Old Computer Ads

Chris Higgins

The Obsolete Technology Website is full of goodies. It's got links to classic video games of yore (many now playable online), a history timeline of the personal computer, and -- my favorite -- a collection of old computer ads. These ads harken back to a simpler time, when "portability" meant that a computer weighed under 30 pounds, when a color monitor was an optional feature, and when Bill Cosby was the most trusted adman in America. Here are a few choice selections from the Obsolete Technology archives:

Some other awesome ads: The MITS Altair 8800 -- "It's showing up in some of the most unusual places"; Smoke Signal Broadcasting -- "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor, Doctor, Lawyer...the Chieftain's here" (??!); and Spectravideo as promoted by Roger Moore. If you haven't spent enough time checking out awesome computer ads, Boing Boing has 101 more, and PC World has a collection of TV spots that are just bizarre.

Wow. This brings back memories of programming on my family's TI-99/4A computer. We received a magazine in the mail with programs written in BASIC -- pages and pages of code -- which we'd then laboriously key in by hand. Then the program would crash because we'd made a typo...somewhere. Oh, and we also had to walk to school uphill both ways. Those were the days.

Do you have memories of obsolete computers? Share them in the comments.