Chapter 3. Big Gizmos, New Tools, and a Changing Way of Life, 1950–1995

 

The history of America is a history of gigantic engineering feats and colossal mechanical construction.

 
 --LOUIS LOZOWICK, 1926

Randolph-Macon College, the small Methodist college located just outside of Richmond, Virginia, in 1969 acquired an IBM System 360. Historians later would note that this product line was perhaps the most successful product in the history of the United States for it made it possible for IBM to double its revenues in five years and propelled the computer industry rapidly on its path to the importance and size it has today. But in that spring of 1969 all that lay in the future. The liberal arts college did not yet even have a computer science program, ...

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