Be a clock watcher…
like this president who built his new plant in SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA Perhaps you know him. A sign on his office wall reads “Time is money — ours and yours!” This service-conscious president runs his business like clockwork, from ordering the raw materials to shipping the product on a “guaranteed arrival” schedule.
Yes, that is Steve Jobs on a motorcycle.
Also be sure to check out the other great computer article from this issue: “The Chip”
HIGH TECH, HIGH RISK, AND HIGH LIFE IN Silicon Valley
By MOIRA JOHNSTON
Photographs by CHARLES O’REAR
SILICON VALLEY appears on no map, but this former California prune patch, an hour’s drive south of San Francisco, is the heartland of an electronics revolution that may prove as far-reaching as the industrial revolution of the 19th century.
It is a place where fast fortunes are made, corporate head-hunting is profitable sport, and seven-day workweeks send cutting-edge technology tumbling over itself in its competitive rush to the marketplace.
Not surprisingly, flying—fast, challenging, and risky—is a sport that appeals powerfully to Silicon Valley men such as Bob Noyce, who snatches every chance to fly his twin-engine Turbo Commander to Aspen to ski, to his Intel plant in Phoenix, or just to wheel in the sky around Silicon Valley.
Here are some articles from a 1979 Time magazine special issue focusing on computers called “The Computer Society”
The Age of Miracle Chips – Explores possible the possible effect of computers upon society including possible economic and social upheaval.
Science: The Numbers Game – Covers the history of computers as well as the science and technology behind designing and producing them.
Business: Thinking Small – Discusses the computer industry, markets and the potential effects of computers the upon business world.
Living: Pushbutton Power – Explores computer uses in the home, school and hospital.
Time Magazine Gets a PDP-11 – Short piece by the editor of Time about the features of their new PDP-11 including it’s spell-checker, hyphenator, fonts and graphics capability.
Business: Thinking Small
Little whizzes raise the specter of buggy whips
No one took to the computer more eagerly or saw its usefulness more quickly than the businessman. Now, 24 years after General Electric became the first company to acquire a computer, these versatile machines have become the galley slaves of capitalism. Without them, the nation’s banks would be buried under the blizzard of 35 billion checks that rain down on them annually, and economists trying to project the growth of the nation’s $2 trillion economy might as well use Ouija boards. In the airline industry, computers make it possible to reserve a seat on a jumbo jet, pay for it by credit card, and enable the plane itself to fly. In many industries, computers design the products the companies sell. Automakers, for example, use computers to view a prospective new car from any angle; then the computers analyze the market to see if the design will sell.
This is an excellent, very long, 1982 National Geographic overview of all aspects of the microchip. It covers advances in silicon tech, how chips are produced, their uses and their effect on society. Topics include robots, hackers, digital watches, computers in the classroom, AI, early navigation systems, online news and shopping, telecommuting and more. Plus a ton of great pictures. Check out this rather prescient quote about online privacy:
“With personal computers and two-way TV,” he said, “we’ll create a wealth of personal information and scarcely notice it leaving the house. We’ll bank at home, hook up to electronic security systems, and connect to automatic climate controllers. The TV will know what X-rated movies we watch. There will be tremendous incentive to record this information for market research or sale.”
ELECTRONIC MINI-MARVEL THAT IS CHANGING YOUR LIFE
By ALLEN A. BORAIKO, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EDITORIAL STAFF
Photographs by CHARLES O’REAR
IT SEEMS TRIFLING, barely the size of a newborn’s thumbnail and little thicker. The puff of air that extinguishes a candle would send it flying. In bright light it shimmers, but only with the fleeting iridescence of a soap bubble. It has a backbone of silicon, an ingredient of common beach sand, yet is less durable than a fragile glass sea sponge, largely made of the same material.
Still, less tangible things have given their names to an age, and the silver-gray fleck of silicon called the chip has ample power to create a new one. At its simplest the chip is electronic circuitry: Patterned in and on its silicon base are minuscule switches, joined by “wires” etched from exquisitely thin films of metal. Under a microscope the chip’s intricate terrain often looks uncannily like the streets, plazas, and buildings of a great metropolis, viewed from miles up.