A history of the microcomputer industry in 300 adverts


October 1983

The best software on earth comes from Psion

Psion made its name as a software company writing mainly for Sinclair's machines, starting with the ZX80 and including the one featured in this advert - the ZX Spectrum. As well as the introductory ca...


November 1985

More than a Word Processor for less than a typewriter

Retailing for only £399 - about £1,220 in 2019 and about a quarter the price of an IBM PC at the time, the P‍CW 8256 and its follow ups were highly significant and transformative in the UK market, oft...

Digital Research

November 1985

Introducing the new and improved IBM PC. From £49.50

Much has been written about how CP/M, the operating system written by Gary Kildall and his company Digital Research - originally known as Intergalactic Digital Research and founded by him and his wife...


November 1985

Victor: The power to control won't cost you the Earth

Victor had been a large American calculator seller, but was in financial trouble when Chuck Peddle, designer of the 6502 processor and once of Commodore, bailed it out so it could become the OEM manuf...


August 1984

Make it portable! Make it possible

Bondwell was the trading name of Bondwell Holdings Limited of Hong Kong and was the company that rescued the failed SpectraVideo, which had made its name (as SpectraVision) as a producer of games and ...


June 1984

The Aviator - One man's fight to save his home town

This particular advert appeared as an A2 poster inside June 1985's PCW and came from Acorn's software offshoot Acornsoft, which produced several ground-breaking games for the BBC Micro including this ...

British Micro

February 1984

Grafpad - for as many uses as YOU can imagine!

British Micro was a company started by Manas Heghoyan, formerly of Hegotron Printed Circuit Boards Ltd and John Marshall, formerly of Nascom. It had been Heghoyan who bought out the struggling Nascom ...


April 1985

A beginner's guide to the best in business computers

ACT had carved out a briefly-successful niche in the UK with its Apricot range of micros, several of which touted their "Sirius" compatibility, rather than the usual IBM. However, when the company lau...


April 1985

Who says you can't get fired for buying IBM

Wang, founded in 1951 by Dr. An Wang and Dr. G. Y. Chu, was a US computer company based in Massachussetts, US, which, at its peak in the 1980s generated revenues of $3 billion before fizzling out, via...


August 1984

The DASH-80, designed and assembled in Great Britain

Another mystery entry, courtesy of Aculab, for its DASH-80 - a Z80-B-based machine running at 6MHz (not 6 milli-Hertz as the advert would have it) with 128K RAM running CP/M and supplied with Wordstar...


July 1982

Think ahead! ITT 3030 Programmed for Growth

When Apple had been a "new struggling company with few resources and was a big consumer group with manufacturing and marketing ability in Europe", ITT had secured the gig to manufacture the Apple II ...


May 1982

Have you got what it takes to take what we've got?

This advert from Canon was aimed at potential resellers rather than buyers and was for the Canon CX-1, a machine first announced in 1981. Following the announcement, Canon went rather quiet about the ...