...bringing along no fancy modern technology, just your knowledge.
How well would you cope with learning to use or program the computers of the day, assuming you had access?
Would you even want to?
Would you know enough about how computers really
work to be able to help advance the field?
In the mainframe world, IBM rules as king, though there is a smattering of much smaller competitors such as Burroughs, Control Data, Honeywell, and UNIVAC.
A new class of computer, though, has arisen - the minicomputer, from a very young DEC.
Operating these computers requires an understanding of computer science:http://www.cca.org/photo/rcsri/pdp-8.jpg
Microcomputers, microprocessors, do not exist.
For programming languages you have ALGOL, APL, COBOL, FORTRAN, LISP, and of course assembly. BASIC and Pascal do not exist.
The first ARPANET nodes aren't deployed until 1969.
Would you help? Would you run?
Also, I would track down Bill Gates and become his best friend.
edit: also, I'd promise Gates to work for him for free until we got bought at which point we'd be partners and I'd accept 2% of the profits with a non-termination clause, and give him the right to claim any ideas I contributed as his own, and that I'd work behind the scenes. I'd have this made as a legal document and have him sign it in front of a hundred witnesses.
I'm thinking more present-day with this, but here is the biggest thing I'd like to change:
UIs would be different with functionality and common sense as the forefront. As it currently stands, people who haven't grown up with computers have a difficult time wrapping their heads around the nesting menus and separated pathways necessary for some of the most basic computing tasks. Wrapping menus and options together in a logical way would be one of the first things that I would do to get the personal computer age going as quickly as possible. Of course this means that we have to basically invent the GUI and have machines powerful enough to handle this, but I think it could be done. Even using a basic smartphone today, I notice how the thing I want to find isn't always where I'd expect it. I feel there should be more than one way to access most things people want on a device, and hopping platforms shouldn't be something that causes gnashing of teeth.
As for what I'd do in the 60s... Eh. I can't imagine myself being able to contribute in any meaningful way. I could get behind pushing for simpler and easier to use UIs, but as for actually getting to that stage itself...
I'd say I'd get in line to work at Bell Labs. The stuff they did back then (and well into the 80's) was pretty slick.
*price may not be low, low
Case in point: the founder of Sirius Satellite radio got rich doing this. He is a girl now.
Do we know we are getting dropped there or is it Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court time?
Would pack along the Way Things Work books.
You could run out and patent all sorts of things before others did.
You would be about 70 years late for getting in on the ground floor at Nintendo.
Later on, I'd use my fame and money to accelerate the adoption of computers by the general populace. Then create social networking with an eye toward making it into the new democratic voting system. Once I'm supreme world dictator, I'd probably look up my parents and see exactly how much paradox the timestream can take.
Public-key crypto enables trusted communications through untrusted channels, and making ring-back more practical makes it much easier for everyone and their dog to turn their modem-equipped PC into a system that can answer incoming calls and share data. Makes it easier to disconnect content from the board it arrives on, and makes it easier to imagine a network where the system you dial into is just a bandwidth provider.
- public-key cryptography
- inexpensive telephone adapters that suppress the first ring of every incoming call (so ring-back would be more practical)
XBL Michael Spencer || Wii 6007 6812 1605 7315 || PSN MichaelSpencerJr || Steam Michael_Spencer || Ham NOØK
QRZ || My last known GPS coordinates: FindU or APRS.fi (Car antenna feed line busted -- no ham radio for me X__X )
I think your best bet for jump starting the industry would be inserting yourself into the Xerox PARC project and giving them Lotus 1-2-3 and Peachtree Accounting equivalents. They already had everything else by 1973. Convince them to put a PC on the market, then reinvest profits from that into an early internet.
IPv6 is the big one I can think of in addition to HTML & CSS design.
Security concerns when it comes to logging into accounts is yet another. Not to mention getting standards for cell communication.
I find jack tramiel, and become his buisness partner.
Round about the time of the Commodore PET, I say to him "hey, wouldn't it be a really good idea to go to lots of electronics companies and see if they'd like to licence the design?".
Then the PET would be in a similar position to the PC as regards to clones, only far earlier. A full range of models, from a basic one that's just a keyboard computer, to high end dual floppy models with intergrated monitors. As the range evolves into having vic-20 and c64 capabilities, the future dominant computer platform is assured.
Round about 1983, purchase Amiga International. Get the amiga 500 and 2000 models out by 1984 and include commodore 8-bit emulator cards. slowly transition the clone market over. Set MOS tech to cloning and improving the 68000 cpu. Get a new chipset in the high end models every two years, which trickle down into the cheap ones.
(so, the IBM PC, atari ST and macintosh are stillborn. Lets leave Acorn alone for now)
Round about 2010, post this thread from my sweet ass new amiga, then look out the window across the acres of land that is my estate. I pick up the phone and tell a servant to get a bentley ready. "Which bentley sir?" The blue one. "which blue one sir?"
I'd probably get in on the ground floor with the materials science people and point them in the right direction regarding semiconductor electronics and the future, even with my comparatively limited knowledge. I'd track down anyone working on quantum spins and tell them all about Racetrack memory (look it up: that's the god damn future of storage today and it's fucking awesome) and ask about spin polarization, and get them hooked up with hard disk manufacturers.
I'd aggressively acquire anyone who was working on search technology or networking, and probably sell the idea of a public internet to the government on the basis of being truly peer-to-peer and providing total redundancy against nuclear attack (while in reality jumpstarting the driver of business for the future 40 years earlier then it was). And yeah: I'd find the guys who work on number-theory and give them the idea about public-key cryptography to underpin all this. In my future, eCommerce never goes through an "insecure" period and becomes standard quickly.
I'd also make it standard policy to assume to all dates will be used at least 1000 years into the future and avoid Y2K being considered a problem.