Ming the Mechanic:
The Home Computer of the Future

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 The Home Computer of the Future2004-12-02 14:56
by Flemming Funch

As envisioned by the Rand Corporation 50 years ago. Yeah, they were pretty spot on. Except for I don't have that big steering wheel thing.

... Later: see comments. It is actually a fake photoshopped picture, pieced together from a submarine control panel and a few other items from other sources. But, hey, splendid work.


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2 Dec 2004 @ 15:29 by andy @ : Brilliant!!
Just goes to show that the Buddha got it right: "Whatever you expect, it will be different"  

2 Dec 2004 @ 16:08 by jazzolog : It's Called The Joy Wheel
Obviously you don't play computer games, Ming. All us kids have one.  

2 Dec 2004 @ 18:03 by ming : Electronic Brains
When I was a kid I would often draw pictures of computers, and actually they always looked like this. A wall full of dials and levers and buttons. But I sort of imagined it in the secret headquarters of Dr.Doom, and never as a home computer. And we called them "electronic brains" at the time.

But, hey, those wheels, I'd have imagined those with a nuclear reactor control center or something. But, of course, if I had asked my kids, they would right away have known what to use them for on a home computer.  

2 Dec 2004 @ 20:27 by bushman : Hmm
The first computer I messed with was at trade tech in CA, it was a punch card memory, but they had a game called sub search, where you boated around and droped depth charges on a sub, it used a big tiller wheel like you see in the pic. And another game they had back then was called luner lander, it used the smaller wheel, and a thrust peddle. I think I was around 8 years old back then, there was advantages being ADDH, and having a profesor I used to mow his lawn, I would go to work with him on saturdays, and get into stuff. I once rolled this giant horseshoe magnet out into the long hall, and would get some cannon balls and let them go down the hall, lol, that was fun. They had some 100 watt lasers, Id point them out onto a hill out the window of the store room, and mess with cats hunting gophors. They wouldn't let me play with the radioisotopes though, lol. But it was then I got into computers, I wanted to run my train set from a remote location, so I started to save my money for a heath kit 8080 computer, a 1000 bucks back then, with 5000kb ram, I thought wow all I need is a modem. By the time I had saved 300 bucks then radio shack started tandy, and I said wow, thats the computer to get since it had all the stuff, but 2500 bucks, lol. Computer evolution was faster than my ADDH could keep up with, and look at what you get with 2500 bucks now, lol. Amazzing :}
Our familys first pc was the commador vic20 and it came with the game castlevainia.  

3 Dec 2004 @ 00:22 by ming : The good old days
Hey, what a lucky kid. You've quite been around. My first computer experience was an HP mini-computer in highschool in 1975. Teletype and paper tape. The only game we had was star trek, but that was pretty damn addicting. Then in college in 1978 it was IBM 370s. But you didn't even get to see them. You did punch cards and fed them into a machine, and a printer that took up a whole room spit out a lot of paper. Around 81 I got a Swedish ABC80, which was similar to a Vic. And 83 the first IBM PC with two floppy drives. And a modem the next year.  

3 Dec 2004 @ 02:19 by Lion Kimbro @ : Hoax?
I read that this was a hoax somewhere.  

3 Dec 2004 @ 02:22 by bushman : Lucky, lol
I was lucky I didn't blow myself up, or get someone hurt, lol. But I got to see what was out there for sure. I really thought they where toys, not tools. Ya those IBM punch card things, you drop in this big stack of cards in a holder, hit the button and run into a side room before the game was loaded because it would start with out you, lol. And once it came down to learning code I was left in the dust, lol. I did get a handel on basic once it came out, but now, holly smokes. I might of tryed harder if I knew it would be like this, lol. Good old Lucian Carter, taught me all sorts of stuff, mostly physics and astronomy, some electronics. Pretty funny, I'm still a gardener, lol. I'm sure the pic was tampered with, you can see that the paper feed on the printer isnt lined up. :}  

3 Dec 2004 @ 18:39 by Oliver Hammond @ : Hoax all right
This is from a Worth1000 Photoshop contest. It's really a submarine console in a museum display. Hence the wheel.  

3 Dec 2004 @ 19:09 by jstarrs : Shit!
Lion & Oliver...can't we leave a little magic at the bottom of the bucket????

3 Dec 2004 @ 22:55 by ming : Damn
Well, it does look more like a submarine console alright. Sheesh, that font there makes it look really authentic as a clipping.

Anyway, that's STILL how I imagined computers when I was a kid, minus the wheel. But, yeah, nobody really was imagining home computers back then.

Urban legends pages here or here  

4 Dec 2004 @ 00:51 by Jon Husband @ : Imagination ...
It's still pretty cool, even for "just" a submarine console. Inteeresting job, submarine driver ... a kinky kind of ultimate in virtual reality, driving down 50 or 100 fathoms.

Imagine coming across something like a G4 Powerbook, with nice Soundsticks and an iSight, 20 years ago ... at the beginning of 1985 .... then try to imagine what kinds of imagination-toys and inspired ways of thinking and linking we'll have accessible in 2015 ... or not ...  

4 Dec 2004 @ 04:01 by ming : Predicting the Future
Yeah, the thing is that a home computer was completely unfathomable back then. Nobody was even imagining it, because it sounded complete crazy. Like if we now imagined to have a fusion reactor in our kitchen. The home computer was a discontinuous trend. So of course there will be things that we can't even imagine right now which would have changed everything 50 years from now. And we can imagine a helluva lot already, like nanotech matter compilers or teleporters. So, add on top of that stuff we have no clue about now, because it sounds completely nuts. Personal submarines you can carry in your wallet or something. Seeds that grow into houses if you just water them. Colonization of the sub-atomic realm.  

4 Dec 2004 @ 16:14 by rainbowfish : Wot, no steering wheel?!
How do you navigate around websites with no steering wheel?!  

7 Dec 2004 @ 05:38 by Ge Zi @ : Predicting the Future - or not
An interesting point is that the development might go into completely different directions as we currently can see. When I watched the first moon landing and cut out pictures and made montages I was predicting for myself colonies on the moon and mars by about now, but still lacking the ability to predict that I ever would be 50, by the way.
Just had the thought that this is very similar with short-term predictions we often make. Take a situation that you are not very comfortable with and which you work over in your mind to construct all the possibilites and solutions to them - like you are going on this date and when she does that you will say that and do that - - - the situations I imagined never happened (damn universe, all so nicely planned and then this universe with its strange kind of humor!)
Just as we (hopefully) learned that this construction of solution for all possible problems is a waste of time - maybe in the grander theme of things we should learn the same lesson.  

7 Dec 2004 @ 13:28 by istvan : No place to hide.
Future technology I think will migrate toward more and more of the wireless. There may me ways to harness the already existing pathways of netural wibrations souch as light, electromagnetism and yes brainvawes.
Combining them with machinery is already happening. [ [link] ]
Like Gunther mentions these new gadgets will not be wery confortable for those who like to hide within dark recesses of the mind. there will be circuit boards with "psychic abilities" and will be able to read deranged ego trips like the scanners do for phisical illness now.
Thhere will be no need for implanted chips, it will be all wireless.
The CIA may be able to scan you instantly, but you will also be able to do the same. Maybe people will be sort of forced to get their act together because of technology.  

7 Dec 2004 @ 14:39 by ming : Wireless
So, see, we can easily guess that everything will be more wireless, but that's because it is part of our current arsenal of technology. We can imagine we can do more things with radiowaves. But we have a hard time imagine something much different better that would come along and replace it. Just like people weren't imagining wireless applications before anybody had invented radio. Would have seemed crazy to imagine that one could sit and watch a box that shows pictures of somebody else somewhere else at the same time. Would have seemed utterly ridiculous. So, likewise, there is something out there that is beyond wireless that we just haven't though of yet. Like personal wormholes. Why send signals through radio waves if you could just connect any two locations in space directly. Or, how about any two locations in time. That would really change things. You forgot to turn off the gas, just stick you hand through your personal wormwhole, and turn it off right after you left.  

7 Dec 2004 @ 18:21 by bushman : Tech,
as a psychic abilities teacher. I can see that is happening, thru real time chat rooms, if you hang out there enough, you gain a sence of body language and tone of a persons typeing. Sometimes I've been witness to people accually seeing the other person they are typeing with, almost common now on IRC most chatters don't even know they are tramsmiting more than just text to each other. Tech as an excercise due to what it lacks and what we'd really like to be able to do. For some it's like, hmm, I thought everyone had this ability. Like that next generation star trek episode, where Jordy sees thru his special glasses auras around all living things, in that episode he says "I thought all humans could see each others glow" So when I look at this whole picture of what is and what could be, I can tell that somehow over some medium(sub space?) we do transmit what we can't send in text thru this medium. And when it eventualy happens that a person would so wish to be there with the other person, it may happen spontainiously, a big flash, and your there, in the flesh. The stepping stones tech becomes. :}  

18 Dec 2005 @ 19:16 by Alex @ : Hmm
The wheel might be a first attempt at a scroll wheel?  

4 Sep 2007 @ 08:54 by A. Nonymous @ : weirdos
this is a weird place, full of strange ideas. i was lookin for the image above in it's original form, but was drawn here by the scent of poindextrose.

psychic abilities teachers, wormholes and other such lunacy. most distressing.

i leave this message for those who may come after.


the rest of this stuff is bullshit  

23 Oct 2007 @ 00:09 by taylor @ : computer
if someone had that they could protect themselves from danger.  

23 Oct 2007 @ 00:11 by f yztdeeeee @ : history

25 Apr 2008 @ 06:16 by Colin @ : Big chrome wheels!
Since everyone's fixating on those big wheels, and I used to spin 'em, I'll tell you what they're for; not for steering but throttle control. The big one opens and closes the forward throttles and the smaller one is for reverse. If you open both at the same time, the Navy sends you on an all-expenses-paid vacation to beautiful Leavenworth, Kansas! I like the the idea of scroll wheels, though. Big for horizontal, small for lateral. Dell, Microsoft, somebody make it happen!  

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