Skip to comments.When computers were sexy: Hilarious vintage ads from the early days of the PC (LOTS of graphics)
Posted on 04/01/2012 6:21:36 AM PDT by Stoat
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
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!"
“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?
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.
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.
Those were some fun days, but it could sure get expensive.
Not necessarily. I think the 8088 processors were out when I bought my 8086. Its real value was the education in MSDOS.
Show-off. Mine had metal rods and colored beads....called an "aba-something"......
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.
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.
386, that is.
Now that’s what I’m talking about! Wooo...HOT!
Those were some good times. I ran a FidoNet BBS all through the 90’s, and had a ton of fun.
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.
I make that $1.25 x 10-3 per Mb...but still cheap, no?
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. . .
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.
That coffee table you posted was likely a peripheral to this main frame.
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.
I also bought my 8088 when the 286 was already out by then, so I’m one step right after bcsco.
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.
I was the champ!!
——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.
Great thread!! bump
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.
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.
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) :/
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.
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.
That is VERY interesting.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!”
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.
“What the heck is electronic mail?” - lol
That was one BIG modem on the first ad. What speed was it, 1200 baud?
I remember seeing those early E-mail adverts in business magazines like Forbes and Fortune.
(and we're still da bomb ;-)lol
They beat the IPAD to the market by a long shot. lol.
Babbage's "Difference Engine"
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.
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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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.
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