Past, Present & Future Role of Computers in Fisheries

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Chapter 1

Past, Present and Future Trends in the Use of Computers in Fisheries Research Bernard A. Megrey and Erlend Moksness

I think it’s fair to say that personal computers have become the most empowering tool we’ve ever created. They’re tools of communication, they’re tools of creativity, and they can be shaped by their user. Bill Gates, Co-founder, Microsoft Corporation Long before Apple, one of our engineers came to me with the suggestion that Intel ought to build a computer for the home. And I asked him, ‘What the heck would anyone want a computer for in his home?’ It seemed ridiculous! Gordon Moore, Past President and CEO, Intel Corporation

1.1 Introduction
Twelve years ago in 1996, when we prepared the first edition of Computers in Fisheries Research, we began with the claim ‘‘The nature of scientific computing has changed dramatically over the past couple of decades’’. We believe this statement remains valid even since 1996. As Heraclitus said in the 4th century B.C., ‘‘Nothing is permanent, but change!’’ The appearance of the personal computer in the early 1980s changed forever the landscape of computing. Today’s scientific computing environment is still changing, often at breathtaking speed. In our earlier edition, we stated that fisheries science as a discipline was slow to adopt personal computers on a wide-scale with use being well behind that in the business world. Pre-1996, computers were scarce and it was common for more than one user to share a machine, which was usually placed in a public area. Today, in many modern fisheries laboratories, it is common for scientists to use multiple computers in their personal offices, a desktop

B.A. Megrey (*) U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service; Alaska Fisheries Science Center, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, BIN C15700, Seattle, WA 98115, USA

B.A. Megrey, E. Moksness (eds.), Computers in Fisheries Research, 2nd ed., DOI...
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