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"There was a time when one old eccentric guy with a notebook could do something important to science. Now even the resources of a major university are often not enough."
- Jerry Pournelle

Logics  
  Machines that let you request information, and then display it for you on a screen.  

Everybody's got 'em and we're still findin' out what they can do. At least, that's what Leinster wrote in 1946. Still true today.

I'm a maintenance man for the Logics Company. My job is servicing Logics, and I admit modestly that I am pretty good. I was servicing televisions before that guy Carson invented his trick circuit that will select any of 'steenteen million other circuits - in theory there ain't no limit - and before the Logics Company hooked it into the Tank-and-Integrator set-up they were usin' 'em as a business-machine service. They added a vision screen for speed - an' found out they'd made Logics...


(Children watching the logic present animated cartoons)

You know the Logics set-up. You got a Logic in your house. It looks like a vision-receiver used to, only it's got keys instead of dials and you punch the keys for what you wanna get.

Technovelgy from A Logic Named Joe, by Murray Leinster.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1946
Additional resources -

This seems like a pretty good description of a web browsing computer for the home. Be sure to take a look at the entry for Tanks, to get a clear idea of what kind of information could be displayed. And don't forget about the Carson Circuit that would let you connect to any of millions of different information feeds.

Thanks to @SMOF for the graphic from the original publication of the story.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from A Logic Named Joe
  More Ideas and Technology by Murray Leinster
  Tech news articles related to A Logic Named Joe
  Tech news articles related to works by Murray Leinster

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