Personal Computer vs Main Frame

Back in the day, I mean “THE DAY” there was an argument not about Mac vs PC but PC versus Mainframe.

People said:

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”

Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”

Thomas Watson, president of IBM, 1943

In our Mondays are for Metaphors series, I’d like to offer Eric Eldridge’s thoughts.  Eric’s with Act Beyond one of the most significant groups focused on finishing the task of the Great Commissionl

Here is what Eric had to offer:

I’ve always been a computer nerd. Back in the early 80s when IBM came out with the IBM PC, it was considered a joke … even by IBM. Compared to the big huge mainframes of the day, a PC did very little. But, ultimately, it did oh so much more … eventually resulting in getting a computer in virtually every office and in every household. How did that happen?

Even though the PC did less than mainframes, the “scaling down” of computing allowed computers to:

  1. Be MUCH more affordable. Now a single individual could afford one. (elephant churches vs rabbit churches)
  2. Remove barriers of space and special power and cooling that are required by mainframes.  (church buildings vs homes)
  3. Anyone can run a PC … no computer science degree required. (removing barriers of seminary degrees)
  4. Laptops evolved which allowed PCs to be with us wherever we are…. One can even say that tablets and smart-phones are continuing this evolution. (Go to where the people are as opposed to requiring the people to come to our church building)
  5. The emergence of standards and even clones. Any company could build a PC that ran Windows or a smartphone that runs Android since they are open standards open to all to use. (The Bible is our standard. Anyone can start a church using that standard!)

To a computer nerd like me, This is a great metaphor of CPM/DMM that can prove to many that you really CAN do more in the macro sense by doing less in the micro sense!

Thanks Eric, how about the rest of you?  Got any metaphors that help us think movement?

1 thought on “Personal Computer vs Main Frame”

  1. A good metaphor that tends to reveal our pride and arrogance more that our willingness to be innovative in wanting the Gospel to run freely (2 Thess 3:1). Teaches us to follow the Lord’s Spirit rather than control; to equip, empower, and release so He is praised rather than self!

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