It’s hard to believe it’s been twenty years since my wife bought us our first computer. It was an IBM PS/2, which used DOS-based Windows 3.1, and had a modem speed of 1200 mbs. Yow. At that rate it would take even the smallest file all day to download. But at the time it was good enough for me to use with a couple of e-mail buddies I met through the Prodigy internet service.* In retrospect it was so clunky I’m surprised anyone could use it, but we did.
I especially liked the word processing ability of the computer, even if the printer was a dot matrix.
We’ve come a long way, baby. I’ve had about six computers since then, not including my wife’s two laptops and a notebook (the laptops and notebook all still work).
What made me think about it was re-reading this story from Playboy, December 1981. Annie Fanny, as written and drawn by the early Mad team of Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder, have done a tale of an early computer doing a lot of things that computers do now, over 30 years later. Of course the object of the computer savvy is to get into Annie’s pants. Does that still work? Of course it does. Check out the online dating services.
Copyright © 1981, 2012 Playboy
*One of the friends I met through Prodigy is still a friend, Eddie Hunter of Chicken Fat, a blog devoted to his interests, which about once a week or so includes his lifelong mania for Kurtzman, Elder and Mad comics.