It only seems like yesteryear when Google glasses and 3d printers represented the hype of the latest consumer gadgets. But today’s beloved technological devices will one day become obsolete and their vintage computer ads will be a nostalgic reminder of “the good old days”.
The following collection is a time capsule of amusing vintage computer ads that capture the spirit of advertorial imagination and technological advancement.
1. This computer boasted that it could transmit text “the length of the Declaration of Independence” to “14 villages in 40 winks”. Though 40 winks isn’t precisely a valid metric measurement, the description rapidly conveys the scope and efficiency of this device. “14 villages in 40 winks” struck readers with the same enigma that we experienced when we first heard that we could put “1,000 songs in [our] pocket” (Steve Jobs).
2. George Morrow can be credited for evangelizing S-100 bus technology which was built to function with the Altair 8800, oftentimes considered as the first microcomputer for hobbyists. These computer buses were irresistible at just 2 cents a byte!
3. This informative article that explained the once cryptic technology of electronic mail. Nonetheless, some modern day users share the same panicked reaction when they open an inbox over-flooded with email.
4. “There’s information about you in a computer somewhere. Probably in several computers. It’s a fact of modern life.” How many computers do you reside in? It’s a matter that should be kept “between you, me and the computer.”
5. Infonet, a data processing company aptly recognized and exploited the potential of image editing software in this advertisement. This gentleman looks perplexed at his computer instead of questioning why he and his machine sit in the middle of a highway. Today’s photoshopped images create the same type of logical fallacies.
6. If a computer fit in a briefcase, it used to be considered portable. When closed, this hefty suitcase also served as a weapon if violently slung.
7. Even during their pre-internet viral rise to fame, cats were busy knocking things over. But this cat decided to start an entire fire. Apple blamed this perhaps innocent cat for burning a computer and used the situation to promote the durability of their computers.
8. Not only can this child draw in straight lines, she can also also speak in cohesive, persuasive sentences too!
9. At first glance, the headline reads as if their marketing team gave up. But the headline conveyed a unique value proposition in a time when computers were sold in separate parts. The article promises to deliver a fully functional machine, with both software and hardware included, at the advertised price.
10. Do you think today’s mobile phones and ultra laptops will one day capture the nostalgia as the picture below?
Let us know what you think! Leave a comment below.
For another retronaut adventure, check out last week’s post on the evolution of the GPS Systems. If you’re interested in early iterations of video/phone communication, click here.