Once upon a time, when magazines were around, the man of the year award was given to a machine.

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TIME magazine cover - Man or machine of the year is the personal computer

Do you remember 1982?


Do you remember magazines?


Do you remember life before the personal computer?


Yes, cell phones were not around then either.


Our friend, Dave, posted on Facebook, this look back to 1982.

Put your thoughts in the comments below.

#dfabhistory2day: 

On December 26, 1982, Time Magazine awards its “Man of the Year” award to the personal computer, calling it “Machine of the Year,” the first non-human to receive the award since its creation in 1927.

Describing the personal computer as 1982’s “greatest influence for good or evil,” the article titled “The Computer Moves In,” recognizes that the capabilities of the personal computer can be multiplied almost indefinitely by connecting it to a network of other computers, which can be used to access electronic databases or send electronic mail.

The article stated that 80% of Americans expected that “in the fairly near future, home computers will be as commonplace as television sets or dishwashers.” Beating out other candidates such as Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, Time stated, “There are some occasions, though, when the most significant force in a year’s news is not a single individual but a process, and a widespread recognition by a whole society that this process is changing the course of all other processes. That is why, after weighing the ebb and flow of events around the world, TIME has decided that 1982 is the year of the computer.” 724,000 personal computers were sold in 1980 and this figure doubled in both 1981 and 1982. Certainly, those who were paying attention at the time recognized that the personal computer was transforming society. What an incredible era to live through - the digital transformation of society.

About the author 

Mark Rauterkus

Webmaster and long-time open-source advocate. Also a swim, water polo and SKWIM coach in Pittsburgh.

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