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'80 Mbytes of storage for under $12k!' and other ad favorites through the years
ComputerWorld ^ | June 14, 2007 | Sharon Machlis

Posted on 07/27/2007 7:49:17 AM PDT by Constitutionalist Conservative

It's rare for us to spend an hour-long staff meeting in nonstop laughter.

But that's pretty much what happened when we gathered to go through old print issues of Computerworld as part of our 40th anniversary celebration.

The original idea of hauling those Computerworld issues out of storage was to look at important stories and people throughout the years. But we couldn't get over the ads!

"80 Mbytes of storage for less than $12,000!" boasts one. In another, a woman in hot pants touts a modem that's, yes, "maybe even sexy." There's even a campy B movie celebrity hawking development software.

It was too much fun not to share. So after one of the best meetings ever, we bring you 10 of our favorite, most entertaining IT ads from four decades of Computerworld. If you'd like, you can try to guess what year the ad ran before clicking the image to find out. Click through, and you'll also find out the top Computerworld stories from the issue, as well as a larger version of the image.


Such a deal

You can purchase this 80MB disk system for less than $12k -- and even better, 300MB for under $20k!

Not very irresistible today, but apparently a bargain back when this was published. So good, in fact, that prices were valid only for resellers buying at least 40 systems.

Have an idea when this might have been published? We'll offer this headline hint from the front page of the same issue: "Mainframes Not Always a Must, Citibank Officer Advises Users."

You can purchase this 80-Mbyte disk system for less than $12k -- and even better, 300 Mbytes for under $20k!
Click to see a larger version of the ad, what year it ran and more top news from that issue.


What the heck is electronic mail?

That's the question posed in this Honeywell ad, which explains: "Simply put, it means high-speed information transportation.

"One of the most advanced methods is terminals talking to one another.

"Your mailbox is the terminal on your desk. Punch a key and today's correspondence and messages are displayed instantly."

Who knew?

Want to hazard a guess when this one published? Headline hint from the issue: "Happy [10th] Birthday, Mr. Chip."

What the heck is electronic mail?
Click to see a larger version of the ad, what year it ran and more top news from that issue.


It's 'versatile, dependable, compatible and maybe even sexy'

These modems are "all performers," this ad not-so-subtly boasts -- from 1,200 bit/sec. all the way up to 4,800 bit/sec.

What year do you think an advertisement would be using a model in hot pants? Headline hints: "Univac 9700 Offers Compatibility, Price"; "Technology Makes Move Out of Core City Feasible."

It's versatile, dependable, compatible and maybe even sexy
Click to see a larger version of the ad, what year it ran and more top news from that issue.


You can see words on the screen!

The software touted here runs "on most Z80/8080/8085 microcomputers with CP/M, 48K and terminal with addressable cursor." Not only do you get all the features of a high-priced word processing system, but "with WordStar, you have a true screen image of what your printout will look like before you print it! With WordStar, you'll erase, insert, delete and move entire blocks of copy."

Cool indeed!

You can see words on the screen
Click to see a larger image of just what WordStar WYSIWYG looks like.


Could you be suffering from ... COBOLitis?

"You say you don't know your process from your loop? Or your CASE from your GOTO? No doubt, you're suffering from COBOLitis," says this ad from the folks at Yourdon Press.

Could you be suffering from ... COBOLitis?
Click through to find out the cure, as well as the year this one ran.


Your very own mainframe!

"Everyone needs to use the computer? With The Personal Mainframe, up to 512 users can work interactively at their own terminals," says an ad for this system that touts computing availability beyond the glass-enclosed data center.

How do you know when you need this system? "When people are waiting in line for their applications. When some people need a decision-making tool and others need a number-cruncher."

Your very own mainframe!
See larger image and more information.


What 'mobile' used to mean

Well before the era of handhelds or even laptops came "briefcase portability." This system features interactive CRT terminal, control unit, keyboard, acoustic coupler and 5-in. video monitor. Any idea what year "totable" meant "able to be lugged around in a briefcase?" Headline hint: "IBM Decries Justice's Use of FBI as 'Coercive'" (part of the IBM antitrust trial).

What mobile used to mean
See larger image and more information.


Remember these?

Every office used to have them, but we haven't seen one in years. It's called a "typewriter." And in this ad, readers are told that a "little ball turns an ordinary Selectric typewriter into the only bilingual input device in the world.

"So, instead of a big, expensive data preparation center and the expensive personnel that go with it, all you need is a couple of Selectrics (which you may already have), a few DF-2 elements and our Optical Page Reader."

I'm not sure the current generation of students would even recognize the Selectric type ball in the picture.

Publishing year headline hint: "13 Models Beef Up Burroughs 700s."

Remember these?
Click to see a larger version of the ad, what year it ran and more top headlines from that issue.


It's small and light at only 11+ lbs.

"MultiSpeed is multi-talented. It's small. Light. And gives you the option of running at a clock speed of either 9.54 or 4.77 MHz," boasts this ad from NEC showing what a laptop of its day was like. It weighed in at 11.2 lb. with 640K of memory, dual 720K drives and five built-in programs. Do you remember what year this was state of the art? Headline hint: "OS/2 to bind PC to hosts, leap 640K wall."

It's small and light at only 11+ lbs.
Click to see a larger version of the ad, what year it ran and more top news from that issue.


Mistress of the Dark

Remember Elvira, Mistress of the Dark? Besides appearing on TV in features like Elvira's Movie Macabre Halloween Special, Elvira also invited Computerworld readers to "cut through paper-based CASE [computer-aided software engineering] methods with LBMS" software.

"The scariest thing about CASE is the several hundred pounds of books that land on your desk and for which you've paid fifteen gazillion dollars, when you buy off on a CASE development methodology," she writes.

Can you guess what year Elvira appeared in this Computerworld ad? Headline hint: "IBM delays notebook arrival in U.S."

Mistress of the Dark
Click to see a larger version of the ad, what year it ran and more top headlines from that issue.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Computers/Internet; History; Society
KEYWORDS: advertizements; advertizing; computerage; computers; genx; technology
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Ahhhh, memories!
1 posted on 07/27/2007 7:49:20 AM PDT by Constitutionalist Conservative
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative

2 posted on 07/27/2007 7:51:17 AM PDT by dfwgator (The University of Florida - Still Championship U)
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative
Our first hard drive was a 3.8 megabyte drum.
It had 17 read/write heads that were in contact with the drum and if it was bumped before it stopped, it was ruined.
3 posted on 07/27/2007 7:57:47 AM PDT by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (Remember the Alamo, Goliad and WACO, It is Time for a new San Jacinto)
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
4 posted on 07/27/2007 8:11:18 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative
LMAO...


5 posted on 07/27/2007 8:15:25 AM PDT by johnny7 ("But that one on the far left... he had crazy eyes")
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To: martin_fierro

LOL! That typeface in the headline is straight out’a the ‘doper-era’... circa 1972-1978... Antique Olive I believe?


6 posted on 07/27/2007 8:20:24 AM PDT by johnny7 ("But that one on the far left... he had crazy eyes")
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To: johnny7

All is needs is some orange shag carpet and macrame things hanging from the ceiling.


7 posted on 07/27/2007 8:22:59 AM PDT by Clam Digger
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To: qam1; ItsOurTimeNow; PresbyRev; Fraulein; StoneColdGOP; Clemenza; m18436572; InShanghai; xrp; ...
Xer Ping

Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.

Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.

8 posted on 07/27/2007 8:24:05 AM PDT by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: martin_fierro
Imagine walking into Starbucks later and sitting down at a table and opening up one of these. Imagine the looks!


9 posted on 07/27/2007 8:29:09 AM PDT by jdm
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To: Clam Digger
All is needs is some orange shag carpet and macrame things hanging from the ceiling.

...and an 'e-z wider' ad running next to it.


10 posted on 07/27/2007 8:33:17 AM PDT by johnny7 ("But that one on the far left... he had crazy eyes")
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To: jdm

11 posted on 07/27/2007 8:39:25 AM PDT by johnny7 ("But that one on the far left... he had crazy eyes")
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative

Remember the old TRS-80 computer?

Several thousand dollars and it really didn’t do a whole lot!


12 posted on 07/27/2007 8:45:44 AM PDT by Red in Blue PA (Truth : Liberals :: Kryptonite : Superman)
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To: Red in Blue PA

Ahhh the Trash 80. Remember the Timex Sinclair?


13 posted on 07/27/2007 8:48:07 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative

I have a 1987 Compaq Portable LANalyzer for sale.


14 posted on 07/27/2007 9:06:26 AM PDT by ▀udda▀udd (7 days - 7 ways Guero >>> with a floating, shifting, ever changing persona....)
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative

B4L8r


15 posted on 07/27/2007 9:23:43 AM PDT by Kevmo (We should withdraw from Iraq Ś via Tehran. And Duncan Hunter is just the man to get that job done.)
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To: Tijeras_Slim

We had a Sinclair. I little black thing, wasn’t it? We followed that up with a VIC 20 and later a Commodore 64.


16 posted on 07/27/2007 9:31:29 AM PDT by T.Smith
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To: Red in Blue PA

I had one. There was very little software for it, and had to write your own a lot. I couldn’t afford a floppy drive, so I had a cassette drive for it, and the tapes would always get corrupted or otherwise f$%ked up and you’d lose whatever you’d spent hours figuring out and typing in.


17 posted on 07/27/2007 9:47:23 AM PDT by lesser_satan (Fred Thompson '08)
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To: martin_fierro

JS&A Products that Think? I picked up some, uh, discontinued products through Sugarman.

ComputerWorld’s writer might have been a little more humble about this if she’d reviewed the ads for the many, many computer magazines which have vanished in the past 25 years.


18 posted on 07/27/2007 11:05:45 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, July 26, 2007 https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: martin_fierro

Oh, duh, silly me, it was DAK... I got an Olivetti inkjet printer from DAK, it had glass ink tubes (very easy to change, pretty small capacity) with what looked like the spring from a pen inside, if memory serves. The print quality was kinda mediocre, not least because it had no descenders.


19 posted on 07/27/2007 11:08:01 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, July 26, 2007 https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: johnny7
Re: Coleco Adam

I had one of those. Unfortunately.

It was all my parents could afford to buy. Even at my very young age, I could tell it was junk. My folks would get mad when I printed out reports for school late at night, because the super noisy printer sounded like a machine gun in slow motion, and it would wake them up.

20 posted on 07/27/2007 11:55:53 AM PDT by NMR Guy
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