I remember going with my mother to Steinback's Department Store in Red Bank, New Jersey, sometime around 1965. It was the first time I heard the word "computer." The context was a billing error. And the computer was the excuse for that billing error. More, I remember the clerk telling my mother that he could not fix the error at that time; he would have to send the information along to the computer, clearly somewhere else, and we would have to wait. I wondered what this "computer" was.

Fast-forward 40+ years and I doubt we can find many eight-year-olds that don't know what a computer is. At the same time, few if any of today's eight-year-olds would have any notion of waiting for a computer. We are simply accustomed to computers serving us all the time, when and where we need them. By and large, computers are highly available and highly reliable.

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