Name a better time capsule than ads for technology. Go on, I'll wait.

Looking back at a gadget from decades ago really shows how far humanity has come. A landline answering machine, a 10-megabyte hard drive... It's crazy to think that at one point, now-obsolete technology was not only top-of-the-line but also a bargain. Now, paying a couple of months worth of salary for memory that fits no more than a few songs makes little sense when you consider that 4 terabytes of external storage cost less than $100.

These vintage ads no longer serve any other purpose than to point out the major shifts in technology and how much better things are now. But then again, that's quite something.

#1

Tandy Ct-300 Cellular Phone: $1,499.00 [$3,116.43 Today]

Tandy Ct-300 Cellular Phone: $1,499.00 [$3,116.43 Today]

sears Report

Gerrit
Community Member
9 months ago

When I was kid (early 90s) I had a walkie-talkie that looked just the same!

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As this list clearly illustrates, there seems to be a significant innovation that changes how we live our lives each decade. With these advancements, some technology always becomes obsolete. With this in mind, one might wonder: which today's devices can become useless in the future?

Isaiah Nwukor, web developer and designer at Storemods, a service for e-commerce-using individuals, said that the cloud might eventually become all that people use for data storage, pushing the flash drive out into oblivion.

In the early 2000s, USB drives replaced floppy disks, CDs, and DVDs due to their larger storage capacity, but now cloud storage has become the top competitor when it comes to storing and sharing. Mostly because of its limitless capacity and increased security.

#2

Imsai PC With 10mb Hard Disk, 64k Ram: $5,995.00 [$18,700 Today]

Imsai PC With 10mb Hard Disk, 64k Ram: $5,995.00 [$18,700 Today]

MSAI Report

Gerrit
Community Member
9 months ago

Ships with a pre-installed version of Candy Crush.

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Some experts are also saying their goodbyes to laptops. "Laptops are quickly being replaced by tablets. Modern tablets have more computing power than the traditional user needs," Bryan Lemon, software development lead at Heliponix told Business Insider, adding that most computing needs, even those of many software developers, will likely transition to tablets.

Lemon said it might become common to have a tablet with a docking station that allows peripheral attachments, like a keyboard or a larger screen.

#3

Panasonic Rx 5500 Stereo: $576.19 [$2,046 Today]

Panasonic Rx 5500 Stereo: $576.19 [$2,046 Today]

panasonic Report

SarahCC
Community Member
9 months ago

I'm shure they are still working though

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And let's not forget the advancements made in developing autonomous cars. "The driver's seat will become just another passenger seat as self-driving cars become more powerful and a new generation doesn't even learn how to drive," Lemon said.

Of course, all of this play out to be completely differently. Because as you might not, even though there have been accurate prophecies about the future, there were horribly bad ones, too.

#4

The 1978 Ibm 5110: $18,000

The 1978 Ibm 5110: $18,000

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varwenea
Community Member
9 months ago

What a bargain!

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#5

Sears 8-Digit Electronic Calculator: $98.95

Sears 8-Digit Electronic Calculator: $98.95

sears Report

varwenea
Community Member
9 months ago

Doesn't seem that expensive when a graphing calculator cost more than that now.

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#6

Xcomp 10mb Hard Disk: $3,398.00

Xcomp 10mb Hard Disk: $3,398.00

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Noez 🇸🇪
Community Member
9 months ago

10 mb hard drive 😂😂😂😂

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#7

Spartan Apple II+ Emulator: $599.00

Spartan Apple II+ Emulator: $599.00

Mimic Systems Inc Report

Gerrit
Community Member
9 months ago

Damn! I never knew there was an Apple emulator. Wouldn't have sold my C64.

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#8

Betavision Video Cassette Recorder: $985.00

Betavision Video Cassette Recorder: $985.00

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chi-wei shen
Community Member
9 months ago

They lost against VHS even though it was the better system.

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#9

Corvus Systems Inc. Mass Storage: $5,350.00

Corvus Systems Inc. Mass Storage: $5,350.00

Corvus Systems Inc Report

Ms.M.
Community Member
9 months ago

I read "CORVUS" as "Coronavirus" ... you know, because of pandemic-brain 😷

Annie W.
Community Member
9 months ago

Same.

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Tabitha L
Community Member
9 months ago

10 million byte = 10 Mb

Astrid Nineor
Community Member
9 months ago

Hiw did these things work?!

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moldyapples
Community Member
9 months ago

I worked at Corvus Systems from 1979 to 1988, employee #9. I have that poster on my office wall. We could not build those drives fast enough.

Ann McNeil
Community Member
9 months ago

Me too, but I thought it was because I was "Floppy-bound" ... sounds painful.

Robert Camarda
Community Member
9 months ago

I used to setup and administer Corvus system at the University of Wisconsin, Parkside's Library. It was cool tech for the time, but a headache when the local kids came in on Saturdays and hacked the security (which was easy to crack)

Ray Heap
Community Member
9 months ago

That thing ran on QDOS... Quick and Dirty Operating System

Sasha Kuleshov
Community Member
9 months ago

But where's the specified speed?

Tor Rolf Strøm
Community Member
9 months ago

At first I thought it said "because you're flopping around"

MrTree1779
Community Member
9 months ago

"System $5350, add-on disk $2990." So...$8340. Which equates to around $20,000 in 2020 dollars.

moldyapples
Community Member
9 months ago

But hey, that would give you 20MB! Enough for a couple of MP3 files!

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#10

Intecolor 3621 With 51k Disk Drive: $3,300.00

Intecolor 3621 With 51k Disk Drive: $3,300.00

ISC Report

MrTree1779
Community Member
9 months ago

"Your work may be in black-and-white if your software is. But look at our circus-colored keyboard!"

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#11

Sinclair Zx80 With 4k Basic: $199.95

Sinclair Zx80 With 4k Basic: $199.95

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Brad Guyer
Community Member
9 months ago

Comes with 1k memory!!!... for <$200!!! Would love to see if a $30 1TB memory stick could be connected.

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#12

Phone-Mate Answering Machine: $129.50

Phone-Mate Answering Machine: $129.50

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MrTree1779
Community Member
9 months ago

Just where you want to keep your massive tape-driven answering machine...the coffee table.

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#13

Emerson Radio Corporation Television Set - 1949: $599.50

Emerson Radio Corporation Television Set - 1949: $599.50

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ProductofNZ
Community Member
9 months ago

$6.5K in today's dollars which sounds like a lot but this was state-of-the-art in 1949. Commercial television broadcasting only started 2 years before this ad (in the US)

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#14

Jvc Hr-7300 Vidstar Vhs: $1,280.00

Jvc Hr-7300 Vidstar Vhs: $1,280.00

JVC Report

Brad Guyer
Community Member
9 months ago

And kids, that is why VHS won the video wars. They subliminally advertised porn.

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#15

Sears Color TV: $327.88

Sears Color TV: $327.88

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Tabitha L
Community Member
9 months ago

"Simulated TV reception"

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#16

Motorola Stereo Hi-Fi Coffee Table: $169.95

Motorola Stereo Hi-Fi Coffee Table: $169.95

motorola Report

Tabitha L
Community Member
9 months ago

I would pay $169.95 for this right now.

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#17

Trs-80 Computer Sold In 1977: $3,450

Trs-80 Computer Sold In 1977: $3,450

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slackjack
Community Member
9 months ago

We used to call these the "Trash 80"

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#18

Mid-80's Seagate St4096 Memory Hard Disk: $12,000

Mid-80's Seagate St4096 Memory Hard Disk: $12,000

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Tor Rolf Strøm
Community Member
9 months ago

I'd like to spend 20k on a harddrive today.. damn that would be a lot of space

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#19

10 Megabyte Hard Drive: $3,500

10 Megabyte Hard Drive: $3,500

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Tor Rolf Strøm
Community Member
9 months ago

WORTH IT

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#20

Sinclair Microvision TV: $395.00

Sinclair Microvision TV: $395.00

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Noez 🇸🇪
Community Member
9 months ago

So cute! I want it!

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#21

Cellphone From UK: $895

Cellphone From UK: $895

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Sandij D
Community Member
9 months ago

Cellphones (not service) are still ridiculously expensive.

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#22

Ampex Fr200 Tape Transport: $2,675.00

Ampex Fr200 Tape Transport: $2,675.00

AMPEX Report

MrTree1779
Community Member
9 months ago

C'mon, right? I mean, who *doesn't* want a tape player build right into the wall and exposed to the elements? If that thing un-spools, they can just use one of those giant *gag* pens to re-spool it.

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#23

Bell & Howell 8mm Camera: $207.70

Bell & Howell 8mm Camera: $207.70

Bell & Howell Report

MrTree1779
Community Member
9 months ago

"Give your family the 'Full Zapruder' with our hand-held spy cam!"

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#24

Osborne Computer: $1795

Osborne Computer: $1795

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Mark
Community Member
9 months ago

Made to look like a sewing machine?

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#25

1977 The Apple Ll: $1195

1977 The Apple Ll: $1195

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Yvonne Blau
Community Member
9 months ago

Well the price for an Apple product hasn't changed much.

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#26

1984 PC Computer Unit: $5,000

1984 PC Computer Unit: $5,000

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Scagsy
Community Member
9 months ago

Imagine how grim it must've been to be tied to one of these all day every day

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#27

The Commodore 64: $600

The Commodore 64: $600

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Miss Cris
Community Member
9 months ago

Only man/boy using them. Is that evreybody?

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#28

The Trs-80 Model 4 (1983): $1,300

The Trs-80 Model 4 (1983): $1,300

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Madzdad the bard
Community Member
9 months ago

I actually had this. My dad added an extra 64k memory to the base 64k, but since it was an 8-bit OS, it could only access 64k of memory and the rest (that he paid several hundred $ for) could only be used as a RAM drive.

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#29

Westinghouse 'Big Picture Television': $269 (Today Would Be Around $2,700)

Westinghouse 'Big Picture Television': $269 (Today Would Be Around $2,700)

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MrTree1779
Community Member
9 months ago

Another 1949 ad which promises the ridiculous: "Giant Electronic close-up". Definitely a feature we've all used on our TVs. Right...

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See Also on Bored Panda
#30

Atari 400 PC: $549.00

Atari 400 PC: $549.00

Atari Report

MrTree1779
Community Member
9 months ago

Exactly 2-3 games being advertised. The rest are "educational" or "business". Console computer companies often had no clue who their real audiences were...

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#31

Realistic Trc-471 Transceiver: $259.95

Realistic Trc-471 Transceiver: $259.95

RadioShack Report

Mark
Community Member
9 months ago

In the days of the CB craze!

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#32

15mb Hdd: $2,500

15mb Hdd: $2,500

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MrTree1779
Community Member
9 months ago

"Don't lose the key or you're SOL."

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#33

The Trs-80 Micro: $3,875

The Trs-80 Micro: $3,875

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Pan Narrans
Community Member
9 months ago

The first computer I ever used.

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#34

1976 Apple 1: $666.66

1976 Apple 1: $666.66

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DKS 001
Community Member
9 months ago

um nice price ... says everything you need to know about Apple

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#35

Sears Video Arcade: $178.95

Sears Video Arcade: $178.95

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Giles McArdell
Community Member
9 months ago

That's an Atari VCS, I guess Sears just re-brand everything.

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#36

10 Megabyte Hard Disk System: $3,695

10 Megabyte Hard Disk System: $3,695

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MrTree1779
Community Member
9 months ago

"Dust-free case sold separately."

#37

Low-Cost Hard Disk Computer: $10k

Low-Cost Hard Disk Computer: $10k

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Baali Venomax
Community Member
9 months ago

For thriving businesses only

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#38

2 Cents A Byte! Sink Your Teeth Into A Helping Of Ram Without Burning A Hole In Your Wallet. From 16-32k Ram Memory: Starting From $299

2 Cents A Byte! Sink Your Teeth Into A Helping Of Ram Without Burning A Hole In Your Wallet. From 16-32k Ram Memory: Starting From $299

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Baali Venomax
Community Member
9 months ago

Sure, so you burn a hole in your parents' wallet instead? like a kid can afford that.

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#39

The Apf Imagination Machine A Video Game Console: $599

The Apf Imagination Machine A Video Game Console: $599

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M O'Connell
Community Member
9 months ago

Including the tape interface, that seems like a pretty good deal for an entry-level machine.

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#40

A Basic Cassette Tape Recorder From Philips: $166

A Basic Cassette Tape Recorder From Philips: $166

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MrTree1779
Community Member
9 months ago

Matt "Techmoan" Taylor has a great episode explaining Grundig and DC international, and how they relate to Philips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fT3_cS1KNYc

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