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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:40 pm 
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Hi all, I'm currently studying a BSc in Computing and IT with the OU and am doing a small module on the history of computers, where I have come across a handful of predictions made in the early years which you may find interesting.

Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943 wrote:
I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.

That changed a little over the years!

Popular Mechanic, March 1949 wrote:
Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equiped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weights 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and perhaps weigh 1.5 tons

Or maybe we replace vacuum tubes with silicon chips and get that weight down to measurements that can be read in ounces!

On the other hand there were some seemingly correct prophecies. In February 1945 the engineer and sci-fi writer Arther C Clarke wrote to the magazine 'Wireless world' with a prediction of communication satellites. Although he later retracted his prophecy because of the cost of regular flights into space to replace the valves that break ever so often.

It was also a wide spread belief that computer would develop the potential to think for themselves and emulate human beings as early as 1950, well 64 years after 1950, we still haven't made a convincing one yet, the closest things aren't truly convincing, rather a little freakish.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:25 pm 
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Re: Thomas Watson's prediction

In 1977 Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, said:

Quote:
"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."


ref: http://inventors.about.com/od/famousinv ... ctions.htm

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:33 pm 
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That is a great website you have posted there, lets see if I can pass my degree while also reading some of the interesting ideas people had in the past :D

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:34 pm 
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Quote:
It was also a wide spread belief that computer would develop the potential to think for themselves and emulate human beings as early as 1950, well 64 years after 1950, we still haven't made a convincing one yet, the closest things aren't truly convincing, rather a little freakish.
Are you sure?
http://arxiv.org/abs/1210.1847

From the article:
"Extrapolations to the distant futurity of trends in the growth of high-performance computing (HPC) have led philosophers to question —in a logically compelling way— whether the universe that we currently inhabit is a numerical simulation performed by our distant descendants."

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:40 pm 
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dsvochak wrote:
"Extrapolations to the distant futurity of trends in the growth of high-performance computing (HPC) have led philosophers to question —in a logically compelling way— whether the universe that we currently inhabit is a numerical simulation performed by our distant descendants."


Ok, I think my mind is going to explode now :?

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X220 IPS display, i5 2.6GHz, 128GB mSATA SSD, 320GB 7200rpm, 8GB RAM 9-cell & 6-cell, Linux (general use)
T410 i5 2.53GHz, 500GB, 4GB RAM, Windows 7 Professional (For uni work).
Collection: 4xT20, T23, T60 (Pinkpad for my daughters), X22 (password locked), 2xR40e, A20m, 701c
http://thevdm.com


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:08 pm 
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x220 wrote:
dsvochak wrote:
"Extrapolations to the distant futurity of trends in the growth of high-performance computing (HPC) have led philosophers to question —in a logically compelling way— whether the universe that we currently inhabit is a numerical simulation performed by our distant descendants."


Ok, I think my mind is going to explode now :?



Have you ever read The Last Question by Asimov?
http://www.multivax.com/last_question.html

On a more practical level, I hear quantum computing is the next big step in our technological progress, but even seeing it dumbed down on Nova, I can't admit to having even a basic understanding of what it is or how it works.

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