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The Dawn of Mass Computing: Promotional Photos

I actually used some of these systems, back when they weren’t antiques. 🙂

The Dawn of Mass Computing: Promotional Photos

Remember the days of 5 1/4 inch floppy disks, reel-to-reel tape drives, green or amber monitors, terminals, big mainframes, big daisy-wheel printers, and more? Here is a selection of vintage promotional photos showing computing equipment of yesteryear.


“Best Society” by Philip Larkin


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  1. “…Timesharing, teletypes, acoustic couplers, ‘Adventure’/’Zork’, Eliza…”

    Never heard of it 🙂

    Thanks for the link and the memories.

    *remembers the Funky Winkerbean strip where the computer’s been loaded with Star Wars but has had Star Trek removed: “They’ve cancelled my favorite program”*

  2. Heh. I remember using a few of those. Our high school computer lab was full of Apple //e’s back in the early 80s. And I had friends who had TRS80 Model Is, Model IIIs, and CoCos like the ones pictured.

  3. We had a model III.

  4. The only thing I definitely remember that isn’t there is a stack of punch cards…

  5. Shades (or strains) of “When I was a boy” there… 😉

  6. Oh, you mean /recent/ computing *g*. No card readers and punches, proper lineprinters — not even a Model 33 ASR Teletype(tm) or IBM Magtyper! A couple of the pictures did have tape drives, though, and some girls in short skirts, so I’ll forgive them *g*.

    • *Grin* Well, it did say the dawn of /mass/ computing, which I take to mean /personal/ computing. 🙂

      Still, as you say, girls in short skirts make up for a world of ills sometimes. 🙂

      • I take my porn any way I can get it — ASR-33s, tape drives, card punches, girls in miniskirts, … *g*

        (Reminds me, I’ve got some core store around somewhere at home. I ought to take pictures of it with one of these new-fangled digital camera things.)

  7. I love the Apple ][ in bed one! How much of a huge pain in the backside would lugging that thing into the bed have been? Wouldn’t it have been easier for everyone to just go over to the computer desk?

  8. Here’s what I recognize and remember using:
    1) A Radio Shack TRS-80 (my high school math department)
    2) An Apple II Plus (my hoigh school physics teacher)
    3) A Lear-Siegler ADM3A terminal (early college days)

  9. Oh, I Remember!

    I not only used a lot of these, I repaired them, too, in the late 1980s. I also fixed IBM 029 and 129 keypunch machines and 083 card sorters then. By that time your repair options for 80-column card systems was someone like the small company I worked for or finding some retired IBM guy older than god willing to take a look.

    We had one customer who was still running his business on pre-PC IBM personal computers (remember, late 1980s): 64K of RAM, 8″ floppies in a big external housing, and a 5″ green screen. He solved the repair problem by buying them in bulk whenever someone was getting rid of them and stacking them in his warehouse. Whenever one of his production machines died, he’d just haul one out of the warehouse to replace it. :-}

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