20,000 leagues under the PC

Posted on December 8, 2004

It's bad enough to receive a boatload of forwards each week, and it's that much worse to receive repeat forwards. But when you receive the exact same forward from two different people within almost a week's time, well, that's called noteworthy. Especially when it's just another urban legend.

The caption in the emailed photo begins, "Scientists from the RAND Corporation have created this model to illustrate how a 'home computer' could look like in the year 2004." The picture is attributed to a 1954 issue of Popular Mechanics and also contains a man who I swore was the host of "To Tell the Truth" for at least two seasons.

Doesn't anyone think for a moment that, possibly, it's a little wacky to have a full model of a home computer, when there were no such uses for one at that time? Or what about the fact that even in the early days of computing, a steering wheel was never an accessory?

Maybe that explains why this is actually, as About.com points out, a full-scale mock-up of the maneuvering room of a nuclear submarine. Here's the photo from the email, and here's the photo from the actual sub. Yep, it's pretty close.