Old Computer Adverts

I’ve looked at some old adverts from computer magazines before but this time I thought I’d take a look at some old adverts for computers themselves.


I’m not entirely sure what sort of magazine would run an advert for a computer boasting about its ability to control missile systems but I suppose if you were buying this magazine for the computer adverts back whenever it was published you probably also had the spare barn to store the machine in and the kind of massive-barn-jealousy from others that may necessitate a ballistic defence system.


Are you one of those people who think everything the Apple has ever done has been evil? Six hundred and sixty six dollars and sixty six cents! That’s the dollar value of the beast if my memory of the bible is correct.


This Tandy colour computer advert brings back a lot of memories. I never had the computer itself and seeing those magic words “Cuthbert In The Mines” reminds me why. Don’t search for images of that game if you value your eyeballs.


A touch-sensitive computer not much different in size from a book. We came a long way from the barn-sized Univac to the Sinclair ZX80 and we’ve come not very far since. Progress!


There’s an old rule in computer advertisements: humour and kids sell. It’s a bad rule. And that’s why these computers from AMT using a child Charlie Chaplin led to the company folding with crippling losses six minutes after publication. Possibly. I haven’t checked.


The Texas Instruments Home Computer gives you a tutor, an accountant, a librarian, a file clerk, and a pro football team in your own home. This wasn’t a reference to the sort of software that you could get with the computer as many people assumed but a promotion that also helped to house some of society’s most unwanted homeless people. If you’ve still got your original file clerk it could be worth a small fortune on eBay these days.


Sure, a computer and acoustic coupler and monitor that fits in a briefcase sounds good but firstly the briefcase was the size of a Fiat 500, and secondly it weighed as much as a Fiat 500 overloaded with Digi-Log machines. At least it was difficult to get mugged.

Sources for these images and further inspiration or adverts can be found through the following links:

Author: Mark

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