(1954) Scientist's prediction of what a personal computer in 2004 may look like.
Subject: 1954 computer prediction
Scientists from the RAND Corporation have created this model to illustrate how a “home computer” could look like in the year 2004. However the needed technology will not be economically feasible for the average home. Also the scientists readily admit that the computer will require not yet invented technology to actually work, but 50 years from now scientific progress is expected to solve these problems. With teletype interface and the Fortran language, the computer will be easy to use.
Hoax or Fact:
An interesting image shared widely online since many years, through emails, forums and then social media sites claims to show Scientists from the RAND Corporation in 1954 to have predicted and created a model of how a “Home Computer” would look like after 50 years, in 2004. The black and white picture shows a large electronic machine set up and a man in grey suit standing beside it. Although many viewers actually believed in the story, the claims are not facts.
Some versions of the story also said that the picture in question is from a 1954 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine. However, there's no such mention or evidence. The picture is in fact a composite picture of a submarine manoeuvring room console and others. As you can see on The United States Navy website chinfo.navy.mil, the original colour photograph actually shows a April 2000 Smithsonian exhibit of a full-scale mock-up of a typical nuclear-powered submarine's manoeuvring room, in which the ship's engineers control the power plant and electrical and steam systems (picture in Image Gallery as well). The U.S. Navy photo is turned black and white, the Television screen and modern display panel are replaced by decades-old television and printer kind, and then the man in grey suit is added. The photograph is in fact an entry in a 2004 competition held by website Fark.com that asked to Photoshop the picture of mock-up of the submarine's manoeuvring room. This particular entry was posted by a user named lukket.
So the picture stories claiming to show Scientists in 1954 predicted what a personal/home computer in 2004 may look like are just hoaxes; the original image is more recent, unrelated and photoshopped.