It's hard to even wrap your head around now, but there was a time when the computer was viewed as an unknowable egghead machine with limited practical applicability for the common man -- like the electron microscope or the supercollider. The idea of a personal computer was crazy even to those in the business. "I think there is a worldwide market for maybe five computers," said IBM chairman Thomas J. Watson in 1943. Supposedly. There's some debate over the veracity of this quote, but it does reflect the prevailing attitude of the time.