The school I graduated from, had one PC at the time: An Apple II. It stood in the library, and was almost inaccessible for any student. If they could, they would have put it under a glass bulb to make sure nothing happened to it.
I wrote string loads of programs in BASIC, but it remained a paper exercise as was never allowed to key it in.
After I graduated in 1983, I worked for an IT research company. We worked mainly on high tech graphic stuff. Such as digital imaging. Such as the stuff you can now do 1,000 times faster and 1,000,000 more accurate on any laptop. With freeware software. But we, we needed a 15 by 10 metres room full of PDP and VAX minicomputers. The number-crunching power of this room was roughly 1/10th of my laptop. My laptop also stores 1,000x more information.
In 1985, I bought my very first home computer, this Apple IIe:
It costed around US$5,000. Had a whopping 64 Kbyte of memory. No hard disk, but storage in two 128 kbyte mini floppies. The screen featured 40 characters per line. I sneaked in another 64 Kbyte of memory and upgraded to 80 characters per screen, but that is how far I could go.
Just last week, we bought this little thing for my youngest:
This iPod Nano has 18 Gbyte of memory, roughly 100,000x more than my Apple IIe but at 1/20th of the price. Hard disks are no longer used. The screen has a better resolution than anything we could dream of in the 80's.
And still, with all of this technology, we can not get half of the flights in the air due to 10 cm of snow. Proof of the matter: I am looking at it, here at Brussels airport.