It was Christmas, 1987.
My favourite magazine was Popular Mechanics.
I owned an 80286 PC with a 40 MB hard drive, 1 MB of RAM, MS-DOS 4.01, VGA monitor, and a 9600 BPS modem.
From this computer, I operated a BBS – for fun.
My lovely sister, recognizing my inner geekly beauty, bought me the most amazing present I’ve ever had – Robie Junior – a real robot from Radio Shack, and quite possibly the coolest toy ever made!
When it was in solo mode, it would roll around the house. If it hit a wall (or a cat), it would promptly say, “Whoops, excuse me!” Then it would turn around and go in another direction.
But turn on the control mode and it’s your own robot army of one!
I couldn’t help but think … it’s 1987, and this robot is amazing! I can’t imagine how much MORE amazing robots will be in the year 2000 … or 2010!
And here we are, 23 years later, and robots, uh, well, robots suck!
An R.C. robot, if you can find it, is about the same, or worse, than it’s 1987 forefathers.
Oh sure, we’ve got robots that vacuum your floor … if you have no stairs, or cats. Wow! How freaking revolutionary!
I’m still ticked about the flying car thing, too! But that story will have to wait for another day.