Thursday, August 15, 2013

Throwback Thursday: This Day in Technology History

Happy Throwback Thursday! I hope everyone is having a great week so far.

As I was roaming the web this week, trying to find an interesting Throwback story, I came across a website called thisdayintechhistory.com. It's a fascinating website because, for everyday of the year it shares significant moments, from years ago, that impacted the technology industry. 

The day that caught my attention and inspired me to write a blog was August 8, 1980. Almost exactly 33 years ago, the Project Chess team at IBM presented a prototype microcomputer to their corporate management , in hopes to get the green light for their project. To their surprise, the management team gave approval for this project and with the personal computer market rapidly emerging at the time, the Project Chess team was only given a year to complete this project. And that is what they did. One year and four days after pitching their prototype, IBM introduced their first personal computer, the IBM PC Model 5150. Corporate management gave such a short time frame to get this computer on the market because they did not want to fall behind. It allowed them to remain relevant in the industry and they thought once the Model 5150 was out, it would buy them some time to develop a "real" PC.

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Compromising quality for rapidity yielded unintended consequences that changed the computer industry for years. This computer that they developed in a year ended up being one of the top selling computers on the market and became the standard for computers to follow. Isn't it funny how what was suppose to be a strategy to buy them some time to make a quality computer, ended up putting them at the top of the market for about 20 years! Of course, this model was not the best computer and had many technical issues because of the time constraint. But in that time, everyone thought it was, even software programmers developed software that compromised the reliability and compatibility of their software.