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33712RE: Walt Mossberg's last article at the WSJ. the products that changed the digital industry

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  • s100doctor
    Dec 22, 2013
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      ---In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, <billdeg@...> wrote:


      >From a pop tech standpoint I agree with this list, these are the pop tech
      > stories of the past 20 years. - end quote

      ..pop-tech consumer computing stories, that is. My interests precede the 1990's, and are more technical. Also I think it's too early to compare 2000-decade events to previous events. But I have a comment or two otherwise about "consumer" computing. .

      Sometime in the 1990's or earlier, personal computers became "personal", as consumer (non-gaming) items. a critical point was when the "Tiawan PC clones" (IBM PC clones that is) appeared in weekend computer sale-events and private computer stores - at much lower prices than IBM PC's. *That* was a singular event, whenever that happened. Ask IBM.

      Of his list of ten items, what stands out to me is Netscape Navigator and its predecessor Mosiac. That was a true "killer app", because it captured the availability of fast-enough graphic Windows PC's; faster-enough dial-up modems; and public access to ARPANet. Those two products let mere mortals access what became "the Web". Prior to that were BBS's and FidoNet  private-owned networks, and commercial networks like Compuserve, GEnie, etc. mainframe networks. ARPAnet was a research network. All those were text-based email and discussion groups. After that was "the Web" on a single "network", using the same HTTP protocols as implemented in Netscape and Mosiac.

      Possibly I give credit to Google. They used massive search hardware and software, around a "brand", to manage access to the exploding Web - and made money, that's important. There was a point where the Web became commercial enough, and Google was part of that transition, and a template for commercial success.

      These are somewhat outside my interests, but they are within my experience to comment about.

      Herb Johnson
      retrotechnology.com

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