Monday, 27 December 2021

machine of the year

The franchise quite the subject of speculation and a holiday dinner topic of discussion not reserved just for those in business of superlative journalism, annuals or even necessarily consumer electronics, TIME magazine—breaking with a tradition stretching back to 1927, for the first time on this day announced that to a computer would go the distinction on this day in 1982, ahead of the publication of its 5 January 1983 edition. Introducing the special issue’s theme, the publishers wrote that “several human candidates might have represented the year,” with reportedly Steve Jobs quite upset he didn’t receive the honour, but the panel decided that the hardware would be best viewed by history as limning the times and marking the beginning of an era and way of life once the exclusive domain of hobbyist into something more accessible (see also) and mainstream. Though perhaps not as pervasive nor fully articulated, the kernel of most things we do with computers—the Cloud called mainframes back then and algorithms less opaque. Articles for the magazine that uniquely covered the only human-made object to be awarded the honour were composed on typewriters and layout done by hand, though in that coming year, the departments would begin to use word-processors.