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Inventor Mauchly Predicts the Future

Nov. 1, 1962 - Pocket-sized computers may eliminate the housewife’s weekly shopping list. Electronic communication would tell the store in advance what she needed, and she would simply pick up the bundles. This futuristic vision was enunciated today by Dr. John W. Mauchly (left), inventor of some of the original room-size computers, who has developed one the size of a suitcase and is now working on a pocket variety. Dr. Mauchly, addressing a meeting of the American Institute of Industrial Engineers in New York, said that in a decade or so everyone would have his own computer. Data pertinent to the individual and his problems would be stored in the computer’s wafer-thin memory cells. The present emphasis on miniaturizing components of missiles and spacecraft will inevitably result in developing small, inexpensive computers within the financial reach of almost everyone, Dr. Mauchly said. “There is no reason to suppose the average boy or girl cannot master a personal computer,” he declared.

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