Thank You/David Thomsen

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David Thomsen

My first programs executed on punch cards. But that was just the beginning.

I worked at the Sun Oil Company for 27 years. Towards the end, they brought me a strange little box. A computer with a hard drive, two megabytes of memory, and floppy disks. It cost $10,000.

Back then, I never dreamed I would be able to buy my own computer for a few thousand dollars. And I never dreamed there would be something like Wikipedia.

People said Wikipedia could never work. It's too ambitious. It's too decentralized. They didn’t believe that normal people like me could create the biggest encyclopedia in history — for free.

The same doubters said we'd never be able to write a computer program that's going to play a good game of chess. Now, of course, computers are beating grand masters, and home computer programs beat almost every ordinary player. And Wikipedia continues to grow and thrive.

The future holds more surprises. But with your help, Wikipedia will be able to weather them all.

— David Thomsen

David Thomsen is 73 years old. Since he began editing Wikipedia in 2009, he’s created 50 new articles and completed more than 80,000 edits. Many of his contributions focus on Philadelphia, where he's lived since 1965 (he even ran for local office a few times). He writes about local politics, regional history, city council members, old war heroes and the Liberty Bell.

Image Attribution: David Thomsen by Adam Novak, under CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported, from Wikimedia Commons.

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