A history of the microcomputer industry in 300 adverts


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 -...


October 1983

Apricot - the 4th generation personal computer

First announced in the spring of 1983 as "Project Apricot", from Birmingham-based ACT, the original Apricot was first unveiled to the public at the 6th P‌CW Show - which ran from 29th September to 2nd...


April 1990

Can your computer keep pace with the Amstrad PC2286

Several years after Amstrad had battered through the UK home and microcomputer industry with its range of keenly-priced machines, it was still going, here offering an Intel 80286-based machine with do...

Data General

October 1983

Enterprise - a 16 bit business computer from only £2300

Data General was a 1970s minicomputer maker which makes the bold claim of having "pioneered small computers" and the more provable claim of having 14 years' experience in the industry. It was also the...

Semi-Tech/Pied Piper

October 1983

The computer with the story!

It may have had a story to tell, but it seems to be a fairly conventional one, being as it was a 64K CP/M luggable, complete with a built-in carry handle. On the upside, it did have a particularly lar...


June 1983

ComX 35 - the new world in family microcomputers

Designed in the Netherlands by Noxon AB and produced by the Hong Kong-based company COMX World Operations Limited - a trading-name of Video Technology - the little-known ComX 35 was if nothing else un...


March 1984

The Company Computer vs. the Personal Computer

1983 had been the year of Ethernet, with 3Com breaking cover as the first commercial manufacturer, with its network card appearing in January on the Altos micro. At the time it was considered a risky ...