Computer Hardware Nostalgia

From time to time, it comes back to me how astonishing the world of computers and consumer electronics really is. The technical advances are fast and furious - sometimes almost too fast for us of a certain age - and the prices keep dropping, which is truly remarkable. Sure, we love to complain about the price of everything going up, but one of the few areas where the reverse is true is the world of computers, TVs, and all things digital.

Take a look at this small sample of ads from not that long ago (click to enlarge), and look at the prices - and more important, what you are getting for those prices: a Tandy 5000 computer for over $8,000 (first pic below) that would totally blown away by even the cheapest current smartphones. It's not a knock on the old products - to the contrary, those were pioneering days - it's just that much more impressive how much bang for the buck we get now!

With 2 - count 'em - 2 Megabytes of RAM, and no mention of a hard drive. A current computer with 4 Gigabytes of RAM (which is a bit stingy) would have 2,000 times more RAM than this baby.

Or how about a Radio Shack CT-300 cell phone (New for 1989!) for around $1,500 -

And lastly,check out the "portable" Osborne computer below. That barely visible dark rectangle in the middle of the open computer is the display. Eeek.

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