I have a little blogger's block today. I've been all over the political and news blogs, and can't find much else that wows me. And I try not to post things that don't interest me. So, I got to thinking about some of the frivolous stuff that gets my brain going. I started thinking about the "Wiki" holes I've found myself in: hours whiled away on Wikipedia reading about this and that.
One of the topics that lost me for hours was reading the histories of early computers and video games. The nostalgia bug just bites me, and I can read about the intricacies of the "console wars" between Commodore, Atari and Texas Instruments, and for whatever reason, I find it interesting. You might not be so inclined. This post will deal with computers.
Here are some of the commercials from the days when computers were nerdier versions of video games. See if you remember them. Or if you're too young, see what you missed!
#1 - Commodore 64 - This was the best of the bunch. A computer console with a scant 64K of memory, but endless expandability and creativity. They pushed this baby as far as it could go, and it was wildly successful for many years.
#2 - Atari 400 - This is a generic ad for an Atari computer from 1981, probably the 400. Atari tried so hard to capitalize on their arcade and home video game successes with a home computer. But they never really caught on. Noble effort though, and a great commercial.
#3 - TRS-80 - This commercial is from a later model. Radio Shack's little computer chugged along for years on fumes. I remember a friend touting the superiority of his first-generation TRS 80 to our Commodore 64. The truth was, his TRaSh 80 was little more than half-step past Pong.
#4 - Texas Instruments TI99/4a - TI made it big with calculators, and so they tried to get in on the home computer craze. The case was cheesy, and the computer was lame. But they got Bill Cosby for their ad!