03 April 2011

Computers and games 1983

Pac-Man 2, Donkey Kong, Astro-Wars, Scramble - 1983 mail order catalogue heaven!

Delights here include Speak and Spell (note the 1980-introduced membrane keyboard), Speak and Maths, Major Morgan and Simon.

A Rumbelows ("We save you money and serve you right") newspaper ad from May 1983. "We have the technology," but the usually smiling Mr Rumbelow doesn't look any too sure about it all! Featured here are the Texas TI994A, the Commodore VIC 20 and the good old Speccy!

From a spring/summer 1983 mail order catalogue. The Atari video system cost £119.99 - very expensive back then. The blurb read:

Connect it to your TV in seconds - sit back - and get ready for a new experience! Every system includes console, two joy stick controllers, mains adaptor and 27-game combat cartridge. There's action, adventure, excitement. Pit your wits - against the computer or up to three opponents. On-screen scoring, different levels of difficulty, realistic sound effects... start sharing in the fun now!

The TV games, including Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Asteroids and Haunted House, cost from £15.99 to £31.99.

Crumbs - the little darling at the top of this catalogue page cost £599.95. So, what did you get if you could afford it? The blurb, maestro, please!

Flexible system expansion and varied programme applications; 48K byte dynamic RAM; employs BASIC in the tape mode; PASCAL software system also available simply by replacing tapes; 9-inch high focus monochromatic display - 25 lines, 40 characters wide; advanced functions include scrolling display rolling and screen editing; typewriter keyboard arrangement with numeric keypad to make data entry smooth and operation simple; built in clock circuit; complete with four programmed cassettes covering BASIC editorial, Home Finance, Educational and Games.

And in simpler terms?

Sharp computer, designed for home and office environment. Applications include stock management, invoicing, marketing analysis, maths, physics, chemistry, computer linguistics, data analysis, home budget management, games etc.

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