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Nine awesome computer ads from the 70s and 80s

There are lots of vintage ad collections out there, and it’s always a fun to look through them. For your viewing pleasure, we have handpicked nine of the most fun, creative or just plain weird computer ads we have ever seen.

Below you will find classic ads from Apple, Texas Instruments, IBM, BASF, Honeywell, Maxell and more.

Two hot bytes

Apple getting witty about their name

A maybe even sexy 1200 bps modem

Back when Bill Cosby was all the rage

A dragon with a chip on its shoulder

The indestructible 3.5-inch floppy (most optimistic ad ever?)

In the future, everyone will use floppy disks

IBM PC, only $2,108 for the 64KB model

But computers were best in the 60s. Really. It tells fortunes!

We hope you enjoyed this little collection! :)



22 comments
Tia
Tia

Love it, you rule.

Stu
Stu

Brings back a lot of memories. I actually had one of the Royal Advertising units as a boy. There was nothing electronic about it. You programmed it by pushing short plastic tubes on the bosses of the sliding plates, then slid the main plate (on the bottom) back and forth. Everything was done in binary, and the answer appeared on the 3 rotating drums on the far end as a series of 1's and 0's.

jim w
jim w

these are amazing! I especially like the sexy Penril Modem...

Dillon
Dillon

Haha ^^ nice, is there a section to follow the RSS feed

bob
bob

wow these ads are so cool, i too bad we are not using floppy disks now as it is the future back in the 70's. these are really funny ads i think people in the 70's had a good sense of humor.

Warren
Warren

While growing up I actually had one of those Digi Comp I's (the plastic unit at the end) in the 60s. The manual gave the programming setups for several functions, but no instructions or obvious clue as to how to program anything different. It was kinda fun but disappointing in that I knew there ought to be a way to actually do your own computer programming. It was a few years later before I was able to use and program a real computer.

Programmable calculator
Programmable calculator

As a collector of vintage programmable calculators, I wander if these kind of adds where ever made for calculators/pocket computers? I would love to put some up on my site...

Dreams
Dreams

The BASF ad is awesome. I think it would still work if it ran in today's PC Mag and people wouldn't realize that no one uses floppies any more.

BullsEye
BullsEye

Oh yeah, that Penril Modem still does it for me. RRRR! :-) Thanks for sharing!

Velox
Velox

FLOPPY HARAKIRI!!!

Goofydg1
Goofydg1

These are great. I love the "in the future, everyone will use floppy disk" and the "computer brain for $4.99."

Bukator
Bukator

They were right. Everyone DID use floppys...but not for long.

becca
becca

just brilliant

Mattress
Mattress

I always loved the Apple one! I miss retro designs, Mentos had a great campaign too back in the late 80's, early 90's.

Bored
Bored

I'm not sure what surprises me more -- that we'll all be using floppy disks, or that we'll all be robots

Richard Anderson
Richard Anderson

You gotta love the attempts to combine sex appeal and computer hardware. Reminds be a bit of the car industry and their booth babes (or maybe the games industry would be a better comparison in this case).

Kara
Kara

Retro deliciousness! Some of these are lovely. That dragon is fantastic!

Beeboy
Beeboy

Very, very nice. :) I love retro design.

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  7. [...] The Honeywell 200 and its successors were introduced to compete with affordable commercial computers from IBM (specifically the IBM 1401). The native assembly language used to program the Honeywell computer was named Easycoder. Yes, at that time, assembly language was considered easy to code in. Honeywell ran an ad campaign over several years that they called the Liberator, using various very creative sculptures made from computer parts (one example available here). [...]