Friday, October 10, 2008

Vintage Christmas Ads Pt. 5 - Radio Shack, 1982

In addition to collecting Christmas music, I have collected nearly 1000 vintage Christmas ads over the years. Many of these include celebrities, radio, television, cigarettes, liquor, modern appliances, and the like.

Last Friday and every Friday from here until I run out, I will feature an ad from my collection.

I invite you to add a fun comment, witticism, clever remark, or observation in the comments section provided. Any comments deemed worthy of repeating will be included into this entry where all the world will see it.

Today we look at state of the art technology from 1982. The compact disc wasn't introduced to the public yet. Cell phones didn't exist. Forget about MP3 players - we had Sony cassette Walkmen (for the retail price of $189).

At Christmas, 1982, the home computer was beginning to make an impact on the public. You had plenty of choices - Atari, Commodore, IBM, Apple, Xerox, and Radio Shack all had products available for you to put under the Christmas tree.

Radio Shack's first computer was the TRS-80, which sold nearly 10,000 machines in its first month alone. With its 13" black and white monitor, its audio cassette data drive, and floppy disks that barely held half a megabyte, it was a huge splash in the marketplace. Never mind that it put out some much RF interference that it zonked out surrounding electronics!

By 1982, the TRS-80 Models II and III were introduced and they were priced to sell:



(Click on image to enlarge)


Check out that keyboard console - it looks like an old electric Smith-Corona without the carriage. And if it was me, I'd go for the color TRS-80 with extended BASIC with that super huge 32K memory and that spacious 256x192 screen resolution.

What do you think?

Jeff says: My family had one... The wonderful screeching of the audio cassette "drive"...

Ernie says: I learned all about computers on the Trash-80 model III and IV back in junior high. We had a lab full of 'em. The model IV's came with not one but two floppy drives! I never remember doing much work on them, but I sure played a lot of Zork.

Jeff says: Defender for me. And stunning graphics, pixels the size of your thumbnail... And Floppy drives? Whoa, whoa, whoa... way to advanced for me!

Any other opinions?


Capt

4 comments:

Jeff said...

My family had one... The wonderful screeching of the audio cassette "drive"... Nothing as fancy as that one though. (No colour). Still, I learned my basic programming and skills on that thing... and while I can hardly say I use any of those skills today, it likely helped in ways I'll never fully grasp...
Cool ads Capt!

Ernie said...

I learned all about computers on the Trash-80 model III and IV back in junior high. We had a lab full of 'em. The model IV's came with not one but two floppy drives! I never remember doing much work on them, but I sure played a lot of Zork.

Jeff said...

Defender for me. And stunning graphics, pixels the size of your thumbnail... I laugh when I see those lego video games now, those early ones had graphics that look like they were made of lego bricks...

And Floppy drives? Whoa, whoa, whoa... way to advanced for me!

Inkydog said...

If you want to relive those days, there are a variety of emulators on the web that actually use software to emulate the original chipsets in the TRS-80s. A quick Google search should bring up several.

i had fun running a couple of old programs on them with my kids to show them what computers were like back when you could actually program them yourself.