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When computers were sexy: Hilarious vintage ads from the early days of the PC (LOTS of graphics)
The Daily Mail (U.K.) ^ | April 1, 2012

Posted on 04/01/2012 6:21:36 AM PDT by Stoat

'Maybe even sexy': This glamorous 1971 advert is trying to sell a modem, of all things

 

Girl power: Technico Inc also used sex appeal to sell their 'microcomputer' in 1978

 

Sex sells: Film character Elvira was recruited to depict a desktop as a chainsaw tearing apart the old ways of doing things in this bizarre 1991 advert

 

What indeed? Three decades on, scenes like this are a thing of the past as email has become ubiquitous

 

Hot shot: Bill Gates teamed up with Radio Shack in 1985 to promote computers carrying Microsoft Windows

 

Star power: Sci-fi writer Isaac Asimov was another well-known spokesman for Radio Shack in the 1980s

 

Handy? In 1976, this chunky briefcase was the equivalent of the modern laptop, complete with tiny screen

 

Giant? This RAM card from 1977 was fast for its time, but had 30,000 times less power than the latest iPhone

 

Mail order memory: System Industries charged an annual salary for enough storage space to hold half a film

 




(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Computers/Internet; History; Science
KEYWORDS: computers; computing; history; tech
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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To: CrazyIvan
You could get a cup of coffee while it was doing this!

My unit was a tiny AF activity on an Army Base. We were the forgotten step kids and had antiquated equipment.

I'd go in, turn on the computer, start the coffee. Click on a few options, pour a cup of coffee. Finish the booting up sequence, go out back with my coffee and have a cigarette while Soldiers marched by. I'd smile, wave and think to myself..."Thank you God for steering me into the Air Force because that looks like it sucks!"

51 posted on 04/01/2012 8:07:11 AM PDT by Rides_A_Red_Horse
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To: al baby

“White water Prodigy boards?”

I logged onto prodify a few times, but by that time I was regular on compuserve. From compuserve, I went to AOL.

All pay services. Imagine that?


52 posted on 04/01/2012 8:10:51 AM PDT by y6162
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To: Snickering Hound
Apple II. Not a II+, not a IIe. Came with 4K RAM. Upgraded it to a whopping 32K. Its video output device was a Sony Trinitron. The mass storage device was a tape deck (like a Walkman). I would program that thing for hours at a stretch.

We used to have competition to see who could make it do the most interesting display with only one line of (BASIC) code. Those were the days.

53 posted on 04/01/2012 8:10:51 AM PDT by sima_yi ( Reporting live from the People's Republic of Boulder)
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To: Stoat

My first machine was an Apple IIc. I was one of probably five people in the world who bought one. It came with a blazing 1.77 MHz Motorola 65C02 microprocessor, two 64K “bank-switched” RAM boards, a green monochrome monitor and a built-in 5 1/4” floppy drive. The OS (ProDOS) had to be loaded from a system disk every time the machine started and it had a built-in BASIC interpreter coded onto the ROM (the “Monitor ROM”). I still have the machine and all the peripherals, including AppleWorks, Apple’s integrated spreadsheet, database, and word processor.


54 posted on 04/01/2012 8:13:16 AM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: Telepathic Intruder
I held out for the amazing 286 processor, and paid $370 for a Seagate 40MB hard drive plus an extra $96 for the MFM hard drive controller. The truly adventerous would try the drive with a RLL controller -- if all worked well you could get 60MB out of the 40MB drive.

Those were some fun days, but it could sure get expensive.

55 posted on 04/01/2012 8:13:24 AM PDT by ken in texas
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To: Telepathic Intruder
You go back before me then.

Not necessarily. I think the 8088 processors were out when I bought my 8086. Its real value was the education in MSDOS.

56 posted on 04/01/2012 8:16:46 AM PDT by bcsco
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To: Telepathic Intruder
"My first computer was an XT with an 8088 processor, 4.77 MHz, 640K ram, no hard drive, two floppy drives, and a dazzling 4-color display monitor (including white)."

Show-off. Mine had metal rods and colored beads....called an "aba-something"......

57 posted on 04/01/2012 8:21:22 AM PDT by RightOnline (I am Andrew Breitbart!)
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To: ken in texas
I'm reeling in the memories. I bought the 286 right after my 8088. I couldn't believe how wonderful it was to have a hard drive and a real color monitor. My old one had 4 colors, this one had 4,096 (16 shades of RBG). I would just stare at the screen sometimes. Then came my lightning fast 20 Mhz 396. Then my Pentium 90. None of them would last very long.
58 posted on 04/01/2012 8:25:06 AM PDT by Telepathic Intruder (The right thing is not always the popular thing)
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To: ken in texas
In 1986 I paid $2300 of IBM XT Clone. It had 640K RAM, a 32 Mb HD, and a CGA monitor, which had a wonderous three colors to it.

Sucker had a turbo charge button on it toio, which tooking it to a blazing 7 mhz processor speed.

Windows?, what was that? Back then DOS was our friend.

59 posted on 04/01/2012 8:25:35 AM PDT by catfish1957 (My dream for hope and change is to see the punk POTUS in prison for treason)
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To: bert

Which model of CoCo?

The last ones could go up to 512K and could support OS9 Level II, using a memory control device called a “GIME” chip. It would have been slightly more capable if Tandy had used Motorola’s 6829 memory mapping chip.

I had a couple different CoCos, including one marketed through Tandy. I did get OS9 level II running on it.

I have a couple of connections to those HW and SW products.

People are still supporting the CoCo, with advanced video and storage add-ons. There’s a couple of annual meetings of CoCo partisans, one of them near Chicago.


60 posted on 04/01/2012 8:26:39 AM PDT by Erasmus (BHO: New supreme leader of the homey rollin' empire.)
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To: Telepathic Intruder

386, that is.


61 posted on 04/01/2012 8:28:48 AM PDT by Telepathic Intruder (The right thing is not always the popular thing)
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To: martin_fierro

Now that’s what I’m talking about! Wooo...HOT!


62 posted on 04/01/2012 8:29:05 AM PDT by prisoner6 (Right Wing Nuts bolt the Constitution together as the loose screws of the Left fall out!)
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To: Stoat

Those were some good times. I ran a FidoNet BBS all through the 90’s, and had a ton of fun.


63 posted on 04/01/2012 8:34:46 AM PDT by RingerSIX (My wife and I took an AIDS vaccine that they offer down at our Church.)
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To: roscommon

We used to play “Tunnels Of Doom” on my friends TRS-80 back then.

I can’t believe how cool we thought it was, compared to what they have now.

I had to take a programming class for my college engineering curriculum, and I learned Pascal on an old “Osbourne Executive” computer in the early 80s.


64 posted on 04/01/2012 8:36:35 AM PDT by MikeSteelBe (Austrian Hitler was, as the Halfrican Hitler does.)
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To: central_va
I just bought an 8Gb flash thumb drive for 10 bucks. That is $1.9 X 10-9 per Mb.

I make that $1.25 x 10-3 per Mb...but still cheap, no?

65 posted on 04/01/2012 8:42:47 AM PDT by Moltke (Always retaliate first.)
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To: martin_fierro

I bought a different one of those DAK systems, but was using that Packard Bell printer until I couldn’t find ribbons for it anymore. . . late 90s. . .


66 posted on 04/01/2012 8:45:58 AM PDT by Salgak
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To: IronJack
It came with a blazing 1.77 MHz Motorola 65C02 microprocessor [...]

Well, close. The 6502 was MOS Technology. But the architecture was similar to the Motorola 6800, from which the 6502 was copied by the designer who had jumped ship from Mot to MOS Tech.

67 posted on 04/01/2012 8:46:05 AM PDT by Erasmus (BHO: New supreme leader of the homey rollin' empire.)
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To: martin_fierro
Here's a CDC 3800 console. The CDC 3000 series computers from Control Data Corporation were mid-1960s follow-ons to the CDC 1604 and CDC 924 systems. Over time, a range of machines were produced - divided into the 'upper 3000 series' and the 'lower 3000 series'. CDC phased out production of the 3000 series in the early 1970s. The 3000 series were the 'cash cows' of Control Data during the 1960s.

That coffee table you posted was likely a peripheral to this main frame.

68 posted on 04/01/2012 8:50:54 AM PDT by shove_it (just undo it)
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To: bcsco; Telepathic Intruder

You are both probably right.

Speaking of the processor chips themselves, the 8086 was out first.

Then they designed the 8088, which had all the 8086 internals but was in a smaller package with fewer pins and a narrower external bus. This allowed designers to make a cheaper system overall, at the expense of a slower bus and thus lower performance.

The first IBM PC was basically a cookbook design from Intel’s literature, using the 8088.


69 posted on 04/01/2012 8:51:50 AM PDT by Erasmus (BHO: New supreme leader of the homey rollin' empire.)
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To: Stoat

70 posted on 04/01/2012 8:53:27 AM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: reagan_fanatic
My very first computer was a Timex Sinclair 1000

Mine too. Here I am on the right, with brother martyk on the left, in 1983, opening our new Timex at Christmas! Please note the hip 70's mirrored vertical blinds.


71 posted on 04/01/2012 9:01:51 AM PDT by andyk (Go Juan Pablo!)
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To: Erasmus

I also bought my 8088 when the 286 was already out by then, so I’m one step right after bcsco.


72 posted on 04/01/2012 9:04:44 AM PDT by Telepathic Intruder (The right thing is not always the popular thing)
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To: bcsco
Its real value was the education in MSDOS

I think it was my education in MSDOS that allowed me to transition to linux later in life without resistance, unlike some of my younger peers.
73 posted on 04/01/2012 9:05:13 AM PDT by andyk (Go Juan Pablo!)
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To: upchuck

Finally the powers that be agreed to a memory upgrade ... Productivity soared. Technology is truly amazing.

***

Still holds true today. My “algorithm” for buying a computer is:

1) biggest monitor
2) the most RAM right now, and later

... everything else is secondary.


74 posted on 04/01/2012 9:05:48 AM PDT by ROTB (FReepmail me if you want to join a team seeking the LORD for a Christian revival now in the USA.)
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To: JoeProBono

I was the champ!!


75 posted on 04/01/2012 9:07:17 AM PDT by cameraeye (A happy kaffir!)
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To: Erasmus

——Which model of CoCo?-—

It had to be model 1.0. It was brand new on the market from Radio Shack and was only available with 4k memory

I had no idea it is still around.

I learned to program in Basic and developed a program on it that actually ran on the model III at the office. It would input the number and length of pieces and calculate the number of 21 ‘ stock lengths of each extrusion required. It was a tremendous benefit for such a mundane calculation.

That was the end of my programming

My young son would devour the Hot Coco magazine and did all sorts of neat stuff.


76 posted on 04/01/2012 9:07:24 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ..... Crucifixion is coming)
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To: martin_fierro

Great thread!! bump


77 posted on 04/01/2012 9:08:59 AM PDT by citizen (Well, what happened to my tagline?? I must have overwritten it...time for a new one anyway.)
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To: catfish1957; Telepathic Intruder
Yeah, the EGA monitor was wonderful. I couldn't quite afford VGA yet. I'd forgotten about the Turbo button, that really made it fly.

I do remember sitting at the kitchen table, grounding precautions everywhere, painstakingly adding chips to fill out the memory board. Then a new version of DOS came along with support for Expanded Memory. Spent much time editing boot files to get the "LoadHigh" stuff in the right order.

78 posted on 04/01/2012 9:21:50 AM PDT by ken in texas
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To: cameraeye


79 posted on 04/01/2012 9:30:50 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Mater tua caligas gerit ;-{)
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To: andyk

I see you had a digital watch too. Was it red LED that you pressed a button to read? My first computer was a Timex Sinclair too. I still have it around here somewhere. I remember typing in programs from the monthly magazine and wishing I has the optional 4K add-on memory module that attached to the back.


80 posted on 04/01/2012 9:32:33 AM PDT by Dan Cooper
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To: roscommon

Lol... same here.. I got my TRaSh 80 in 1980 as well :p along with that darn cassette recorder.. and a whopping 300Bd modem (cradle) :/


81 posted on 04/01/2012 9:33:29 AM PDT by Bikkuri
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To: Daffynition
3D-printing technology

Try the open-source version: RepRap.

The Prusa Mendel is fairly simple to build and if you're creative you can get the cost down under $350.

82 posted on 04/01/2012 9:35:32 AM PDT by superloser
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To: ken in texas

Oh yes, I had to have several boot disks in order to configure expanded and extended memory in just the right way to satisfy certain programs. I liked DOS, actually. You could configure your own settings, but it took a little effort. Then along came windows, which did everything for you instead. It’s like being replaced by a computer or something.


83 posted on 04/01/2012 9:36:29 AM PDT by Telepathic Intruder (The right thing is not always the popular thing)
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To: martin_fierro

That is VERY interesting.


84 posted on 04/01/2012 9:37:27 AM PDT by rdl6989 (January 20, 2013 The end of an error.)
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To: JoeProBono

85 posted on 04/01/2012 9:45:35 AM PDT by cynwoody
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To: Stoat

I still say the absolute funniest computer ad EVER was Hal Pawluk’s “dBASE vs. the Bilge Pumps” that came out in the 80’s. Wish I had a JPG of it to publish here, but if you follow the link below, you can see it from InfoWorld in 1981.

http://books.google.com/books?id=wD0EAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA46&lpg=PA46&dq=dbase+bilge+pumps&source=bl&ots=3KSdAj41Zq&sig=Nsicqkcxgi01_lPveZ-9w2utvgw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=lYR4T9jzN_PJiQKwndmnDg&ved=0CF4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=dbase%20bilge%20pumps&f=false


86 posted on 04/01/2012 9:45:56 AM PDT by ssaftler (Obama 2008: "Hope and Change" Obama 2012: "Excuses and Blame")
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To: Erasmus
The 6502 was MOS Technology. But the architecture was similar to the Motorola 6800

The IIc used a 65C02 Motorola chip. The Apple II used the 6502. And the Mac used a 68000 Motorola. I used to have the microprogramming specs for the 68000, although I never had a Mac. And I still have the machine language book for the 65C02. Even wrote a few ML programs for that IIc.

87 posted on 04/01/2012 9:45:56 AM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: Stoat

My Dad did the Cromemco ad. I got my feet wet in hi-tech by writing/editing copy for Cromemco, Wiltron, etc. way back when.


88 posted on 04/01/2012 9:48:03 AM PDT by whinecountry (Semper Ubi Sub Ubi)
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To: martin_fierro

Good old DAK (he’s still around). Loved his ads, which were loaded with hyperbole. The one that sticks in my mind was an one for a computer that ran with “a BLAZING 12 Megahertz!!!”


89 posted on 04/01/2012 9:48:59 AM PDT by Oatka (This is America. Assimilate or evaporate.)
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To: Stoat

Thanks for starting this thread! The first computer I used was a company machine that my mom’s company issued to her. The machine had a giant tape drive (about the size of a video cassette). After that, my school introduced some Tandy machines in the library. Gads, I remember making ASCII drawings of fighter jets and helicopters on a Commodore 64.


90 posted on 04/01/2012 9:54:39 AM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: Stoat; KevinDavis; SunkenCiv

Awesome stuff.

Isaac Asimov!??

“What the heck is electronic mail?” - lol

That was one BIG modem on the first ad. What speed was it, 1200 baud?


91 posted on 04/01/2012 9:58:37 AM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: GeronL

I remember seeing those early E-mail adverts in business magazines like Forbes and Fortune.


92 posted on 04/01/2012 10:01:31 AM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: reagan_fanatic
Mine too !

(and we're still da bomb ;-)lol

93 posted on 04/01/2012 10:02:03 AM PDT by tomkat
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To: reagan_fanatic

They beat the IPAD to the market by a long shot. lol.


94 posted on 04/01/2012 10:03:54 AM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: bert

Babbage's "Difference Engine"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Babbage

95 posted on 04/01/2012 10:11:34 AM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: Army Air Corps

I was very late to the party.

My FIRST computer, bought on layaway at a pawn shop, was a TANDY 386 with Windows 3.11. I was so excited it had a CD-ROM, lol. Of course, everyone else was upgrading 486’s to pentiums around that time. This thing had a 25 mhz processor and about 100 MG harddrive. (kept getting bad sectors all the time though)

That thing wouldn’t do anything until I added more ram (to 28MB?), a new modem (33.6 kpbs) and a new sound card. I remember signing up for a $100 a year internet service, they had to mail me a floppy with a browser (I had none), it was Netscape (1.12?), one of the first ones I think, lol)

I knew I was behind but I didn’t care.

I loved games. I had to delete a game to play another one, lol. Tank! and Gunship 2000 (off of 2 floppies) were my favorite, they were 3-d... of a sort.


96 posted on 04/01/2012 10:26:37 AM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: RightOnline
Those aren't as useless as you might think. For example,

these were used by the ancient Egyptians, around the time of the Pharaohs. But the red led numbers would get dim and burn out over time. And you only got about a half hour of use after every recharging. So they invented the abacus instead, which lasted longer.
97 posted on 04/01/2012 10:27:04 AM PDT by Telepathic Intruder (The right thing is not always the popular thing)
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To: prisoner6; martin_fierro
In any case in the spirit of the thread there used to be a website that brought back real memories especially from the UofP and the PDP-10... www.asciigirls.com or.net or .org. It seems to be gone now, it's not even on the Wayback site.

Here's one I just made, in a few seconds, from a photo of a high-school basketball star that appeared in the Anchorage Daily News, 1984:

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http://www.glassgiant.com/ascii/
98 posted on 04/01/2012 10:38:55 AM PDT by cynwoody
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To: GeronL

I recall a friend of mine from junior high who had an Amiga and my other geek friends marveled at his graphics! I recall the times when another friend and I would spend time on our local BBS. There was a guy in my junior high school who was proud of the fact that he could gain access to nudie pics via modem; he was thrilled that it took only half an hour receive and print a centerfold on his B&W dot matrix printer.


99 posted on 04/01/2012 10:39:04 AM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: cynwoody

TEH HAWT


100 posted on 04/01/2012 10:41:29 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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