The Man Who Predicted Handheld Computers In 1980

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The Magazine Of Fantasy & Science Fiction awarded its $2,010 prize for the reader whose prediction (in 1980) of the world of 2010 came closest to reality. The winner? Allen MacNeill, who predicted handheld computers... sort of.

Actually, reading Locus Magazine's write-up, it sounds like MacNeill predicted handheld devices connected to a mainframe, which was more in line with what we actually had in 1980. MacNeill told Locus:

I came up with the one about 'home computer terminals with interactive access to other home, business and academic terminals, and including hand-held terminals' mostly because I had been using the PLATO terminals in Uris Hall at Cornell and wished very, very much that I could have one of my own (and especially one that I could carry around with me).


Ed Ferman, who was editor of F&SF in 1980, says it's disappointing to see how optimistic many of the 30-year-old predictions for 2010 were, and how far short we've fallen. (Although there are still a couple months left — everybody innovate really really hard!) [Locus Magazine]