Urban legend: I think there is a world market for maybe five computers

Geekhistory urban legend: I think there is a world market for maybe five computersAn internet search of the phrase "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers" will produce dozens of websites claiming those were the words of IBM Chairman Thomas Watson.

The quote is often listed as one of the biggest epic fail statements of all times. We searched the net trying to find the source of the quote, and the verification that the statement was made by IBM Chairman Thomas Watson.

Many websites often have the date 1943 attached to the quote, as was the case of a slide we found on the Microsoft website, and as it is presented on a page for the PBS television show Nova. For all the dozens of websites that list the quote attributed to IBM Chairman Thomas Watson, none of the websites have any information on the source or circumstances of the quote.

Searching IBM websites and online IBM documents turned up an IBM history document that attributes the quote to a misunderstood statement made at a stockholders meeting in 1953.

From a question on the history of IBM on their website, "Did Thomas Watson say in the 1950s that he foresaw a market potential for only five electronic computers?" IBM offers the following explanation:

Who invented the world wide web?

Tim Berners-Lee defines the world wide webAlmost universally you will find references that state that Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide. According to the World Wide Web Foundation, "Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989." But is it that simple?

Like any use of the word invention, it is rarely a simple process of one person creating something new entirely from scratch. Let's define the world wide web and its components.

What is the World Wide Web?

Many people use the term internet interchangeably with "the web" or "world wide web." The internet is the information super highway, the infrastructure on which we travel. Web browsers and web servers make up the world wide web, the vehicle we use to travel on the highway.

Thomas Alva Edison prolific inventor and legendary lunatic

Thomas Alva Edison prolific inventor and legendary lunatic

Thomas Alva Edison is considered one of the most prolific inventors in history, credited with numerous inventions that contributed to mass communication and telecommunications.

Edison's first invention was the Universal Stock Ticker in 1869. Edison used the money he earned from the stock ticker to start his lab in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

It has been said that Edison did not just have a laboratory at Menlo Park, he created an invention factory. Edison was a systems thinker and a project manager. Edison took the image of an inventor as one man tinkering alone in a shop and turned it into an industry.

Edison’s first major invention at Menlo Park was the phonograph in November 1877.

Thomas Edison the rock star

Edison was the top rock star of his generation for creating the magical music box known as the phonograph. Edison conceived the principle of recording and reproducing sound as a byproduct of his efforts to play back recorded telegraph messages and to automate speech sounds for transmission by telephone. Edison was a pioneer in the field of audio recording with his tin foil voice recorder. Considered to be his first great invention, the phonograph was Edison's life-long personal favorite.

Edison made a name for himself as the inventor of the phonograph giving demonstrations of his famous talking machine to the president and the US Congress. Becoming a legendary larger than life folk hero of the 19th century, Edison was dubbed the Wizard of Menlo Park.


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