In its Jan. 3rd issue, Time devotes thousands of words to the revolution spawned by Apple Computer Inc.'s Steve Jobs, IBM Corp.'s John R. Opel and others. The magazine cites an estimate that 100 companies sold 2.8 million PCs worth US$4.9 billion in 1982. This moment in Time was not without its hiccups, however. As Meyers writes: "For all that computers have achieved, they can still prove frustrating," adding that writers at the magazine had seen work disappear and connections lost during text transmissions.

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