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Day July 31, 2005

An updated personal history of computing

Back in 2003 on my “previous” blog, I updated a long-standing essay I’d called “A Personal History of Personal Computing.” That blog is long gone in the transition away from Radio Userland to Typepad, but I think it’s time to reprint and update that essay. Moore’s law is one way to look at the history of personal computing. Another is the history of companies that have come and gone, making personal computers and software. Still another is a personal view. This story is about my own personal computing history — the machines, what I did with them, what software I thought was important. I omit computers that I didn’t really have control over, such as University mainframes and Unix servers, and I also omit the vast array of servers and computers I administered at RealNetworks, Internap, and now Network Clarity.

The story starts in the late 1970’s, shortly after personal computers came about and before IBM changed things forever….