A History of the Early Computer Industry in 300 Adverts

By relationship: Visualise the early micro industry as a "wiring diagram" of the connections between people, companies and products

By year: All | 1962 | 1964 | 1971 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 2015

By company: | | ACT/Apricot | ACT/Computhink | ACT/Victor | Acorn | Acornsoft | Aculab | Advance Memory Systems | Advance/Ferranti | Alpha Micro | Altos | Amstrad | Apple | Atari | BASF | Bendix | Bondwell | British Micro | Bywood | C/WP-Cortex | CAL/Durango | COMX | Cambridge Computer | Camputers | Canon | Casio | Cifer | Climax International | Coleco | Comart | Commodore | Compaq | Compucolor Corporation | Compukit | Compuserve | Computer Facilities | Corvus | Cromemco | DAI | Data General | Dell | Digital | Digital Research | Dragon Data | Dynabyte | EACA/Genie | Elliott | Enterprise/Elan | Epson | Euro-Calc/Plessey | Exidy | Ferranti | Fortronic | Fortune | Franklin | Fujitsu | Gemini Micro | Globe Business Machines | Goldstar | Gulfstream/Bytec | HH | Haywood | Heathkit | Hewlett-Packard | Hitachi | Hotel Microsystems | IBM | ICL | IMSAI | ITT | Intel | Intertec | Iotec | Ithaca | Jupiter Cantab | Kaypro | LSI | Laskys | Luxor/Dataindustruir | MITS | Mattel | Memotech | Micromation | Micronet | Micronix | Microsoft | Midwest Scientific Instruments (MSI) | Miracle Technology | Mitsubishi | Morrow | Multitech Corporation | NCR | NEC | Nascom/Lucas | Newbury/Grundy | North Star Computers | Novation | Ohio Scientific | Olivetti | Olympia | Opus | Orb Micro | Oric | Osborne | Pace | Parasitic | Pearcom | PerSci | Philips | Processor Technology | Psion | Qume | RAIR | Rank Xerox | Research Machines | SWTPC | Sanyo | Seiko | Semi-Tech/Pied Piper | Sharp | Shelton | Shugart | Sinclair | Smoke Signal | Sord/CGL | Spectravideo | TDI/Sage | Tandata | Tandy/Radio Shack | Tangerine | Tatung | Texas Instruments | Torch | Toshiba | Transam | Transtec | Triumph-Adler | Tulip/Compudata | Tycom | Vector Graphic | Victor | Wang | Wren Computers | Xcalibur | Yamaha | Zen | Zenith Data Systems | Zilog | Zorba

By micro or topic: | | 32:16 | 380Z | 5150 | 520ST | 520STM | 600XL | 8001 | ABC80 | ACS8000 | ACT 800 | AMX Mouse | Ace 1200 | Adam | Adler 1630 | Advance 86a | Advantage | Alan Alda | Alpha Micro | Alphatronic | Altair 680 | Altair 8800b | Altos ACS8000 | Amiga 500 | Apple Clones | Apple II | Apple III | Apricot | Apricot F1 | Apricot Portable | Aquarius | Archimedes A3000 | Argus Pro-Personal | Atari 800 | Atmos | Atom | B series | BASF 7120 | BBC Master Compact | BBC Micro | Bendix G-20 | Black Box | Bondwell 12 | C Series | C-128 | C-64 | C3-B | CAL PC | CBM 264 | CBM 700 | CBM Calculators | CDTV | CGL | COMX 35 | CP/M Graphics | CPC 464 | CPC 6128 | CPC 664 | CX-1 | Chessmate | Chieftain | Cifer Series 1 | Climax 60 | Color Computer 2 | Colour Genie | Comart Communicator | Comart PC | Commodore PC | Communicator | Compaq Portable | Compunet | Compuserve | Computer Dystopia | Computer TV | Cortex | Corvus Concept | DAI | DG Enterprise | DM235 | DPS1 | DR GEM | Dash-80 | DecisionMate V | Disk Drives | Dragon 32 | Dragon 64 | Durango 700 | Dynabyte | EG2000 | EG3003 | EUROC | Einstein | Elan | Electron | Elliott 503 | Enterprise | Equinox 100 | F500 | Flan | Fujitsu PC | Galaxy 2 | Globe | Graduate | Grafpad | H10 | H9 | HH Tiger | HP Calculators | HP-41C | HP-75C | HP-85 | HP-86 | HX-20 | Haywood 9000 | Heathkit Kits | Horizon | Hyperion | IBM PC | ICL PC | IMSAI 8080 | IMSAI PCS-80/30 | ITT2020 | ITT3030 | Imp | Intel 8085 | Iona | Japanese Invasion | Jupiter Ace | Kaypro 2 | Laureate | Lisa | Lynx | Lynx 96 | M20 | M21 | M24 | M5 | MBC550 | MK14 | MS-DOS | MSI 6800 | MSX | MTX512 | MZ-80B | MZ-80K | Macintosh | Memopak | Memorite | Memory Boards | Microframe | Micronet 800 | Micronix 80HD | Microprofessor MPF1 | Microtan 65 | Mimi 802 | Minimax | Minstrel | Modems | Multiplan | NCR 390 | Nascom 1 | Nascom 2 | Nascom 3 | NewBrain | ORB | Opus PCII | Organiser | Oric 1 | Osborne 1 | Oscar | PB700 | PC 1512 | PC 2286 | PC Plus | PC-8000 | PC1500 | PC2000 | PCW 8256 | PCjr | PET | PR-40 | Pear II | People | Peugeot 205GT | Pied Piper | Piracy | Plus/4 | Portfolio | Prestel | Project 60 | Proton | QL | QX-10 | Qume QVT | RAIR Business Computer | RAIR Terminals | RC-1000 | Rainbow 100 | Ronnie Barker | SCRUMPI | SV-318 | SV-328 | SWTPC 6800 | SX-64 | Sage II | Sage IV | Samurai | Sig/Net | Sirius 1 | Sol 20 | Sorcerer | SuperBrain | System 1 | System 3 | System M-Three | System/360 | T200 | TI Calculators | TI SR-52 | TI-99/4A | TRS-80 | TRS-80 Model 100/MEWS | TRS-80 Model 4 | TRS-80 Model II | Teletext | Transtec BC2 | Triton | Tuscan | UK101 | Unicorn | VCS/2600 | VIC 20 | Vector 1 | Vector 4 | Vector MZ | Victor 9000 | Victor VPC15 | Video Genie | WH17 | Wang PC | Wiliam Shatner | Wren | XL | Xcalibur | Xerox 820 | Yamaha CX5M | Z-1 | Z-Plus | Z100 | Z88 | ZEP 100 | ZX Interface 2 | ZX Microdrive | ZX Spectrum | ZX Spectrum +2 | ZX Spectrum +3 | ZX Spectrum+ | ZX80 | ZX81 | Zen | Zilog MCZ

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Acorn

September 1979

Three Trumps from Acorn: The Acorn Microcomputer
Acorn had been founded as Cambridge Processor Unit (CPU) in November 1978 by Hermann Hauser, who had moved to the UK from Vienna at the age of 15[source: http... (more)

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Acorn

March 1980

"The perfect lead.. Acorn Microcomputer System 1"
Acorn's "System 1" (formerly known just as the Acorn Microcomputer) was launched in March 1979 and appears here in an early-1980 advert selling for £75... (more)

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Acorn

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... (more)

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Acorn

March 1981

"Unique in concept - the home computer that grows as you do!"
The Acorn Atom was a 6502-based 8-bit computer that in its basic version managed to pack even less RAM than the VIC-20: 2K compared to 3.5K. Howe... (more)

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Acorn

September 1981

Important notice to all micro-computer purchasers: The BBC Micro-computer system
This is perhaps the advert that really started it all for Acorn, at least in terms of the Acorn Proton, a.k.a. the BBC Micro. ... (more)

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Acorn

September 1982

The BBC Microcomputer System: The Shape of Things to Come
From this attractive A3 sales brochure is the quote "Amongst the shifting sands of computer technology the BBC Microcomputer is here to stay". And it... (more)

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Acorn

1983

Acorn Electron
This sales brochure, featuring a very Salvador Dali-esque painting including a Rubik's Cube - the defining icon of the 1980s - was for the Acorn Electron, also known as the Elk - a machine fir... (more)

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Acorn

June 1983

"A two-minute operation turns your BBC Micro into the heart of a word-processor"
The Acorn Model B BBC Micro was quite a big thing in the UK, although didn't do much outside its home market. Its popularity w... (more)

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Acorn

August 25, 1983

Kenneth Kendall: Now in chip form
This advert is for a speech synthesis chip for the BBC Micro which used the voice of one of the greats of 1970s television news broadcasting - Kenneth Kendall. It's a nice b... (more)

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Acorn

March 1984

Free software, only £225
Looking much like its contemporary - the Prestel adapter - and with the same BBC Micro case-matching shape, Acorn's new Teletext adapter was perhaps better value as at least the con... (more)

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Acorn

September 1984

"Re-balance This Sheet in One Second"
Like several computers of the day, Acorn's BBC Micro could take software in the form of [EE]PROM - programmable read-only memory. Some, like the VIC-20 would take it in ... (more)

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Acorn

September 1984

"The Electron has added even more strings to its bow"
Here is another advert for the Acorn Electron, featuring a dude rather self-consciously dressed up as Cupid. The Electron, launched in the summer of 1983... (more)

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Acorn

September 1984

"Hey Prestel. A new dimension for the BBC Micro"
Here's another advert that shows that the world of 'on-line' was alive and well long before the advent of the Internet. Prestel was a UK electronic informatio... (more)

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Acorn

February 1985

Ask an expert why the Electron's the best micro in its class
[extra: baron-of-beef.jpg|The Baron of Beef pub on Bridge Street in Cambridge, seen in 2015|200]Another advert for the Acorn Electron, the cut-dow... (more)

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Acorn

December 1985

BBC External Services
This advert seems to represent the end of a period of retrenchment for Acorn following a difficult year which had seen it bailed out by Italian company Olivetti back in February. For mo... (more)

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Comparison prices are adjusted for the average rate on inflation in each year with data sourced from http://safalra.com/other/historical-uk-inflation-price-conversion/, along with a $/£ conversion rate of 1.5, where relevant.