PCs still changing the world at 25 years old

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 10, 2006 (AFP) – Personal computers have transformed society in a mere 25 years and they are just getting warmed up.
In the short time since IBM launched its pioneering PC on August 12, 1981, teenagers have gone from hiding secrets in locked diaries to baring all on social networking websites such as Facebook and MySpace.

Rather than inking letters to faraway pals, people send instant messages while watching friends on web cameras.
Computerized mobile telephones banished worry about missing calls or finding friends in crowds.

Long-distance toll calls have yielded to free chat via computers linked by the Internet.

People can search online for anything from love to medical advice or bargain airfares.

Computers have enabled the masses to make videos, books, music or films at home for global consumption. Apple Computer’s iPod music and video players have engendered a style of do-it-yourself radio called “podcasting.”

Personal computers have given the world telecommuting, video games and sedentary lifestyles blamed for expanding waistlines.

Humanity’s accumulated knowledge has been migrating to the Internet for anyone to find while computers have become smaller, faster and more versatile.

“It has made a stunning difference in people’s lives,” Electronic Frontier Foundation legal direct