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Talkin' Smack: 20 Years of Innovation

And other catastrophes By Dave Nagel
As most of you are aware, this week is my birthday. Last year at this time I published a wish list of my favorite technologies in the hopes that you would send some of these things along in gratitude for the fine service that all of you agree I provide to the industry. I don't mean to toot my own, you know, horn or anything; I just like getting free stuff.

Included in last year's list was some pretty high-end equipment. But judging from reader response to that wish list, I think this year I'll have to lower the bar a bit. So, if it's not too much to ask, I sure could use a mouse pad?you know, the kind with the wrist rest attached? I could also use some more Zippo lighter fluid and some flints. (You can never have too many flints.) If you guys don't have a lot of money, just pool your resources and get me a gift certificate Victoria's Secret or something?not that I'm into that kind of thing; I just like to feel pretty sometimes.

Just get me something (non-explosive) because if I don't get at least one present from you people this year, I swear I'm going to chug a bottle of Jack Daniels and start posting Charlie White stories all over this site! Oh yeah, that's another thing: I could really use a bottle of Jack Daniels.

Another birthday
Now, in case you're wondering about the headline, no, I'm not turning 20 this week. I'm turning 33. The "20 year's of innovation" refers to another very special birthday, one I bet many of you are unaware of: the birth of the very first IBM peecee.

That's right, the IBM peecee turned 20 yesterday.

So what am I supposed to say about such a momentous occasion? Don't think I haven't been pondering an angle on this for quite some time now. After all, IBM is the one that started all the innovation lo those 20 years ago, or at least that's what the press release said. And, you know, you should always believe press releases. Here's one quote from the release:

"On Aug. 12, 1981, IBM introduced a personal computer powered by the Intel 8088 microprocessor and Microsoft PC DOS 1.0. With the IBM PC, users could create documents, make basic spreadsheets and play simple games displayed in glowing green type on a monochrome monitor.

"Despite a price tag that would translate to more than $5,000 today, the IBM PC was an instant sensation that appealed to more than just hobbyists and kit-makers. The result was a default standard that helped spawn an industry and a new era marked by rapid and dramatic change. "

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