Last issue we looked at the history, and some of the future possibilities, for the microelectronics world. We closed with the question, “What does all this have to do with our children?"...


Architects Of The Micro World

Our journey into the world inside the computer might be like some exotic travel story. It might be like Jack London telling tales from (he far north, or like Gulliver describing his voyage to Lilliput. It might be far removed from our everyday experience and the concerns of us and our children.
Except it’s not.


All of the changes, the fascinating developments in chip design and technology, might not be expected for many years, and these new designers might all be faceless adult experts, hidden away inside corporate and university labs, performing mysterious feats of electronic alchemy.
Except they’re not.

[…]

The Computer World Goes to Hollywood


The world inside the computer is a little known and obscure place. But it won’t be for long.


This summer (on July 9th), Walt Disney Productions will be releasing the long-awaited film, TRON. The hero of TRON is a young computer genius who gets transported to the world inside the computer — Hollywood style.


The hero, Flynn, is the owner of a video game arcade and the inventor of fabulous new game programs. But the programs are stolen by a video game company. To recover his programs, Flynn breaks into the company’s computer system but is caught by the computer’s intelligent control program. The evil program, MCP, uses a laser to blast Flynn into electronic particles.


Somehow Flynn survives. When he awakens, he is no longer in the real world. Instead, he has entered the world inside the computer. But he has entered the world as a condemned prisoner. The control program places him on a huge video game grid and sentences him to die.
Several leading computer graphics Firms have helped Disney produce the Film. Their vision of the world inside the computer is sure to be startling, enchanting, and exciting.


But it is only one vision. There are endless others. And you and your family can create them.


Tlie metaphor of the “world inside the computer” will soon become widely known. Already, primitive worlds exist in the form of arcade and home video games. The mazes, rockets, monsters, and little people you see on the game screen emerge from their silicon “homes” when the game is turned on. They are swiftly becoming more lifelike and realistic.

[…]