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Back to the past – 10 awesome vintage computer ads

VIntage computer
Going back to the future would be nice, following in Marty McFly’s footsteps, but for now we’ll settle for just going back to the past. We have dug up 10 awesome vintage ads published in Byte Magazine from 1977 to 1984. It’s quite a mix of cool and quirky, funny and awesome.

10 MB hard disk

With a 2 year warranty, how could you resist? And since it’s offered with “satisfaction guaranteed” you’d be crazy not to order the 10 MB hard disk for IBM PC and compatibles.

It’s a bit quaint, as well, that it says “to order send check or money order.”

3M floppy disks

Remember floppy disks? I think you’d agree they were not the pinnacle of reliability, but 3M does its best to convince us otherwise. “At 3M, reliability is built into every diskette.” Thank goodness for cloud storage (not that that is necessarily any more reliable than floppy disks 🙂

The man, the light and the Apple

Isn’t it funny how different the ads from Apple back then were from the ones you see today?

BDOS error on B:BAD sector

“You can use your disks 10 times longer without losing your data AND your time,” claims the ad. And that for only $73 – sold!

Cassette I/O

Who would not need a cassette i/O interface today, capable of speeds up to 120 bytes per second?

CompuServe puts the world at your fingertips

CompuServe, “the world’s largest information service,” is ready to take care of you. It doesn’t even matter which computer you own.

A newsletter

For only $5.95 per year, you can subscribe to “BUSS”, the independent newsletter of the club for users of HeathKit and other computer-related items. Sounds like a fun bunch of people to hang out with.

656 kB memory in 9-pound computer

The incredible Hulk” ran from 1977 to 1982, and you would have needed his strength to carry around “The Portable” by HP, introduced in 1984. (9 pounds is about 4.1 kg)

Microsoft Olympic Decathlon

With only a few days left of the London 2012 Olympics, perhaps you could test your physical endurance with this Microsoft gem.

A portable daisywheel printer

The lady in the ad may be happy carrying that $599 printer around but we suspect most of us wouldn’t because the ads says “it currently weighs in at less than 19 pounds.” That’s almost 9 kg!

Enter the future with Turbo Pascal

Finally, Turbo Pascal can take you (back) to the future for only $49.95. For that you also get the source code to MicroCalc, a spreadsheet written in Turbo Pascal.

Want more vintage computer stuff?

Actually, we ended up with 11 vintage ads, and they’re not all computer ads. But we hope you enjoyed them just as much as we have. It’s good being reminded once in a while just how fast the world of tech changes.

Was that not enough vintage tech for you? Then you should check out more vintage computer ads, 10 old tech reviewsretro gallery of early computers, and, of course, wacky copy protection methods from the good old days. Finally, not long ago we said happy birthday to 86-DOS.

Do you have any favorite old computer or tech ads? Share with us in the comments.

Image at the top by spirit of america /

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