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Retro Tech – Personal Computers In the 1980s

Personal Computers In the 1980s atari 800
From the 1980 J.C. Penney Christmas Catalog. Featured here is the Atari 800. With a whole whopping 16k of RAM. Holy mackerel, it’s monstrously huge! Looks like it was built into an IBM Selectric chassis.

Reposted from June 2011. This is a brand new selection of vintage personal computers in the 1980s from Department Store catalogs. As usual, I dug through the magnificent selection at Wishbookweb.com. Go there. Wait, finish looking at this post. THEN, go there.
As per usual, click the image to view the entire catalog page and a lot more cool imagery of Ye Olde Computers. More after the fold.

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Retro Tech – "Silicon Valley Guy"


clip-on tie, computer, nerd, geek, code monkey

“The Official Silicon Valley Guy Handbook”
, written in 1983 by Patty Bell, Doug Myrland and Bob Glazar. As with most of my unusual finds, I found this in the bottom of a bin at an estate sale. This is one of the earliest tomes chronicling the rise of the code monkey. It’s a tongue in cheek instruction manual for living as and understanding the computer programmer in the early days of the computer age. It’s also one of the earliest examples of using computer hardware as a euphemism for reproductive organs that I’ve found. Overall, this book seems antiquated, since the terminology and in-jokes are mostly obsolete now. But it’s a fun read if you’re nostalgic for the early days, before 3 out of 10 high-school students knew at least some HTML.

More photos and illustrations from the book, after the break. Click images to enlarge.

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