Today we chuckle at dotcom millionaires gone bust, even as we become ever more attached to our laptops and favorite websites. But in the early days of COMPUTERS, TIME was simply trying to introduce readers to the new gizmos--and to the strange people who had mastered them.
The computer already has been put to work at more than 700 specific tasks, both mundane and exotic, from bookkeeping to monitoring underground nuclear explosions. Computers control the flow of electric current for much of the nation, route long-distance telephone calls, set newspaper type, even dictate just how sausage is made...Because computer technology is so new and computers require such sensitive handling, a new breed of specialists have grown up to tend the machines. They are young, bright, well-paid (up to $30,000) and in short supply. With brand-new titles and responsibilities, they have formed themselves into a sort of solemn priesthood of the computer, purposely separated from ordinary laymen. Lovers of problem solving, they are apt to play chess at lunch or doodle in algebra over cocktails, speak an esoteric language that some suspect is just their way of mystifying outsiders. Deeply concerned about logic and sensitive to its breakdown in everyday life, they often annoy friends by asking them to rephrase their questions more logically. --TIME, April 2, 1965