Personal Journey Into the PC World
Having a 12
years old son and a 7 years old daughter, our family had pizza delivered
to our house in many occasions (more times than I care for). Just the other
Hut. Thank you for calling. What will be your order today?"
a medium pepperoni and cheese, and a medium all vegetable", I answered.
have a coupon?"
you, Dr. Hoang! Your order is $13.54 and will be delivered to your house
in about 30 minutes!"
As I counted
the money for the pizzas, I suddenly realized that Pizza Hut not only knew
my name but also my address. (Undoubtedly, their Caller-ID machine had
identified my phone number and had it fed to their computer.)
This was not
always this easy. For those of us who grew up with the second generation
computers, where card readers were the inputs-du-jour, and paper tape was
still a few short years in the future, this is not just a PC revolution,
it is a change in life style and culture.
When we look
at the term PC (Personal Computer), we naturally picture the desktop computers
on our desks at work. For those of us who are old enough to remember, the
PCs used to be called microcomputers. Many of us, who are in the line of
works that do not have the need for the use of PCs, have came to believe
that the microcomputer evolution has passed us by. Think again! We all
use them on a regular basis. We just failed to recognize them.
At the heart
of the PCs, and microcomputers, are the microprocessors (the Intel 8080s,
286s, 386s, 486s, and pentiums of the world; the Motorola folks will take
offense to this list - I appologize). The microprocessors have made their
way into our lives beyond the PC world. We just take them for granted.
Many gas station
pumps now allow the drivers to run their credit cards at the wee-hours
of the night. We all use the ATM to withdraw money from our banks, and
get our food scanned at those check-out counters at the supermarket. We
all wear quartz watches, don't we? I assume that most of us now own a VCR
and a TV (remote controlled, no doubt). Certainly, we all have a phone
(and I am not talking of cellular phone here). We fail to recognize that
all these machines are but specialized microcomputers, for at the heart
of their "control center" lay the tiny chip called microprocessor.
Yes, my friends,
the PC revolution has not passed you by. It just comes by so fast, and
replacing everything on its path, that the past is but a blur in our mind.
And so the next time you are sitting at a traffic light, remember that
behind that red light is a microprocessor. Just be patient, you should
feel proud to be part of this Brave New World.
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© 1994 - 1997 by VACETS and Viet-Dung Hoang