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Hilarious Antique IT Advertisements

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the now-that-is-spooky dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 219

PetManimal writes "Computerworld has gone back through forty years worth of magazines, and came up with some entertaining IT-related advertising gems from decades past. Highlights include The Personal Mainframe, an image of the earliest screenless briefcase portables, and Elvira hawking engineering software. From the article: 'Remember Elvira, Mistress of the Dark? Besides appearing on TV in features like Elvira's Movie Macabre Halloween Special, Elvira also invited Computerworld readers to "cut through paper-based CASE [computer-aided software engineering] methods with LBMS" software. "The scariest thing about CASE is the several hundred pounds of books that land on your desk and for which you've paid fifteen gazillion dollars, when you buy off on a CASE development methodology," she writes. Can you guess what year Elvira appeared in this Computerworld ad? Headline hint: "IBM delays notebook arrival in U.S."'"

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first post niggas! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19521401)

big lipped beasts

Re:first post niggas! (0, Offtopic)

cshark (673578) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521495)

Why do you people keep doing this?

Re:first post niggas! (2, Insightful)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521761)

Never underestimate the persistence of the pre-pubescent teen that has the ability to amuse themselves. Think 'fart sniffing' of the digital age.

Yes, it's sad really. And nothing can be done to make them stop or go away. Respond, and you reinforce their immaturity. Don't respond and you reinforce their immaturity. Ignore and they'll try harder. Confront and they'll try harder still.

They're really just cries for 'mommy' after all. Poor lost souls ;)

Re:first post niggas! (-1, Offtopic)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522023)

They're really just cries for 'mommy' after all. Poor lost souls ;)
No, YO MOMMA!

Re:first post niggas! (3, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522669)

Why do you people keep doing this?

One word: Shitcock [penny-arcade.com] .

Provably? (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521445)

"LBMS - Provably the Best CASE in the World"?? Oy carumba ... not that anyone would have taken their eyes off Elvira to read that part.

Re:Provably? (2, Informative)

mashade (912744) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522179)

Provably = adverb, and correct English.

Prove - Provable - Provably.

Re:Provably? (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522387)

Yes, yes, it's a valid word, but does it really work in the context in which it was used? I say provably not.

Re:Provably? (1)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522655)

I thought it was "probably" with an Elvira accent....

Re:Provably? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19523079)

Yes, it does. They're stating that they can prove it's the best CASE in the world.

The BEST one..... (4, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521461)

man and woman on the couch, soft music playing she look into his eyes and says...

"Can I see your Wang?"

Damned best computer Ad ever... and it was pulled because it was too sexual.

Re:The BEST one..... (5, Funny)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521657)

Sorry, the 3Dfx "We have in our possession a chip..." commercials (example [google.com] , and see the Related Videos for the other two) are far and away the best computer ads ever.

Re:The BEST one..... (1)

dantheman82 (765429) | more than 7 years ago | (#19523107)

Am I the only one who thinks these ads are ridiculous and rather sad? Sure, we could use this amazing chip to help get clean air/food/water so other people without it can get it. Ah, screw them...they can die. Let's play games and forget about their problems.

I understand the market for gaming, but the "screw the world" mentality is just disturbing...

Re:The BEST one..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19523413)

How exactly could you use a graphics chip to help other people get clean air/food/water? I don't think the ad was a documentary.

Everyone should give 10% of their gross income to charity (Oxfam, The Red Cross, Christian Aid, etc.). That would do it. And I'll bet you could still afford a graphics card.

...and another goodie (2)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521785)

I may not have the wording exactly right (I think it was >25 years ago), but

PRIME computers happily talk to other computer systems. However, they sometimes have to talk slowly and use very short words.

Re:The BEST one..... (4, Funny)

LMacG (118321) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521927)

Let us not forget "The Most Ridiculous Windows Video Ever" [gizmodo.com] .

Re:The BEST one..... (2, Funny)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 7 years ago | (#19523415)

The sad part is, the computer in that video brings up and renders windows faster than my computer here at work...

Re:The BEST one..... (1)

hurfy (735314) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522215)

hehe, i have the 'My Wang does Wonders' button :)

I also have the Wang to go with it ;)

Doesn't every geek use 500lbs of equipment and 2000 watts to play battleship?

Re:The BEST one..... (1)

VAXcat (674775) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522579)

There was another Wang TV ad that was hysterical. It showed an IBM executive sitting in his office. Out the window, we see the Wang helicopter gunship closing in for the kill. Probably couldn't do a commercial like that now - it wouild be deemed "terroristic".

Re:The BEST one..... (1)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 7 years ago | (#19523101)

My favorite ad was the one for logitech with the peeing baby. It was a two page ad with a baby on the left side in diapers with the caption "Feels good." On the right was a smiling baby, naked and peeing into the air. His caption read, "Feels better."

Tom Baker's ad (2, Funny)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19523441)

...where a Prime computer told him to marry Lala Ward. I'm not sure which happened first - they split up or Prime went belly up, but I can't help but think that codependence on a buggy mainframe explains a lot.

1991 (1)

fusto99 (939313) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521487)

when I was 10 years old and playing dig dug on my IBM personal computer!

print version.. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19521491)

is here [computerworld.com]

Re:print version.. (2, Interesting)

SnapShot (171582) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522467)

Do you remember back when everyone was friends?

http://www.macmothership.com/gallery/Newsweek/p015 .jpg [macmothership.com]

My dad still has a copy of BYTE with this advertisement (or one very like it). In my memory it also had Steve Jobs, but I guess I was mistaken.

That was when... (4, Interesting)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521503)

That was when magazines were cool, you could learn Pascal, BASIC, and Assembly in one magazine because they had tons of listings. Hell, I remember using several articles to wire wrap my own S100 serial card.

Ah, the good ol' days. When hackers were hackers.

Re:That was when... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521795)

Are there any programming magazines that still have code listings? or that ship with a CD with the code on it, which would be preferable? It seems like most of the good reading for programmers has moved to the web. Do any print magazines still exist? On a less related note, I was at the grocery store and realized that not one of the magazines in the checkout line was targeted to men. I know the demographic means that most of the shoppers will be women, but I don't see why there should be no magazines for men. Anyway, it seems like the only magazines that are still around are the ones that will sell huge numbers of copies.

Re:That was when... (1)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522197)

Are there any programming magazines that still have code listings?

I subscribe to ASP.NET Pro Magazine. They have a lot of articles with code. They run multipart articles with entire solutions and code. Plus, they have a complete archive of old articles and source.

Back in the '70s, one of my first apps was taken from a magazine article that with code for a "dungeon" game. It was a learning exercise to translate to something useable on my machine (syntax and all). Then, I started to alter it, expand it, and use the code for new things. I was trying to take a static dungeon game and make it expandable. Later, Don Brown came out with EAMON [wikipedia.org] and the code looked very familiar. I'm sure he was inspired by the same set of games.

I even attempted a version of EAMON in FORTH.

From there, I became a programmer.

Re:That was when... (1)

hardburn (141468) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522319)

Are there any programming magazines that still have code listings? or that ship with a CD with the code on it, which would be preferable?

Don't think so. Make Magazine [makezine.com] is a great little DIY magazine, but more twards gadgets than programming. Like what Popular Mechanics/Science was 20+ years ago.

On a less related note, I was at the grocery store and realized that not one of the magazines in the checkout line was targeted to men.

I always wanted to open a grocery store where the only grab-items at the register were rolls of barbed wire. (Bachelor living while shopping at 1AM can give one strange thoughts).

Re:That was when... (-1, Flamebait)

HeroreV (869368) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522321)

Right on! Real hackers prefer to pay for magazines with a tiny predetermined set of information. Only lusers and n00bs read stuff online for free.

Re:That was when... (4, Interesting)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522833)

Right on! Real hackers prefer to pay for magazines with a tiny predetermined set of information. Only lusers and n00bs read stuff online for free.

<BackInMyDayRant>Hey, kiddo, :), back then, there was no "online" unless you were at a University or the time-share budget was gold. And when you were "online" it wasn't this nice wizbang WWW stuff. Back then, you were desperately trying to squeeze code AND data into 4k (or if you were lucky, you could write code to bank switch 16k). You had to get your timing right to get the phone into the acoustic cups, and Gods forbid you had a slim-line phone that didn't work well, or someone would fire up a vacuum cleaner and interfere with the modem noise. And you prayed that your paper tape would last through one more read because you were always too lazy to run another dump, or the department ran out of blank stock. And "hacking" was building or altering your own hardware to make it work with other hardware. It wasn't the script attack Angelina Jollie movie version.</BackInMyDayRant>

Another fun project from the day: Building your own keyboard. Why? Because your computer didn't have one. Don't forget, you had to wire wrap the interface for it as well. That was fun, none of this, "Why doesn't the manufacturer include Linux drivers?" business. But, then, I drove a Vega, had a silk shirt and white belt, had long hair, had a puka shell necklace, the Moody Blues had broken up, Ford was a President who couldn't stay on his feet. Movies like "Drive In" and "Car Wash" were funny, "Jaws" was scary, and it wasn't 5-25-77 yet.

Re:That was when... (1, Interesting)

rs79 (71822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522937)

We had an IBM 1130 in our high school. We used to go to McMaster university occasionally because we could walk out with a box of 2000 punch cards and it didn't look unusual. None of us drove, we were 14 or something and ourparents believed we needed to use the Cyber 7600 there.

Re:That was when... (5, Funny)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522987)

And, you probably remember, Radio Shack was the place to get all the parts you needed, and the guy behind the counter knew how to building an oscillator and could look at your hand drawn schematic and know what it was you were doing.

Now, its some snot that doesn't want to help you find a pot because he makes more money selling cell phones to geezers who don't need them.

Oh, sorry, nurse says its time for my meds and a then I get to sit in the garden.

Re:That was when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19523037)

You must be bloody english! The only people who use 'puka' over here are football players (and by football, I mean the game in which you kick the ball with your foot, as opposed to carryball-wait-commericalbreak-carryball-wait-repe at (AKA American Football)).

ClueBAT!!!!! (4, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#19523241)

What was great back then is that the magazines would expose you to things you never would have looked at on your own. I first learned about Object Oriented Programing by reading the SmallTalk issue of Byte. I got interested in this really cool OS called Unix by reading about it in Byte. Yes Blogs can do the same thing now but let's face it 99.999% of all blogs are worth exactly what you pay for them.
Slashdot is the closest thing to Byte I have found in a while but it lacks the editorial control that Byte had. Just look at how many misleading head lines you get. That and Byte was just about computers and didn't have any political content.
I love the Internet for looking things up but yes I miss Byte.

Re:That was when... (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#19523449)

I used to get Applesoft magazine and type in and debug all of the cool (for then) games who's code they would publish for the Apple IIe. I taught myself BASIC that way and learned lots of handy memory locations to peek & poke.

Even ads fueled coders. Beagle Bros would publish "one liners" in their ads. A single line of code for the Apple that would do something nifty like draw patterns on the screen.

No matter what, most hillarious ads combines: (1, Troll)

zukinux (1094199) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521527)

Windows + Security, I don't know why, but it always comes out funny
Well... when I re-think about it... I know why.

Um...1991? (2, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521591)

Can you guess what year Elvira appeared in this Computerworld ad?


Um...1991? (Check the "copyright" at the bottom of the image.) Jeez.

Re:Um...1991? (1)

xmas2003 (739875) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521737)

You assume the submitter and/or editor actually reads the articles ... not only is this Slashdot, but they were probably too busy looking at Elvira's ... uhhhh ... Pumpkins. [ugly-hallo...stumes.com]

Ahhh, the good ol' days (1, Insightful)

Tatisimo (1061320) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521601)

How I miss my MS-DOS, 620k RAM, 20 gig hard drive...

Old technology pwns!

Learn from the past a bit [old-computers.com] now that we're on the subject.

CORRECTION (1)

Tatisimo (1061320) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521691)

It was actually a 20 meg hardrive. Sorry for the mistake.

Re:CORRECTION (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19522077)

And it's 640K. Two mistakes, buddy.

Re:Ahhh, the good ol' days (2, Interesting)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521699)

620K RAM + a 20Gig hard drive, there's an odd system.

Was there any non-mainframe computer that could use that little memory with that large of a disk?

Or did you me 20Meg?

Re:Ahhh, the good ol' days (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521779)

I just want to know how the hell he found RAM chips which weren't sold in increments of at least 8Kb. I couldn't, which is why I had to choose between 512 and 640K of RAM back in the dark ages.

Re:Ahhh, the good ol' days (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19522559)

My 286 had 1000k, only because i broke 3 8k chips when i took them out to put 2 1mb chips in, and one wasn't working, so had it replaced, replacement didn't work so i got my money back and put all the 8k chips back in, and 3 weren't working.

Re:Ahhh, the good ol' days (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19521773)

I guess a 20 MEG hard drive should be enough for everyone...

Re:Ahhh, the good ol' days (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521831)

20 meg hard drive doesn't sound that old. Hell, my second computer only had a 10 meg hard drive. My first one didn't even have a hard drive.

And I'm sure I'll be out-geeked here by some guy who's first computer used punch-cards.

Re:Ahhh, the good ol' days (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19521931)

I used punch cards to learn Fortran in high school.

My first three computers had no hard drives, then my fourth computer was a 486DX33 with a whole 4megs Ram and 80meg hard drive ... ahh the luxury

Re:Ahhh, the good ol' days (1)

Shabbs (11692) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522303)

Good old days indeed. My first computer was a VIC-20 that came with a tape drive. So much fun. Insert tape. FF to 020. Play until 025. Stop. Load. I remember playing GORF for hours on end. Good times.

When we got an XT with an *UPGRADED* 30 MB HDD and VGA monitor - holy crap! I had died and gone to heaven.

Sigh...

Re:Ahhh, the good ol' days (1)

rs79 (71822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19523057)

HI!

WHAT ARE YOU SAYING BAD
THINGS ABOUT THE VIC-20
FOR. MY BROTHER SAYS IT
IS ONE OF THE BEST MACH-
INES EVER MADE!!!!!

--
BIFF
BIFF@BIT.NET

--
BIFF
BIFF@BIT.NET

Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING

Not it's not you phucktard it's vintage humor. Q-riste.

Re:Ahhh, the good ol' days (1)

luder (923306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522653)

And I'm sure I'll be out-geeked here by some guy who's first computer used punch-cards.
Well, my first one was an abacus... Do I win?

Re:Ahhh, the good ol' days (1)

rs79 (71822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19523263)

"And I'm sure I'll be out-geeked here by some guy who's first computer used punch-cards."

My first job out of high school was at a place that did mehcanical data processing. Not those modern 80
colum cards, no no the 90 column (with round holes) Burroughs jobs that ran on a "computer" that was
programmed with patch cord panels. We had a card duplicater, a sorter and a printer that were built
in the 1940s.

That was some nasty shit.

I Was there the day it was all carted out - some idiot had forgotten to cancel the standing order and
one millon new 90 colcards showed up. This was at the Hamilton Spectater around 1975 btw.

I like this part (3, Funny)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521715)

"Worried about software costs? People who use it say The Personal Mainframe is the easiest system they have ever worked with. The DBMS complies with COASYL specifications. All the languages, from COBOL to FORTRAN are highly interactive".

I should lay that one on my fiancee next time she complains about something being wrong with the PC.

300 Baud is good enough for everyone... (4, Funny)

CrazyTalk (662055) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521735)

I remember when blazing fast 1200 baud modems came out, and I replaced my 300 baud modem. The text (there were no graphics to be concerned about) would scroll by so fast that I couldnt read it. I figured there was really no need for faster modems than 300 baud, because I couldnt read faster than 300 baud anyway. Guess thats my version of the "No one needs more than 640K Memory" quote.

Re:300 Baud is good enough for everyone... (0)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522245)

Well if you assume that you are dooing the same thing with the gear then yes 300 bps is good enough. But what happends the use of technology changes. 1200 and 2400 bps is when we started moving away from ASCII Text to ANSI Colored text, which filled up bandwith with 4 bytes being downloaded that you cannot view, really put the 300 bps modem to a screaching slow speed. By the 9600 bps modem Complex Ansi Screen moved at a good rate. But by that time people are using it to download programs and files. So waiting hours for Megabytes has gotten tedious. so the 14.4k Modem came out where you can get most programs under 10 minutes. Then the web came out with multible connections and graphics. Causing you to go up to 56k. Then now we expect more graphics and anamations so megabit speed is now needed. Now that we are pusing more into High Def Movies being downloaded we need more speed. at the time of the 300 bps modem, the computers were not even close to running this stuff, even locally. Heck a small shareware app today would fill up my Harddrive on my more modern 486.

Re:300 Baud is good enough for everyone... (3, Funny)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19523249)

Just a hunch? But I'm guessing CrazyTalk figured this out at some point.

Re:300 Baud is good enough for everyone... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522249)

Reminds me of when we were all arguing over which protocol was faster: Ymodem, Ymodem-G, Xmodem-1K or Zmodem. Now it all just seems so stupid and silly.

Re:300 Baud is good enough for everyone... (2, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522963)

ZModem was faster on the average. Because it allowed you to continue downloading if you had a disconnection. Which at the time was common problem. So even if Ymodem-G could take an extra Minute per Megabyte. The fact that you didn't have to wast an other hour to download the file again was appealig. When I started to use the Internet normally FTPed on my remote terminal (over the ISP's T1 Line) then I used ZModem to download the file because using SLIP to FTP it directly which may be overall faster I would normally get a disconnect midway and need to download it all over again.

Re:300 Baud is good enough for everyone... (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522539)

300 baud modems really WERE baud-based, not bps-based, and so they provide 150cps (bytes/sec). If you type 75 words per minute at an average of 5 characters per word it's only a little over 6 cps. But I can read MUCH, MUCH faster than that. I know, because I once contacted a multiline text board BBS in my hometown "XBBS" with a BofA "homebanking" terminal, which had ANSI color, 40 columns IIRC, and a 300 baud modem. (And yes, I realize that this is not amazingly old tech nor does it earn me any "chops".) I could outtype the SOB on rare occasions, but more troubling was the constant waiting for text. Actually, I can skim (which is all you usually need) at much more than 1200 baud, which is the main reason I stopped using that board, which for approximately eternity had 5 1200 baud lines.

CORRECTION (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19523423)

That's 15 bytes or chars/sec, for 150 bits per second; I am assuming 8 data bits and two for overhead. If you type 150 wpm, then you can outtype a 300 baud modem. Outtasight! I'm at half that, so I only typed into the buffer in brief bursts.

How the Elvira/LBMS ad was created (4, Funny)

digitalderbs (718388) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521741)

Marketing dept guy #1 : How the hell are we going to sell this LBMS?

Marketing dept guy #2 : Hmm.. Our customers are all sexually frustrated geeks. Let's put Elvira(R) on there. She's sexy and the kids seem to like her.

Marketing dept guy #1 : That's a great idea.

(Marketing dept prepares a mock-up. Marketing dept guy #1 reads off the text)

Marketing dept guy #1 : "The most overwhelming aspect of CASE is the several hundred...LBMS will address these issues. Their Project Engineer(TM) and On-line Method(TM) toolsets will reduce development backlog."

Marketing dept guy #2 : Wow, that sounds boring as hell. It'd sound way cooler if we made Elvira(R) say it. Try this :

"The scariest thing about CASE is the several hundred...So how's about calling LBMS in ... heh heh ...Texas. Let them show you how their totally automated Project Engineer(TM) and On-Line Method(TM) toolsets can cut through development backlog." signed, Elvira(R)

Marketing dept guy #1 : You're a genius. That sounds way more interesting. I've got wood.

Re:How the Elvira/LBMS ad was created (2, Funny)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521967)

You forgot the last line:

Marketing dept guy #2: Let's call it a day and go get some call girls and some blow.

No - the real last line (2, Insightful)

ray-auch (454705) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522717)

You both missed the real last line, and it's a beaut - on the ad, the _second_ tick box on the response form:

      "[ ] I'd just like a glossy reprint of this ad."

Now _that_ is knowing you target audience...

Beautiful marketing - probably not even allowed these days.

Re:How the Elvira/LBMS ad was created (1)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522565)

Elvira was quite the franchise in them days ... there was even a computer game [mobygames.com] made in 1990. Take that, Lara Croft!

Re:How the Elvira/LBMS ad was created (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#19523369)

She actually said that you know. That Elvira quote was from her horror movie TV show. She was showing "Software Sorority Slasher".

Oblig Simpsons Quote: (Elvira) "Look at my boooobies!"

I only read CW for the articles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19521753)

Elvira was better on TV. Especially her Halloween 3D special, long before she was syndicated.

Reminds me of this... (3, Funny)

griffenjam (1080861) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521799)

Re:Reminds me of this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19523179)

HAHAHA, wtf??

Mod up both these posts +5 now, funniest shit ever

Not a magazine ad but still (1)

halovaa (774219) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521813)

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZVHm02FeCH8 [youtube.com] has to be one of the more hilarious old IT advertisements. I'm still not entirely sure what the heck it's selling but it involves Commander Riker using the Enterprise-D to reroute traffic through Cleveland because of a break in a token ring network, apparently.

Re:Not a magazine ad but still (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522585)

Nah, that's nothing compared to this [youtube.com] !

Re:Not a magazine ad but still (1)

pedalman (958492) | more than 7 years ago | (#19523065)

He forgot to mention that the first 100 people who order get a free Ginsu knife.

More than enough! (1)

sore loser (778892) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521817)

No one will ever need more than 80Mb of ASCII porn

Re:More than enough! (2, Insightful)

genner (694963) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522151)

Thats still true today.

IBM PS/1 (2, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521851)

I remember seeing an ad for the IBM PS/1 when it came out as a successor to the PCjr marketed as a consumer-grade PS/1. The computer was sitting on a desk in the background wasting electricity and there was a family enjoying each others company in front of it, paying no attention to it at all. The ad had a tag line that I vaguely recall as "the first computer that knows you have a life" or something like that. I almost ran out and bought one but then I controlled myself and decided that if I could wait just a few more months I could buy a computer even worse.

On the topic of vintage computing (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19521857)

Hi all. Computerworld's antique ads article is fun, but if you want more on the subject of vintage computing in general, then check out Computerworld's blog devoted to the topic! I write it; the link is http://www.computerworld.com/blogs/koblentz/ [computerworld.com]

Re:On the topic of vintage computing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19523091)

Oops... I didn't mean for the previous comment to be anonymous. Thank you, reader who pointed that out. -Evan Koblentz

I would kill for one of those! (0, Troll)

InadequateCamel (515839) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521891)

"Control unit, keyboard, acoustic coupler and 5" video monitor"

Apparently, by "acoustic coupler" they mean "telephone". Goes to show that bamboozling unsuspecting consumers with high-tech talk has been around as long as the technologies themselves!

Re:I would kill for one of those! (3, Informative)

G27 Radio (78394) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521973)

An acoustic coupler was a (probably 300 baud) modem. Rather than plugging it into a jack, you would dial-up the other modem with your phone, then place the handset into the coupler and turn on your carrier.

Re:I would kill for one of those! (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522597)

come off it... go and watch "Wargames" and see one of those briefcase things in action...

Re:I would kill for one of those! (2, Insightful)

realmolo (574068) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522013)

You kids.

Do a Google search for "acoustic coupler" and educate yourself. That ad isn't bamboozling anybody.

Re:I would kill for one of those! (3, Informative)

KokorHekkus (986906) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522069)

Apparently, by "acoustic coupler" they mean "telephone". Goes to show that bamboozling unsuspecting consumers with high-tech talk has been around as long as the technologies themselves!
Oh, the historyless youth of today! *dives into a lived in a shoebox on the motorway rant for 5 minutes*. ;-)

Actually, the acoustic coupler is the cradle that the handset is inserted in. The microphone and speaker of the handset is then isolated from outside noise with rubber seals and have a corresponding speaker respectivly microphone. So the computer become acoustically coupled to the telephone net and not electrically. Now get off my lawn. Mumble mumble muble.

Re:I would kill for one of those! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19522085)

Apparently, by "acoustic coupler" they mean "telephone".

The acoustic coupler was the thingy with the 2 cups the telephone sat on.

Sorry if "thingy with the 2 cups" bamboozled you with high-tech talk.

Re:I would kill for one of those! (5, Interesting)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522117)

>Apparently, by "acoustic coupler" they mean "telephone".
>Goes to show that bamboozling unsuspecting consumers with
>high-tech talk has been around as long as the technologies
>themselves!

        Snot-nosed punk.

      The acoustic coupler was the cradle into which you inserted the telephone handset so the modem could use the speaker and microphone to acoustically transmit the data. We still have some around my place of business and they still work and are in occasional use. See how your high-falutin' iPhone works 40 years from now.

      One thing you also might not be aware of is that at the time, you couldn't OWN a telephone - they all belonged to ATT/Ma Bell. In fact that was more-or-less true into the late 70's/early 80s. And they were all identical designs (actually there were two different designs but completely standardized) so your coupler would work with any of them.

        Brett

       

young whippersnappers... (1)

tpjunkie (911544) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522125)

an acoustic coupler was a device that you put on the phone head piece, to receive and transmit the audio signal, and transform them (back) into electrical signals for your modem, which didn't have that capability built into it.

Re:I would kill for one of those! (2, Interesting)

LMacG (118321) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522127)

Damn kid. You made me break my self-imposed rule of not clicking through to computerworld's ad-impression inflation articles, and I come back to find that my fellow old fogies have given you a good schoolin' on what an acoustic coupler is anyway. Remember, all phones (in the US at least) back in the day were made by the Western Electric division of AT&T (the real AT&T, not the rebranded SBC), and so it was easy to know just what size and shape to make those rubber cups.

It's not screenless! (1)

zarkill (1100367) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521903)

The briefcase includes a 5-inch black and white monitor! Now that really is the ultimate in convenience!

Memory Lane (3, Interesting)

smudge (79563) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521925)

Wow ... this was such a trip down memory lane!

My kids think I'm a dinosaur when I say things like "we didn't have: cell phones | vcrs | ipods | personal computers | digital cameras ... when I was a kid." Now I look at these ads and see the advances in 'technology' in my WORKING lifetime.

In my 1st job at a VERY LARGE computer company we had "terminal rooms". For the youngsters that's a room with 10 typewriter like things that you could use to submit your code. (No screen, just test on PAPER.) Then wait the rest of the day to get a printout from another room. This was an improvement over the punch cards of the year before.

We eventual got tubes (terminals w/screen) in our offices, but usally 2 programmers per. And those had that lovely green on black text ... like a DOS prompt or X screen.

          Maybe they're right.

Still using WordStar here (1)

G27 Radio (78394) | more than 7 years ago | (#19521937)

Well, not exactly WordStar. I grew up with WordStar on my Apple II+. Some years later when I started using Linux I found JOE (Joe's Own Editor.) I checked it out for the hell of it and was surprised how naturally all the WordStar commands came back to me. I've been using it ever since. It's not exactly WYSIWYG by today's standards, but it works great over SSH!

Re:Still using WordStar here (2)

bob_herrick (784633) | more than 7 years ago | (#19523033)

I am comforted to see someone else remembers WordStar. Saddened, though, that it is now one of the ten funniest IT adverts of all time. In its day, it was a wonder. Fully justified text and would run in 64K of memory. Many a BBS operator depended on WS for 'publishing' electronic articles back in the day. I know I did. With a product like Multilink you could cram two instances of RBBS-PC into 640K of RAM with enough RAM left over to run a WS instance at the same time. It was a godsend.

ad overload (1)

khuber (5664) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522035)

I'm not sure what the article said - I was busy trying to gouge my eyes out. What a terrible site.

jesus, what a primitive fucking sense of humour (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19522037)

Oh LOL and years 15 ago it cost a bomb to buy a mobile phone and some were BRICK SIZED!!11, 75 years ago guess what LOL Hardy was writing about lack of applicability of number theory as there was FFSBBQ NO STRONG CRYPTO!!, 300 years ago we omg even the concepts of mechanisation of reason and number theory hadn't yet been presented by Legendre.. oh oh 3000 years ago LOL NOT EVEN ARISTOTLEAN LOGIC OMG SO FUNNY. Are people so insular today that they find their context within history so surprising as to be hilarious?

Re:jesus, what a primitive fucking sense of humour (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19522237)

Uh, I suck, read "binary numbers" for Legendre's 2nd contribution (which was based partly in theology, though no geek today seems to understand Neoplatonism and considers God automatically pitted against reason); NT had way more history... the Pythagorean school (vaguely - and even the Old Babylonian period exposed triples etc. - consider Plimpton 322), books 7-9 of Euclid, then Diophantus, who was fiddled with a little by Viete before Fermat in mid C17, before exploding with Gauss' Disquisitiones in 1801.. and more recently historians have found work on indeterminate problems by Brahmagupta in C7. Anyway, my point, now I've calmed down, also illustrated in this post, is really, learn your history - this is how progress works.

Re:jesus, what a primitive fucking sense of humour (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19523311)

Yes we know technology progresses. But it is not funny because of the age/under power of the tecnology but the advertising used to describe it. These system were advertised like they can do anything. Todays modern computers are advertised of just doing things better then their old version. As well the prices, Today say they have a 20 Terra byte storage solution that costs 10k-12k they will not be advertising it in PC World, or in those type of adds and they definatly wont be giving the cost. The level of optimism for these things at the time is halarious. The old thinking machiene for the UniVax, The talking Prime Computer.... The way they were advertised is more funny then the fact that the equiptment was underpowered.

Intel 386/SX (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522409)

I still have in my possesion an ad that came with Microsoft Flight Simulator back in the late 80s/early 90s. It was an Intel 386/SX processor for nearly $1000. Just for the bloody chip! It's interesting that I can get a complete system for half that, now.

Re:Intel 386/SX (1)

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) | more than 7 years ago | (#19523027)

I still have in my possesion an ad that came with Microsoft Flight Simulator back in the late 80s/early 90s. It was an Intel 386/SX processor for nearly $1000. Just for the bloody chip! It's interesting that I can get a complete system for half that, now.

Hehehe, yeah. I remember that. Hell I still have Microsoft Flight simulator, on a 360k floppy no less. And I even have a 386/SX computer with a whopping 4M of ram to play it on. Although I prefer to play it on my main rig. It's amazing how far we have come in under 20 years. Not only in cost reduction, but in performance. Makes me wonder what it will be like in another 10 or so.

The one *I* remember... (3, Funny)

Timex (11710) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522571)

...was a two-page advert from Sun, featuring Sally Struthers.

The gist was something like, "Thinking of switching to NT? Isn't there enough suffering in the world?"

I'd LOVE to find out where that can be found online... :D

Genicom printer ad (4, Funny)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 7 years ago | (#19522847)

My favorite ad was one I received in the mail from Genicom back in 1992 or 1993. It consisted of a medium-size green box with the following text on the front: "I dunno what happened. The printer was working just fine a minute ago". Open the box, and there was a real Stanley ball-peen hammer fastened inside, and "Deny everything" on the inside of the box lid. I still have the hammer, BTW. :-)

My collection.. (1)

Siener (139990) | more than 7 years ago | (#19523129)

I have a huge stack of old Byte magazines at home - I've been lugging them around since high school. Those were the best - they covered hobby computing, hardware, software, programming, you name it. The ads were also great.

Hmm... I came in here to brag, but now I suddenly just feel very old.

Antique? (1)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 7 years ago | (#19523201)

Antique ads! Cool! I wasn't aware there were a lot of computers being advertised prior to 1907. Are these ads advertising the services of pools of women who can take on tasks such as counting the number of Sears and Roebuck catalogs that were shipped?

IBM ads rock the planet. (1)

ze_jua (910531) | more than 7 years ago | (#19523323)

All IBM ads, are excellent, for many decades. Tv ads : The Universal Business Adapter, The valves, Linux, The bladecenter, the Reality Detector. Paper Ad 'Eye Bee M', and many more. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIOqOxI0K_I [youtube.com]
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