These 40 throwback ads show how far computers have come


As we enter an era of ubiquitous computing and the Internet of Things, it’s crazy to think about how far we’ve come. 


It wasn’t too long ago that consumers were fascinated by the endless possibilities of computers, and these ads surely do prove it. If you really want to get a good sense of just how far technology has come over the last couple of decades, browse through the list below.

The hard disk you’ve been waiting for… only $3,398!

hardisk-waiting-for

Hey, it adds 15 million characters of storage!

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If a Commodore is good enough for Star Trek’s Captain Kirk, then it’s good enough for you.

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“Radio Shack’s TRS-80 Computer Is the Smartest Way to Write,” says Isaac Asimov.

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16K RAM turns your computer to a working giant.

For the record, that 1977 “giant” is actually 256,000 times smaller than today’s 4GB.

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Ultimate mobility? The 1976 equivalent of a modern-day laptop.

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300 Mbytes for the price of a Honda Civic? Luckily, our hard disks don’t cost as much today.

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Computers are a beautiful thing.

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Unlimited vocabulary? Geewizbang!

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There’s nothing like your first video game.

Atari

Speaking of joysticks…

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If the price doesn’t scare you, try looking at that original Apple logo.

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Long before the days of Amazon.

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Did you know apples make great carrots?

apple-makes-great-carrots

Well, because two bytes are better than one…

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What the heck is electronic mail?

electronic-mail

Look, it’s a small (9-pounded) miracle!

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Based on that rate, it looks like today’s 4GB would cost you $85,899,345.92.

2-cents-a-byte

Now that’s ‘surfing’ the web.

Microfever

Complete with write protection and all!

extensys

We said a flip flop, the flippie to the flippie, the flip flip a flop, you don’t stop.

1-2-3-Advertisement

So that’s how you write music?

Borge-Specifies-Verbatim

Remember the Logitech HiREZ Mouse?

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Or this one? This gem would become the blueprint of future mice.

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What do you get when you combine a calculator and intercom?

zx80

A far cry from Apple’s uber-thin Macbook Air today.

apple-2-advertising

So that’s the original use for an Apple?

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We imagine our lives were never the same.

the-imagination-machine

Apple has always had a way with celebs, even those from more two centuries ago.

Kevin Costner, Jeff Goldblum, Tony Hawk, Will Ferrell… Thomas Jefferson?

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If you were to carry that Osborne model today, you’d probably the same reaction.

Osborne-Computer

Extraordinary… in size and price.

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It was the ’70s, what can we say?

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Doesn’t seem too mobile. Por-table, maybe.

Also, is that a kitchen table?

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Did anyone else know they had computers way back when?

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Ironically, some may say this question still holds true today.

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Cut and paste!

Safe to say, we couldn’t have done this article without that function!

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To think, this was at one time the smallest analog computer ever.

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Hey girl, you want me to hold that computer for you?

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Sir, you forgot your laptop bag.

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Before the days of Atmel’s maXStylus…

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Whoosh!

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And, we couldn’t help ourselves. After having recently celebrated our 30th birthday, here’s a blast from the past with a few old-school Atmel ads…

10 years later and they’re still ’sticking’ with us.

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Some things never change.

AVF

Affordable then, affordable now.

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