or D. Laugh hysterically and say, “you may as well ask a monkey”?
If you were the kind of person who would c) smile confidently in 1982 it was undoubtedly because you knew you would be able to ask the “girls” in the office to do the financial report for you, and not because you had one of these bad boys.
The ad finishes: “Here’s the nicest part… you can pay it off over 2,3 or 5 years for as little as $82.56 per week”. Presumably this is the five year deal. So 5 x 52 = 260, 260 x $82.56 = more than $20,000 (even if it is the two year plan it is over $8,000). I hope the financial report factors this into the projected bankruptcy of the business.
Perhaps a computer for the home then?
Imagine pitching your skills against your own Space Invaders – in colour and with sound effects!
With 16k bytes fitted.
The size of the file used for this picture of the Atari 400 in this post is 2.35MB.
Whenever I see these old computer ads I always think: where’s the monitor? But of course they didn’t come with one because you plugged them into your TV. My mother bought us a Commodore 64 in the 80s so that we wouldn’t fall behind in the imaginary race to… um, some place where having a computer was really important.
It was exciting pulling the 64 out of the box, and stressful setting it up. For a while it looked like it wasn’t going to work, and then we rearranged some cords at the back and bam, our perfectly good TV was now a large box for typing words into for no real reason.
We tried to think of things we could do with it. I suggested putting recipes on it. My mum half-heartedly agreed that you could do this. Why you would want to type all of your recipes into a computer that could only be accessed in the living room when you had disconnected the TV and plugged the computer in is beyond me. Much handier to have your recipes in a book in the actual kitchen.
My mother suggested I could do my homework on it, but we didn’t have a printer and I couldn’t type so this would have been like slowly assembling my homework in moveable type and then carrying the printer’s plate to school.
Let’s be honest, most people who actually used their computers used them to play games, and the computer companies knew it. Sure, the Atari ad talks about educational stuff, but it doesn’t actually mention any specifics. The only specific thing it mentions is Space Invaders. They have to mention other vague stuff (“expand your families world”), because if they’d said “spend $1200 on Space Invaders” parents then would’ve gone “yeah, right” (nowadays they’ve mostly been worn down).
Problem is some crucial parts of my man DNA have been damaged. I don’t have the male video gaming DNA (or the car DNA), which rendered the 80s computer totally and utterly useless to me. The computer sat in its box for a bit, and then we sold it. The man who bought it seemed delighted. He had young kids. He probably thought he was expanding his family’s world. He probably told his wife “this’ll be great honey, you can put all your recipes on it, and little Timmy can do his homework”.
I hope he liked playing computer games.
Keeping up with a Commodore? Again with this race thing.
“In a world of fun and fantasy” (cue: hot girls exploding out of water slide)
“Wouldn’t it be great to be locked
inside of your room
(that always smells of socks)
trying to learn BASIC so that you can plot
a slightly wonky square?”
No. No it wouldn’t. Get back to me when you invent the internet.