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A History of Computers, As Seen in Old TV Ads

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the early-days dept.

123

Tiny Tuba writes "PC World's Harry McCracken pulls together a compendium of vintage PC commercials posted on YouTube. There are commercials from the 1980s right up to the present. If you are looking for a laugh, you will have fun with the Atari 400, Commodore 64 and more." Worth it for the Shattner Vic-20 commercial alone, but the others are well-picked too. Naturally, the Apple 1984 commercial is included.

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Shattner? (3, Funny)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462055)

Khan! KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!

Re:Shattner? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16462281)

What's a Shattner? Is that related to a Shatner? These are the questions I ask myself when reading a Slashdot write-up. Why do I still come here?

Re:Shattner? (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462359)

Slashdot is the only place you can see Shatner not wearing a tribble on his head. That's why you keep coming back.

Re:Shattner? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16462505)

This post is so on-topic it hurts. Why do Slashdot editors rate down comments they don't agree with?

Shattner is past-tense of a Shittner. (1)

SlashdotTroll (581611) | more than 7 years ago | (#16463307)

When I was at PetCo, I walked down an aisle to grab a bag of Tribbles And Titts, but I found all the bags were not reliable to carry to the counter because they were moistenned from the constant "marking" of the animals. Also, the store had been in such ill cleanliness that I decided not to buy. If soming previously shat all over the the retail enclosure, would you buy that matter for your pet? I sure as Shittner would naught!

Windows 95 "Start Me Up" (4, Informative)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462609)

Mentioned, but not listed, the Windows 95 Start Me Up Launch Video [youtube.com]

Re:Windows 95 "Start Me Up" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16462761)

Karma whore.

Re:Windows 95 "Start Me Up" (1)

NinjaFarmer (833539) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462801)

Re:Windows 95 "Start Me Up" (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 7 years ago | (#16464463)

The unprotected "open" girls get exploited and infected tho...

Re:Windows 95 "Start Me Up" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16465623)

And here's [youtube.com] one for Win 98.

Re:Shattner? (1)

shatner (938935) | more than 7 years ago | (#16463257)

Shattner?

Yes? You wanted something?

Taco TV. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16462063)

"A History of Computers, As Seen in Old TV Ads"

OK. So were's the ad for Slashdot? Any history of computing isn't complete without that.

He missed... (4, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462093)

...the best ad EVER!

Are You Keeping Up With The Commodore? [youtube.com]

I guarantee you'll have that stupid jingle stuck in your head for DAYS! (BWHAHAH!) I even named my most recent blog article [youtube.com] after it. ;)

Re:He missed... (1)

Shanep (68243) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462317)

I was just about to post, "Are you keeping up with the Commodore!? Cause the Commodore is keeping up with you!" without even first looking at YouTube. I can't believe they could miss that one.

Re:He missed... (1)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462547)

I guarantee you'll have that stupid jingle stuck in your head for DAYS!
Oh yeah? I got a better one for yah. Try this jingle on for size. I just picked it up immediately after reading this /. headline. It goes a little sumpin sumpin like iss...Harry McCracken corn and I don't care. Harry McCracken corn and I don't care...

Re:He missed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16462639)

This is the song that doesn't end... [ytmnd.com]

...yes it goes on and on my friend
Some people, started singing it not knowing what they'd done
And they'll continue singing it forever just because
This is the song that doesn't end...

Beat that.

Re:He missed... (1)

labnet (457441) | more than 7 years ago | (#16464445)

Damn you AKAlmBatman.. infusing my brain with catchy 80's jingle... Arrrggh

What no Prime Computer? (3, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462109)

There was a few comericals for Prime Computer with Dr. Who. I wish I could find a link for them.
Those were some serious adds.

Re:What no Prime Computer? (2, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462177)

Here's a transcript [tetrap.com] .

Better than nothing. :)

Re:What no Prime Computer? (3, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462245)

Found some WAV files [dwwa.net] of the commericals. Getting closer. :)

Rage the battle to destroy the evil forces (1)

BeeBeard (999187) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462507)

Hmm, I was using plenty of computers in the 80's and don't remember the Prime Computer. Did it transform? Did it roll out? I must see these commercials!

Re:Rage the battle to destroy the evil forces (1)

Brickwall (985910) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462539)

Primes were mini-computers, not micros. They were competing with Digital and Data General, among others, for the small enterprise market.

Re:Rage the battle to destroy the evil forces (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#16465949)

They lasted until the early 1990s. They made minicomputers and I found a company that maintains [timcomputer.com] them.

Doctor Who / Romana, by any other name... (2, Informative)

vain gloria (831093) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462689)

There was a few comericals for Prime Computer with Dr. Who. I wish I could find a link for them.
Those were some serious adds.

Halfway down the page, here [tv-ark.org.uk] . Now don't say I never give you anything!

more interesting progression (5, Funny)

digitalderbs (718388) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462185)

A more interesting progression is in the increase in pr0n quality on computers. You can't beat the classics [asciipr0n.com] .

I thought it was funny until...... (3, Funny)

RavensDark (321683) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462197)

I thought it was funny until I found an Atari 400 in the shed......and then tripped over the Commodor 64.

Re:I thought it was funny until...... (2, Funny)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462659)

Ahhh. The good 'ole 400. That flat plastic keyboard of mine had more stains on it than a butchers apron. And that snazzy tape drive made more screeches and moans than a hyenna making love to a chainsaw as it booted up my favorite game Loadrunner. Good times. Good times, my friend.

Re:I thought it was funny until...... (1)

bxbaser (252102) | more than 7 years ago | (#16464355)

Gotta love that keyboard on the 400 I havent used one for over 25 years, but my fingertips have retained thier hardness due to constant pokeing on that flat piece of plastic.

Re:I thought it was funny until...... (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 7 years ago | (#16465493)

http://www.worldofspectrum.org/infoseekid.cgi?id=0 002912 [worldofspectrum.org]

Happy gaming! I didn't found out if the save function works (was there any), so every time you have to play from level 1, which is a bit tiresome with its 80 levels or so :D

It's still the best game around, easy to play, you have to puzzle a bit at each new level, great great fun.

Fuck you, cracker (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16462269)

If you are looking for a laugh, you will have fun with the Atari 400, Commodore 64 and more.

Laugh? At the C=64? It has more to do with modern computing than you do, limp wrist faggot.

BURN IN HELL!

Amiga Commercial (4, Interesting)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462285)

Here is one [youtube.com] I had downloaded some time ago from somewhere, and recently put up on YouTube. Featuring: Tommy Lasorda, the Pointer Sisters, Chuck Yeager, and 'Tip' O'Neil!

Re:Amiga Commercial (1)

rubberbando (784342) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462931)

Yeah, they had a ton of celebrity endorsements for the Amiga back in the day...

I remember watching a video at Software Etc. / Babages that had B.B. King and Andy Warhol using their Amiga computers to create art and music. After seeing that, I knew I had to have one. :D

This whole thing makes me a bit nostalgic and sad at the same time as I am reminded how something once great was lost to corporate greed... :-/

People should realize that the PC's at the time were 286's with cga/ega graphics and a PC speaker for sound that only had DOS.

Re:Amiga Commercial (2, Interesting)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 7 years ago | (#16463135)

"Yeah, they had a ton of celebrity endorsements for the Amiga back in the day..."

Well by the time Little Richard and the Pointer Sisters got involved it was more like celebrity whore endorsements. I doubt Little Richard ever used an Amiga.

The launch with Andy Warhol creating a portrait of Debbie Harry using a digitizer and an early Amiga art program was pure class though.

I remember being pissed at Commodore for the crap marketing they did on the Amiga in the late '80s. The premium edition of Amiga Forever [amigaforever.com] includes a DVD with a video of Jay Miner (after he left Commodore) at a user group fielding questions about how crap those commercials were. Well worth the money for old Commodore junkies, it includes the "Death Bed Vigil" video of the last day at Commodore US.

Re:Amiga Commercial (1)

Narmi (161370) | more than 7 years ago | (#16463499)

Too bad they didn't have the one that ended with the line "I'd like to see you do that with your Tandy, Andy." I still have that somewhere on an old Beta or VHS tape.

Holy Crap (1)

bsytko (851179) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462321)

Did Ballmer ever have hair? LOL

Warning! (5, Insightful)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462457)

I kid you not, right after watching the Ballmer commercial, the sound went out on my computer.
That mofo has some powerful anti-mojo.

(Though I am from Nebraska, so maybe that's why.)

Stupid monkeyboy...

Re: Warning! (3, Informative)

Oscar_Wilde (170568) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462681)

I had to reload the page several times because the flash animations stopped producing sound for some reason. I wonder if it's just coincidence that something similar happened to you.

Re: Warning! (1)

kiwimade (891424) | more than 7 years ago | (#16463163)

Also happened to me.

Re: Warning! (1)

Ed Thomson (704721) | more than 7 years ago | (#16463261)

And to I

Re: Warning! (1)

MoriaOrc (822758) | more than 7 years ago | (#16463229)

I think it's a problem with the flash player. When that happened to me (started at Apple's 1984 commercial), I went and tried some other places (specifically, youtube main page and google video) with the tab still open. Other things (like IMs and mp3s) were still working, but othing flash would make sound until I reloaded the page. Very annoying.

Re: Warning! (1)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 7 years ago | (#16463235)

And me. Probably the something to do with the Youtube flash app. Or maybe flash itself.

Re: Warning! (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 7 years ago | (#16464751)

Think it's to do with having too many flash controls open at once. I got round it by clicking the video outside of the play button, so it went to the youtube page in a full window (advantage also being you watch the video larger). Then, you can just close the window, unloading the flash control, and go to the next one.

Re: Warning! (1)

GeorgeS069 (956679) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462703)

same here...was just for the vids on that page though...my Sirius stream is still playing fine
wierd

Re: Warning! (1)

IrishMASMS (786650) | more than 7 years ago | (#16465765)

Yes, no one from Nebraska has mojo.

Re:Holy Crap (3, Funny)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462477)

I don't know about you guys, but it was 'Reversi' that finally sold me.

Apple II GS with the brief gimpse of Ant Farm? (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462367)

Does anyone remember that old Apple commercial with the 1 second glipse of an Ant Farm on a kid's desk? Does anyone know where that can be found online? I had no luck with various Apple video ads. sites, YouTube, etc. I think the ad was about education with Apple II GS computer.

Thank you in advance. :)

Commercial: Commodore Amiga 500 Introduction Video (3, Informative)

antdude (79039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462429)

Cool video: A 15 minutes YouTube video [youtube.com] showing off the Amiga 500, also known as the A500. It was the first "low-end" Commodore Amiga 16/32-bit multimedia home/personal computer. It was announced at the winter Consumer Electronics Show in January 1987, at the same time as the high-end A2000, and competed directly against the Atari 520ST.

IBM and Kaypro (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462449)

I haven't seen most of these (I'm 23 so I missed the early computer age). I really like the Kaypro ad, and the IBM commercial with "Chaplin" is quite good also. That said, the commercial with the M*A*S*H cast is just a disaster (as the article mentions).

I wonder what a computer commercial by Michele Gondry would be like.

PS: Isn't it weird to see commercial after commercial, year after year, using the same 3 talking points? "Helps your kids in school", "Faster", and "Better value"?

Re:IBM and Kaypro (1)

IL-CSIXTY4 (801087) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462579)

Those were the big selling points in the day. Owning computers was supposed to make us all super geniuses. Parents had to buy their kids a computer if they didn't want them to become bums living behind the supermarket and begging people for change.

Re:IBM and Kaypro (3, Funny)

Scoth (879800) | more than 7 years ago | (#16464015)

Yeah, instead we became bums living in their basement begging for more chips

Re:IBM and Kaypro (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 7 years ago | (#16467043)

Yep. My mother recants stories of her watching TV ads back when I was a baby (I was born in '81). She'd sit there and cry because they couldn't afford a computer and because "He isn't gonna be able to do anything without a computer.".

I ended up getting a used Commodore 128 when I was 9 or 10, which I learned BASIC on. Ended up majoring in CompSci and am a programmer now :).

Re:IBM and Kaypro (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16462879)

I haven't seen most of these (I'm 23 so I missed the early computer age).

You're also too stupid to know anything about real computing, you homo. Just go fuck yourself and leave the real computing to real people, not gays.

Re:IBM and Kaypro (1)

pyster (670298) | more than 7 years ago | (#16463303)

Not really. Who wanted the computers? Kids. Who was buy the computers? Parents. That marketing made the c64 the best selling computer of all time.

Apples 1984 ad.... (1)

m0ng0l (654467) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462487)

Having never (to my recollection) seen this on TV (not a follower of the Superbowl), I'd say the best part of the ad is the bouncing boobs....... Or the Futurama parody ad.....

Americans are not THAT prudish! (3, Interesting)

Slithe (894946) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462527)

[blockquote]Q: Where are these commercials from?
A: The U.S., as far as I know. Rule one of European computer commercials: They're too dirty for American TV.
[/blockquote]

The commercial [google.com] that they link to is definitely something that could be shown on television. I have seen FAR worse than that. Granted, the U.S. certainly has worse decency laws than Europe (I remember seeing a water-bottle commercial involving a woman swimming naked in a submerged room), but censoring that would just be ridiculous.

Re:Americans are not THAT prudish! (1)

Trillian_1138 (221423) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462983)

Granted, the U.S. certainly has worse decency laws than Europe (I remember seeing a water-bottle commercial involving a woman swimming naked in a submerged room), but censoring that would just be ridiculous.

I think what happens is a combination of ACTUAL fear of government fines (i.e. fear the FCC will come after you, as they did after the Janet Jackson 'scandal') and fear people will get all up-in-arms and protest. The end result is that a TV station may not show a potentially indecent commercial, whether from fear of the FCC or fear 100,000 conservatives are going to start calling up the company and initiate a boycot. The end result is the same, even if the cause is slightly different. I have a suspicion the latter happens more than the former, but I have nothing to back this up.

-Trillian

Re:Americans are not THAT prudish! (1)

htnprm (176191) | more than 7 years ago | (#16463249)

Just a slight sidetrack re: American commercials. We had some family visit (To NZ, from the US), and a soap commercial came on with a woman lathering up in the shower. Nothing too raunchy, though you see a bit of bum cleavage for a sec, and the family said "Wow. Your commercials sure are a bit racy here". Um...Okaaaay.

Re:Americans are not THAT prudish! (1)

The Cisco Kid (31490) | more than 7 years ago | (#16463579)

Bum cleavage is quite prohibited on US broadcast TV. About all that is shown in soap commercials of women lathering up is the head, back, and lower legs.

And Ballmer... (1)

ghostbar38 (982287) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462691)

Each day just get better, there's no doubt, each day he sweat a lot more...

I can't wait for Windows Vista Release Press Conference

Pre-IBM PC was an interesting era. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16462775)

Before the IBM PC, there were quite a few computers that were taken seriously. A lot of things were developing in interesting ways. There was progress. Some of them were good at graphics, some were good at video, some could do decent music, some were actually decent business machines, some had GUIs. Then the IBM PC came along with its bad graphics (a Hercules monochrome card was considered an upgrade) and we got a command line monoculture for the next ten years. Even by 1990, getting AutoCAD and Animator to play nice on the same machine was painful. (If I ever get my hands around the throat of the sadist who invented the PharLap memory manager ...)

It was kind of like the giant foot came down from the sky and squashed Bambi. I wonder how things would have developed if IBM hadn't given us their PC.

Re:Pre-IBM PC was an interesting era. (1)

The Cisco Kid (31490) | more than 7 years ago | (#16463555)

Hardware should be a standardized commodity.

Software should not.

I blame MS, not IBM.

Re:Pre-IBM PC was an interesting era. (1)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 7 years ago | (#16464169)

I tend to agree with you, but on the other hand, I don't really see a problem with there being multiple competing Hardware architectures. Was it really so bad to have both x86 and POWER? Or x86 and 68K? On that note does anybody know anything about the Chinese MIPS clone that was being talked about a year or two ago? I can see something like that being really neat to play around with. Although a lot of people would probably prefer POWER, if there was the opportunity for cheap MIPS based RISC hardware to play around with, I'd be all for it. They're both pretty nice, clean RISC architectures.

Re:Pre-IBM PC was an interesting era. (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 7 years ago | (#16465511)

It was kind of like the giant foot came down from the sky and squashed Bambi.

References: full version [youtube.com] , and a shorter compilation [youtube.com] .

Wheres Balmer? (1)

skelator2821 (958729) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462783)

He should be here since EVERYONE KNOWS Microsft is your computer... Actually his Windows 1.0 Commercial reminded me of the used car salesman commercials on the Sunday Afternoon Western's :)

Glaring omission... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16462999)

The Steven Speilberg-produced Amiga 'Levitation' commercial.

naturally... (1)

zxnos (813588) | more than 7 years ago | (#16463009)

Naturally, the Apple 1984 commercial is included. naturally, i had no idea there was such a thing as a computer commercial snob.

:P

One of the greatest ads of all time (2, Informative)

maggard (5579) | more than 7 years ago | (#16463321)

Naturally, the Apple 1984 commercial is included.
naturally, i had no idea there was such a thing as a computer commercial snob.

The Apple "1984" commercial [wikipedia.org] is considered to be one of the greatest advertisements of all time, in any product category. Indeed it is standard curriculum in marketing classes at colleges & universities around the world.

This list needs (-1, Redundant)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16463023)

at least one of the "Dude, you're gettin' a Dell!" ads.

LK

Apple 1984 (1)

pyster (670298) | more than 7 years ago | (#16463157)

Am I the only person who thinks the 1984 apple commercial's current status in history is nothing but revisionist bs? It wasn't talked about and was completely forgotten until the mid 90s. I don't find it artistic enough to merit the reverence that seems to surround it. It's like one guy wrote an article about it in the 90s and everyone bought into it like all the great things people had to say about Ronald Regan.

Somehow, I think a Commodore commercial would be everyone's honest favorite, after all, it is the best selling personal computer of all time with an massive active scene even today. The guy clearly hasn't a clue.

Re:Apple 1984 (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 7 years ago | (#16463297)

I thought the Apple ad was HILARIOUS when it came out. The whole world is totally gray, with poor pale people in gray suits watching their leader on the black and white screen. All of a sudden a burst of color! Here comes Apple chick in hot pants to save the day!
The funny part was that this ad was used to sell the launch of the Macintosh computer. A computer that at launch was strictly monochromatic.
The Apple 2 was more literally a more colorful computer than Mac.
I thought the early Macs were neat except for the tiny, monochromatic screen. When color Macs launched in 1987 you were looking at prices upwards of $5,000 to get one. I ended up getting an Amiga 500 for $1000 with color monitor and expanded memory.

Re:Apple 1984 (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16464437)

Am I the only person who thinks the 1984 apple commercial's current status in history is nothing but revisionist bs?

I'm sure that other people who weren't old enough to remember agree with you.

I couldn't afford one in those days, but I was aware of the Macintoshes since about 1988.

It's like one guy wrote an article about it in the 90s and everyone bought into it like all the great things people had to say about Ronald Regan.

I can only assume that you mean Ronald Reagan. Although I bordered on hating him when he was in office, middle America loved that man. In the 1984 election he took 49 States. Better than either Bush and better than Clinton.

LK

Re:Apple 1984 (1)

pyster (670298) | more than 7 years ago | (#16466085)

Am I the only person who thinks the 1984 apple commercial's current status in history is nothing but revisionist bs? I'm sure that other people who weren't old enough to remember agree with you.

I was 15 when this Ad aired. I recall zero buzz around it. The media ignored. The masses ignored it. The geeky afterskewl computer club i belonged to ignored it. You might be one of the 2 people who saw and paid attention to this spot.

It's like one guy wrote an article about it in the 90s and everyone bought into it like all the great things people had to say about Ronald Regan. I can only assume that you mean Ronald Reagan. Although I bordered on hating him when he was in office, middle America loved that man. In the 1984 election he took 49 States. Better than either Bush and better than Clinton.

Yeah, Reaganomics were just great. Have to love inflation. The war on drugs. The iran-contra. affair. Aliens. Psychics. His civil rights history was just awesome. middle america voted in bush too. They really arent the smartest peanuts in the turd. Clinton was a warm welcome from the insanity of the previous 12 years.

Re:Apple 1984 (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#16465819)

I certainly remember a huge buzz when the ad was aired. Partly because it was a one off, never to be repeated but also because it was so damn spectacular. The Mac itself was less interesting, sort of a "that's looks neat, better back to my CGA PC/CBM 64/Atari 800 then." The Mac was a bold step forward. Most people didn't know about Xerox Parc so the whole WIMP thing was new to them but what was less obvious was how that would come to dominate the way we interacted withour computers. Back then you used a mouse because you could, not because it made life any better, it was a gimmick.
As another poster noted, comparing the colourful expanadable Apple II to the Mac was a case of "It has a mouse and stuff but I can do so much more with the IIe"

re: Apple's //e and the new Mac in '84 (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 7 years ago | (#16468041)

I remember this time period as well, but I think I missed being involved in it first-hand by just a couple years or so. At the time the Mac was first introduced, I was avidly reading computer magazines like "Byte" that covered it in detail, and I had a friend who owned an Apple //e. But my only real hands-on computer experience other than that seemed to be Radio Shack TRS-80 machines. The school I was going to had a lab of Model III's and my neighbor down the street owned one too. Another neighbor spent big $'s on a "Model 12" for his heating and cooling business, so of course, us kids tried to find cool games and things to do with it also. (Not much for the Model 12 and 16 if spreadsheets weren't your idea of a good time, though!)

My first machine was a lowly Timex/Sinclair 1000 (only $99 at the local K-Mart!), so I chugged along with that for a few years before finally getting a Tandy Color Computer 2.

When I finally did get my hands on a used Macintosh, I remember being really unimpressed by the small, black and white display. It was sharp and crisp, but I just couldn't quite see what made it so great. My friend's old //e seemed *far* more fun to use, by contrast. It's interesting how Apple stubbornly ran with the Mac line though, and let the hugely popular // series die a slow death. (People were so hooked on their //e's that Apple had to sell a "compatibility card" for the Macs for a long time that let you run all your //e software on it and use your old //e joysticks!)

Today, the Mac is great (and a FAR cry from the original models) ... but I can't help but wonder what we'd have if Wozniak was at the helm the whole time, vs. Jobs.

And where are the web designers... (1)

rHBa (976986) | more than 7 years ago | (#16463227)

One of my favourites was quite a recent (about 3-4 years ago) IBM advert aired in the UK (don't know about US). It starts out with an emergency board meeting at a big corporate firm and evidently some vital part of the corporations infrastructure is offline. Lots of buck passing is heard, something like: "The network center says it's a database problem and the database people say it's a web site problem...", "So what do the web designers say?", "We don't know, they've gone snowboarding..."

This was very funny because it's true... ...half of my friends were snowboarding web designers at the time

Re:And where are the web designers... (1)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 7 years ago | (#16463533)

I remember seeing it a few times here in the US as well.

Other IBM Ads (1)

linuxbert (78156) | more than 7 years ago | (#16463703)

I particulary liked the Magic server Pixie Dust and The Universal Business Adapter.

the UBA ad featured a group of suits in a board room, with this blob that had every sort of connector imaginable on it. "the Universal Business adaptor allows you to connect any system to anyother system" the suits then start to question " sytstem x to y with z, a, b, and c" yes is the responce."does it work in Europe?" ... you need an adapter.

Also particulary memorable was the iMac ad with the Rolling Stones song "she comes in colors" (though Not IBM

Apple Macintosh "1984" (1984, obviously) (1)

mjbkinx (800231) | more than 7 years ago | (#16463301)

1983, actually.

Ballmer Ad (1)

Webomatica (1002011) | more than 7 years ago | (#16463309)

The Ballmer one is my favorite. He really fits the part of the infomercial guy. The overall theme of all those ads, however, is that it's pretty mindboggling how primitive those graphics actually were knowing what computers are capable of today. Sometimes it's sort of unbelieveable in the context of the ads, for example the Charlie Chaplin PC junior ad, and how his rollerskate business is somehow improved %100 by a drawing of a rollerskate that looks like something done on an Etch-a-Sketch. Anyhow, I'm also sure in twenty years whatever computer graphics are doing are going to make today's look just as bad.

McCracken? (1)

neersign (956437) | more than 7 years ago | (#16463433)

Harry McCracken

This must be Phil's brother.

Re:McCracken? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16463767)

or Zak's.

a couple I remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16463633)

Alan Alda setting up an Atari console while cracking jokes and maintaining eye contact with the camera, just to show how easy it was. At the end, a flat voice says "42 seconds". Alda looks up to his left and says, "Wait. I can do it faster."

George Plimpton pitching for Mattel Intellivision in his tweedy highbrow style. "When I went to compare Mattel Intellivision against the Atari, I found..." Of course, soon afterwards the joke became, "I found that there was no Mattel Intellivision."

I Miss My Commodore 16 (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16463681)

My parents didn't really know what a computer was, they just knew that my brother and I wanted one. I had dreams of building an intelligent computer that could talk to me like War Games. So, when the flyer came in the mail that we would get a free Commodore 16 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_16 [wikipedia.org] if we drove 3 hours south to visit a Time Share resort, I begged and pleaded until we were on the road.

To make a long story short. They had to send us the computer in the mail as they didn't actually have them in stock. So the long drive drive, and Time Share presentation we endured was frustrating in the end... But a few weeks later I was saving my first madlibs program on a tape drive, and truly enjoying life.

This lead me to my first Commodore 64, and then the 128. I made silly games like Box Hunters and Iron Clad that used the amazing sprite animations available on the 128. I thought I was a genius...lol

My God I loved my Commodores. I still do. BBS's.. Ghost Busters, Winter Games, Mission Impossible, Overkill... I could go on, but I bet MANY of you had the same experiences. Times will never be like that again. That feeling of having a keyboard in your hands and thinking that somehow you are going to give your computer AI with the BASIC computer language... The thought of downloading software over your phone line, and playing games with people you couldn't see...

I think I'm going to cry.

 

Re:I Miss My Commodore 16 (1)

Hanul (533254) | more than 7 years ago | (#16465071)

I started with a Commodore 128 in 1985. I recently put it up on a desk again for playing with a new cartridge, the Prophet64. Funny, how there is still new software for this computer being made.

A lot of afternoons were "wasted" with Epyx' Games series, sitting there with friends trying to establish new records... It looks like for a not so small percentage of people growing up in the 80s the defining factors were films like "War Games", Weird Science" and a Commodore computer :-)

Re:I Miss My Commodore 16 (1)

ptegan (838775) | more than 7 years ago | (#16465213)

Ahhh, I remember back in 198? when my folks came back from an Xmas trip to the UK and brought my back a C16 which cost £50 at the time and was £5 over the customs limit between Ireland and England. It was a great little machine, and the hours of typing code from computer mags and the fun of figuring out how the code worked and altering it to my own needs. Years later I asked my dad for a C128 but ended up with an Amiga 500 instead. To be honest, I don't think I'd be living the life with the job I have today if it hadn't had been for that C16.

Re:I Miss My Commodore 16 (1)

CharlieG (34950) | more than 7 years ago | (#16465467)

It was Impossible Mission - Not Mission Impossible

"aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh"

Re:I Miss My Commodore 16 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16466393)

"Ah, another visitor. Stay a while, stay FOREVER!"

Oh goodness, how could I have forgotten? I feel so ashamed.

Re:I Miss My Commodore 16 (1)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 7 years ago | (#16467799)

Commodore 16??...boy and I thought I was old school :)

Another visitor. Stay a while...staaaayyyforeveeeerrrrRRR!!

That odd commodore music... (1)

kzg (634262) | more than 7 years ago | (#16464075)

Does anyone know what that music was in the background of those commodore commercials?

Re:That odd commodore music... (1)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | more than 7 years ago | (#16466539)

Invention XIII by Johann Sebastian Bach (if he were to have composed it on an electronic keyboard)

After 11 years, I just noticed something: (1)

earthbound kid (859282) | more than 7 years ago | (#16464519)

Man, I used to watch all those demo videos that came on the Windows 95 CD over and over back when it came out, but it wasn't until I saw it again just now that I noticed something: in the last scene when it says welcome to Windows 95 and has the new-fangled Start button under it to demonstrate the big new idea of the OS, it's a black cursor that comes out to click it! That's right, it's a black cursor, not a white one, so that means the animator must have been thinking about Macs in his head!

Oh the ironing!

Re:After 11 years, I just noticed something: (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#16464803)

If he made it to eventually be broadcast on TV, he may have made the mouse cursor black to make it more readable on a light background. Those are the silly things ya gotta do for broadcast graphics.

How about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16465233)

The green wire-frame "bra designed for your comfort" that featured the sound of an Apple ][ booting up as the background noise?

Lasted less than a week on broadcast TV.

$99 for a Windows copy? (1)

Zaatxe (939368) | more than 7 years ago | (#16466151)

Microsoft sure got greedy in the last 20 years...

Missed the only C64 ad I remember (1)

Froobly (206960) | more than 7 years ago | (#16466183)

http://youtube.com/watch?v=QRETD2BtDZI [youtube.com]

Does anybody else remember this ad? I guess it was kind of late in the Commodore 64's life cycle, but I swear I used to see this ad several times a day. When my friends saw that I had a Commodore 64, they'd mockingly sing the jingle, which indicates just how well-known it was, at least where I lived.
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