A history of the microcomputer industry in 300 adverts


September 1980

BASF gives a good deal

As if to prove that absolutely everyone seemed to be having a go at the microcomputer industry, even German globo-chemico-corp BASF launched its own micro, ostensibly off the bat of its manufacture of...


December 1979

EuroC - Simplicity is the watchword

Built for Euro-Calc by Plessey Microsystems, the EuroC was firmly aimed at businesses with its "computer as furniture" manufacture and extensive list of requisite business software like purchase, sale...


December 1979

How to solve Systems problems - Zilog's MCZ family

A rare advert from Zilog for its MCZ range of micros - everything from an entry-level floppy-disk-based model up to the MCZ 1/35 rack-mount machine with 10MB storage. The entry-level "low cost" machin...


May 1980

Acorn Atom - from Acorn Computer

This was Acorn's first advert for its first full consumer-oriented micro - the Acorn Atom. The Atom was a 6502-based machine and was available primarily in kit form. It was a natural progression from ...

Tandy/Radio Shack

February 1980

Tandy - new lower prices on the TRS-80

Tandy had announced its follow-up to the 1977 TRS-80 Model 1 at the end of 1979 and was expecting to take orders from the beginning of 1980. Even so, it wasn't initially expecting to ship until April,...


April 1980

RAIR Terminal Choice - choose from the best

This is an early advert from enigmatic company RAIR. RAIR appeared to have started out, like ACT, as a timesharing bureau as well as a supplier of peripherals and terminals. The company, as RAIR Times...


February 1980

New from Tangerine Computer Systems - the Microtan 65

This is an early advert from Tangerine announcing the company's new Microtan 65 in its simplest form - just a board with chips on it and an RF-modulator to drive a standard domestic television. The co...


February 1980

The cheapest most advanced business Microcomputer

Marketed as the ACT Series 800 and built by Computhink of California, where it was known as the Minimax, the 800 was the company's first micro and came some 15 years after ACT's 1965 start as a comput...


March 1983

Sig/Net For a growing business

Shelton Instruments Limited, of White Lion Street near Angel Tube Station in London's Islington, had been started back in 1970i by Chris Shelton, who ended up working a stint at Nascom - once the UK's...


June 1983

If only he'd bought a Commodore computer

The Commodore 700, and its cheaper sibling the 500, were short-lived entrants in Commodore's business range. Confusingly named as the B128, B256 or CBM 128/256-80 in the US or the 700 series in Europe...


December 1984

American take-away

The first company to produce a clone of IBM's PC BIOS had been Columbia, but the second - and the first to do it legally - was Compaq, a company set up in 1982 and whose first product was this, the Co...


March 1984

The first Arabic personal computer in the world

An interesting random advert for what was billed as the first ever Arabic personal computer in the world - a modified version of Sinclair's ZX81. In an era when English-derived programming languages -...