[ Retro Scan of the Week ] The Too-Personal Computer

April 5th, 2010 by Benj Edwards

IMS International Ad - 1983“Is your personal computer TOO personal?”

Facetious 1980s computer manual quote: “Never operate a computer with the monitor sitting directly in front of you. Neck torsion increases muscle tone and blood flow to the brain, resulting in higher computing performance.”

[ From Interface Age, November 1983, p.13 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Have you ever been forced to share a PC with someone else? Tell us about it.

11 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] The Too-Personal Computer”

  1. Alexander Says:

    Yep, I shared a few PCs with my mom. My 1st, 2nd, and 3rd machines were used by her for word processing, and later using the internet. The 4th machine was the first desktop to become completely under my control, when she moved to her own machine shortly after we moved. The scary part was all of these machines were packing a version of Windows: 95, 98, ME, 2000 (Later XP). Im only 19, and Ive owned 8 serious machines in my life. Ive never had to share my laptops though, which is nice.

  2. Geoff V. Says:

    Had to share my PC when I lived in the dorms in the late 90’s. It wasn’t a good experience. That thing got more viruses than Heidi Fleiss.

  3. Jurgi Says:

    Share my own computer? It’s owful! No!

  4. pinball22 Says:

    In 1997, I started a job in tech support for a small ISP, and for the first couple of months I and the one other full-time support person had to share a 3-foot long computer desk with a single PC on it as our only workspace. Not fun.

  5. Justin Says:

    Nope. Never shared my ColecoVision Adam, nor my Atari 400, nor my IBM PS/1, not my Aptiva A14, or my Gateway tower, or my present Dell Inspiron laptop. However, I always had to do THEIR errands for them on MY computer(s).

  6. Xyzzy Says:

    Yep! After sharing the family’s TI 99/4A and Apple IIc+ computers (one per household), I had my own Apple IIgs at Mom’s house for about 4 years (still sharing a IIc+ at Dad’s) — and then had to spend the next 2-3 years sharing a 486 in each household, then more time with the first family laptop. The funny thing is that I have *good* memories of sharing the systems, not bad ones.

  7. Thomas Says:

    I almost can’t imagine when I didn’t share a computer. That’s the norm for me. Me and my GF are sharing this computer, for instance. I’ve shared computers at school, at work, in internet cafees (spelling?), at the library etc.

    And, looking at it from an environment angle we should be sharing our computers more and not less, as it looks to be the case in the near future with more and more cheap laptops.

  8. TheSaintOfPain Says:

    The first PC I ever owned, an old IBM XT, was all mine, but the subsequent PCs we owned after, including a couple of generic boxes and an old Compaq, were all “family” computers. I finally got my own, an old Dell Dimension, to keep in my room, and the rest of the family were content to still share an identical Dell, starting in 2004. I now run two “build-my-own” boxes, and the rest still have that same Dell.

  9. christina Says:

    kinda off on a tanget however,

    I find it somewhat amusing how that woman in the top left corner is wearing a similar outfit to that of Dimmy Finster from the Snorks. I once tried to dress as him. She did a much better job of it, imo.

    As for the topic, I used to share a computer at my grandmother’s (the couple years I stayed with her) so I was VERY limited with how much ‘experimenting’ i could do, sadly. Makes me thankful I have a computer of my own, now!

  10. RubberBekki Says:

    I can’t even fathom letting others use my desktop rig, much less my portable computers. That would mean I’d have to play sysadmin and tailor more restrictions which I already have in place (NEVER run as admin unless absolutely necessary, such as for installing upgrades and new software, hardware, etc. and NEVER use IE for general Internet stuff).

    I maintain my parents’ computer. And let’s just say that I wind up having to hose off a LOT of spyware and other crap regularly. A lot of that is from one of my parents opening any and all attachments in their E-mail, something I tell that person NEVER to do. But you know how it is: One of their friends sends them something that they think is neat which it’s nothing but the same mass-forwarded spam.

    And I want someone like that using MY stuff? Uhh…no.

    At least the better half knows the risks and doesn’t do that. Basically that person’s time is used in business-related applications with their E-mail being handled by SeaMonkey (it’s their default web browser and Internet app).

    I do consider the age of the ad: Back then no one even knew of how cheap storage space would become in regards to advances in processor, RAM, hard drive and non-volatile memory in general. A 20MB hard drive seems quaint in this age of 2TB hard drives for a hundred bucks.

  11. Cody Says:

    I hate letting anyone else touch my computer, especially my laptop.

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