Tech Opinion - What happened in 1977?
Date: 2013oct21 Q. What happened in 1977? A. I can't be the first person to consider the amazing coincidence of punk rock and the Apple ][ both emerging in 1977. The rock business had progressive rock with album-long orchestral movements. Totally beyond the reach of the common person to recreate. The computer world was dominated by mainframes. The user was typically remotely connected via a terminal. The computer might be in another room or city. I remember writing tons of JCL (Job Control Language) just to run a frickin program. If you were employed by the right company you had TSO (Time Sharing Option) access where you got a slice of time occasionally. Mostly because of the huge cost, no person could ever imagine actually owning a computer of their own. But music and computers really aren't that complicated. I now realize how lucky I was to be a teenager in 1977. I immediately understood the angry voice of punk and loved slamdancing. I wrote an BASIC program on my Apple ][ to run through all memory and play it as (discordant) sound. (With mainframes you could never access every memory location and they had no speakers - what's the point of that?) Of course, the Apple ][ and punk aren't cutting edge any more but we now have even more personal computers called mobile phones. There's the Maker Movement and YouTube where DIY musicians bloom daily. Rather than thanking the obvious people (Steve Wozniak, Frankie Venom, Johnny Rotten, etc) I'd like to thank the people who made things so unbearably bad before 1977 that it collapsed under its own weight. Apple ][