Satiric radio commentary for the 90s from the man who drained Lake Michigan and filled it with hot chocolate!!!

Happy Big "5-0," Computer!

Stan Freberg here. As you probably know, the computer is now 50 years old. Yep, the little electronic wonder has passed the big "5-0" mark. But it wasn't always a little electronic marvel, ohhh, no. When I come back. [:60 SPOT BREAK]

Freberg here. That little laptop you're tapping away on, or that electronic writing pad, had their roots in something you couldn't exactly carry around.

Their grandfather, the first computer, was bigger than several elephants, it filled an entire room, and its name was "ENIAC." Developed at the University of Pennsylvania, "ENIAC" stood for "Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer," and weighed 30 tons, and had 18,000 vacuum tubes, 6000 switches, and 3000 blinking lights. But that was before miniaturization was made possible by the microchip.

The technology that filled an entire room has now been reduced to a computer on your lap that holds billions of bytes of memory, thanks to a small silicone chip the size of your fingernail that powers a 600 billion dollar computer industry. But it had to start somewhere, and 50 years ago it started with a 30-ton computer called "ENIAC."

With all the "boomers" turning 50--one every 6 and a half seconds, they say--does that make the computer, now that it just turned 50, a "baby boomer"? Absolutely!

Happy Big "5-0," Computer, from Stan Freberg here.

Copyright ©1996, Stan Freberg/Freberg, Ltd. (but not very) Distributed by Dick Brescia Associates and Radio Spirits, Inc.