Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Computers Have Come a Long Way, Baby


I came across some computer advertisements in a December 1995 National Geographic magazine and just had to laugh.

The first thing that caught my eye about the one at left was the price: $2499!!!! Holy cow! We just purchased a whole desktop with the works for less than $900 from Dell.

There was another one from Microsoft touting their brand new Windows 95:

Windows 95 will actually make your computer more fun to use.

The first time you turn on your machine you'll see what we're talking about. Instead of an annoying electronic fanfare, you'll hear this cool sound Brian Eno created. . . When you copy a file, you'll see little pieces of paper fly from one folder to another to be told just how long it will take. When you place a new multimedia Autoplay CD-ROM in the drive it will automatically begin to play. . .

The sound Windows makes when it starts up, the papers flying from file to file, and the fact that the CD-ROM automatically starts when you put in a CD are all those little things we take for granted today when we use this product. It's just really funny that they thought their users would be impressed by these features.

Macintosh wasn't about to be outdone, of course. Their ad boasted that their Performa would "always be able to do what it can do today. . . So you don't have to worry about a Performa becoming obsolete. . . All of which means a Macintosh Performa is going to last at least as long as a frozen meat loaf. Which, as you know, is a long, long time."

I am just really curious how many Performas are still in operation today. . . And how many frozen meat loaves are still in the freezer.