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25 August 2008

Computers are Absurd

"There is no reason for anyone to have a computer in his house."

- Ken Olsen, Founder & CEO of the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), 1977

Absurd wouldn't you say?

As I find myself away from the Blogosphere for, um, extended periods occasionally, how about you guys occasionally joining me on a journey through Absurd Land?

Okay then. we have lots of stops so buckle your Absurd Restraints and keep your Absurd hands and feet inside the Absurd Vehicle. And don't forget to invite your friends along, hear?

For starters, by a show of hands, how many people are reading this on a computer? Okay, one...two...three....Wow. Seems unanimous. [Note to self: get your money back on that Blog Skywriting hasn't paid off yet. Rats.] How many are, can or have the ability to read this on a computer at home? Wow again. I bet some are/can even read this on a handheld while riding a train, bike or a Llama too.

Interestingly, the ever-knowing Mr. Olsen stuck around with DEC long enough to not only see home computers, but to sell the dwindling assets of DEC, aka Digital, to Compaq (who was later sold to Hewlett-Packard or HP) in 1992.

But not before he created SPAM (the inbox horror, not the mystery meat). The first spam message was sent in 1978 by a DEC employee to 400 of his, uh, closest friends. Yeah right. Some innovations (and company's?) should have died before they ever got started.

So we can conclude that absurdity doesn't live in a vacuum. Trying to suppress one of the most useful innovations of our time while simultaneously developing the first SPAM 'email' message? Wow, now where is my box of 'thank you' cards?

The good news is that despite some occasional absurdity, good and decent innovations sometime seep through anyway, like computers for the home. We'll go through lots more Absurdity, D3 Style, in future posts.

See ya then!


Dana said...

Great to see you back! You've been missed ... as absurd as that might sound *wink*

Michael M. said...

Indeed Dana! Thanks.

Debbie Yost said...

I'd almost given up hope on you. How absurd is that?

Real Live Lesbian said...

Did Mr. Insightful ever withdraw his earlier comment? Absurd, indeed!

Michael M. said...

Pshaw Debbie! Don't give up yet!

Michael M. said...

RLL: I doubt it, I think he went on and helped create those annoying plastic packages that you need a blow torch and tin snips to open. :)