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

Haunting Spirit
Community Member
3 months ago

In twenty years the ad will be replaced by an iPhone or Samsung phone as they are way too expensive for what you get nowadays.

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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

chi-wei shen
Community Member
3 months ago

In the early 1980s hard disks were not that common. Many computers had 1 or sometimes 2 floppy disk drives.

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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
3 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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Amber L.
Community Member
3 months ago

But apparently it comes with a mini-fridge!

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#5

Sears 8-Digit Electronic Calculator: $98.95

Sears 8-Digit Electronic Calculator: $98.95

sears Report

Mark
Community Member
3 months ago

Never mind that check out the big and bulky pinking shears!

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#6

Xcomp 10mb Hard Disk: $3,398.00

Xcomp 10mb Hard Disk: $3,398.00

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MrTree1779
Community Member
3 months ago

I just bought two 12TB Hard drives for $280. $23/TB. -- This 10MB HD is priced at $340 per MB. At that rate, the 12TB HDs I bought would have cost $23M. -- Today, 1GB (1000MB) is around...23 cents. And 10MB of space is worth less than a penny. -- Amazing how much tech changes in 30-40 years.

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#7

Spartan Apple II+ Emulator: $599.00

Spartan Apple II+ Emulator: $599.00

Mimic Systems Inc Report

Ms.M.
Community Member
3 months ago

I can't make out the fine print... is the mime extra? 😂

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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
3 months ago

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

Mark
Community Member
3 months ago

That was due to pornography, seriously, the porn trade went with VHS as the system of choice, that killed off Betamax!

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ej wey
Community Member
3 months ago

I still have the one my dad bought when is was a kid. It still works and I have about 20 tapes loaded with early 80's cartoons on them. Wvery couple years i pull the out yet the best part of them is the commercials. I wanna be a Toys "R" Us kid!!

Philly Bob Squires
Community Member
3 months ago

That was cheap... my first Sony Beta recorder had only beta 1 and no timer. $1200.00

Thomas Turnbull
Community Member
3 months ago

Betamax never had a 3 hour tape but VHS did so dispute the name it could be a VHS recorder

Surya Amriza
Community Member
3 months ago

In my country, Betamax was winning against VHS up until Laser Disc is entering the market.

Sawdust
Community Member
3 months ago

Saw "Technology Connections" do a Betamax episode on YouTube, it turns out Betamax had some drawbacks, too, so VHS had some good points besides only cost.

Rob Chapman
Community Member
3 months ago

All technology costs an arm & leg when it first comes out. The first plasma tv's cost $10,000 (or more). The first dvd players, close to $1000. The first mp3 players (with about 4gb of storage) $400-$500. Etc etc etc.

He is love
Community Member
3 months ago

Had one!

Seedy Vine
Community Member
3 months ago

At the same time, boxes of cereal were like 46 cents.

Goth Nurse
Community Member
3 months ago

We used to have both Betamax and VHS, it was so cool and everyone was jealous AF in school :D

Yvonne Blau
Community Member
3 months ago

I wonder what year(s) all these ads are from... does it say somewhere and I just didn't see?

Ms.M.
Community Member
3 months ago

OK... When I was in middle school in the early 80's, a friend of mine's father had this. I was in awe. lol

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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
3 months ago

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

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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

Sarah Laurent
Community Member
3 months ago

It looks kinda like of an AVID station keyboard !

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#11

Sinclair Zx80 With 4k Basic: $199.95

Sinclair Zx80 With 4k Basic: $199.95

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Scagsy
Community Member
3 months ago

Oh wow! I had the Sinclair ZX81 and it was about as effective as 'Worm' on the Nokia in terms of processing power

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#12

Phone-Mate Answering Machine: $129.50

Phone-Mate Answering Machine: $129.50

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Meyer Weinstock
Community Member
3 months ago

Had one. My elder mother still uses hers, which she bought in 1983...

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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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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
3 months ago

Would be cool to get one of these, replace the tv with a touchscreen pc and use it to play my music....

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#14

Jvc Hr-7300 Vidstar Vhs: $1,280.00

Jvc Hr-7300 Vidstar Vhs: $1,280.00

JVC Report

slackjack
Community Member
3 months ago

"Vidstar - Pure Porn - Pure and Simple"

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#15

Sears Color TV: $327.88

Sears Color TV: $327.88

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Tabitha L
Community Member
3 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

Mark
Community Member
3 months ago

Ah yes, the days of making AV gear look like bits of furniture.

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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
3 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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Matthew Smith
Community Member
3 months ago

I can tell you from personal experience that de-fragging one of those drives takes hours.

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#19

10 Megabyte Hard Drive: $3,500

10 Megabyte Hard Drive: $3,500

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ISAAC HARVEY
Community Member
3 months ago

And today, one can get an iPad Pro with 1 terabyte(1024 Gb) of storage from Apple for around $1500.

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#20

Sinclair Microvision TV: $395.00

Sinclair Microvision TV: $395.00

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Noez 🇸🇪
Community Member
3 months ago

So cute! I want it!

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#21

Cellphone From UK: $895

Cellphone From UK: $895

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Matthew Smith
Community Member
3 months ago

This is why I didn't bother with a mobile phone till they became affordable around the late 90's.

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#22

Ampex Fr200 Tape Transport: $2,675.00

Ampex Fr200 Tape Transport: $2,675.00

AMPEX Report

MrTree1779
Community Member
3 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

M O'Connell
Community Member
3 months ago

since the zoom mechanism was driven by the same clockwork that advanced the film, I wonder if the frame-rate briefly dipped while using that feature.

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#24

Osborne Computer: $1795

Osborne Computer: $1795

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Mark
Community Member
3 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
3 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
3 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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Norma
Community Member
3 months ago

My first computer. Spent hundreds of hours typing in code in C64 magazines to run free games. What a hoot!

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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
3 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.

#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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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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Giles McArdell
Community Member
3 months ago

I think Apple should go back to using that Logo :)

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#35

Sears Video Arcade: $178.95

Sears Video Arcade: $178.95

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Giles McArdell
Community Member
3 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
3 months ago

"Dust-free case sold separately."

#37

Low-Cost Hard Disk Computer: $10k

Low-Cost Hard Disk Computer: $10k

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Terri Rimmer
Community Member
3 months ago

My dad was a computer tech in the 70s, working on giant computers for The Omni.

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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
3 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
3 months ago

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

See Also on Bored Panda
#40

A Basic Cassette Tape Recorder From Philips: $166

A Basic Cassette Tape Recorder From Philips: $166

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MrTree1779
Community Member
3 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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