In 1970, Life wanted us to know that home computers can be useful:
Those pioneer families who have one, like the Theodore Rodmans of Ardmore, Pa., have discovered their obedient machine can perform a large variety of useful functions. Dr. Rodman originally brought it home for medical research, but then his family found it could also plan mortgage payments, help out with homework, even play with the children. Although the cost is still high, computers like theirs have come within possible reach of a two-car family budget. A small, self-contained model is available for $8,000, complete. The Rodmans’ computer system, called time-sharing, uses a Teletype terminal connected to a big central unit via telephone. It costs $110 a month to rent, plus $7.50 per hour of use.
The Rodmans’ computer is no anthropomorphic robot that can accomplish physical feats. It cannot flip the light switch, monitor the thermostat or do the cooking. Rather, it is a sophisticated mental appendage with a capacity for problem-solving that is limited only by the family’s imagination.
Thank you, Modern Mechanix.