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Computerized Investing > Fourth Quarter 2013

Witness to Computer Evolution

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by Wayne A. Thorp, CFA

Twenty years ago this month, I headed to Chicago to begin my college career at DePaul University. This was worlds away from where I had grown up in Caro, Michigan, with a population of roughly 4,000. In many ways, my shift from Caro to Chicago in 1993 mimics the shift in computers over the last 20 years.

One of the items that adorned my freshman dorm was a Brother word processor. At this time, Windows dominated the DePaul computer labs, and the operating system itself was in a transitional stage. In 1990 the company had released Windows 3.0, with the desktop icon interface that still permeates the operating system to this very day. However, you could also find x286 systems running Windows 2.x, where you used a mouse to select drop-down menus. The word processing software of choice was Microsoft Word.

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