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Fun with old magazines!

Old 03-03-13, 05:15 AM
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Fun with old magazines!

OK, I was going to make this a post specifically about what I stumbled upon at work, but I'm thinking there could be some fun if anybody else has old tech magazines lying around, and wants to revel in the future that was supposed to be.

But back to the original inspiration. I was at work and a few of my fellow employees bring in old reading materials. Usually it's stuff from the last few months, maybe two years. But what I found yesterday was a bit more dated than that.

Someone brought in a copy of Wired Magazine from May of 2003.



That's Jada-Pinkett Smith on the cover, as they hype the upcoming Matrix sequels. Ohhh to live in a world where those flicks still had potential.

Now once you get in the mag, it looks like any typical tech mag, really nothing much has changed when it comes to Wired, at least on the surface. But then you come across the ads. 2003 was kind of a turning point in the computing of old, and what it has become today. For example, Microsoft wanted to get into the tablet business:



It's a laptop, it's a simple pad and pen. It's a Viewsonic Tablet PC.

Oh man, look at all those buttons. But look at it this way: as ugly as that thing is, it was leaps and bounds more useful than that new $1,300 Chromebook.

They have a small blurb about the future of the pay phone. One of the suggestions is turning them into Wi-Fi hotspots, which Bell Canada actually did. But who wants to surf the Web from a gas station? Perhaps the idea that British Telecom had would work better. They turned them into internet kiosks where you could browse the web, check E-mail, text and make phone calls, all while you're away from home! Maybe they add webcams so people could have their pictures or videos taken of them when they're on vacation, that might work, right?

Speaking of which, we come to a Samsung phone ad. Samsung touts phones that can do unimaginable things like shooting and sending your own film clips or video-conferencing in real time.

Hey, look at that Universal and Wired invite me and a guest to a special advance film screening of Bruce Almighty! It's got Jim Carrey and Morgan Freeman, how could I miss this?

Oh, there's an ad for the Acer Tablet PC.

A little more stylish at least.

And here's NEC's Tablet PC:



It's the world's thinnest, lightest Tablet PC. And now you can kinda see where maybe this whole tablet idea could catch on...well, might have to do something about that antenna.

Speaking of antennas, Netgear is advertising their 802.11b wireless cable/DSL router. Wow, cable AND DSL. Try finding one of those today, not that you'd need one.

Need a new TV so you can start enjoying those HDTV signals? Sharp has a 42" Plasma capable of 1024X768 resolution available for the low low price of $10,000. On a budget? Gateway has one capable of 852X480 for $3000, but frankly it sucks.

On the cover of my copy, they advertise a special 60-page guide to the Wi-Fi revolution, but unfortunately the previous over tore that section out (along with page 93/94...oops), so I can only imagine what was told about how network cable would be a thing of the past.

Make sure you pick up your Garmin Streetpilot III or GPS V at CompUSA (oops), Circuit City (oops) or Best Buy (maybe).

The back cover features an ad for the Hummer H2...guess that one drove away.

So there you have it, a small time capsule of where the tech world was 10 years ago.
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Old 03-03-13, 07:14 AM
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Re: Fun with old magazines!

I remember when the Garmins came out with the unit that would say street names and was small...I think it was the first Nuvi model. It was $600 when it first hit the shelves. I got one open boxed for half price. What a bargain!
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Old 03-03-13, 11:43 AM
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Re: Fun with old magazines!

I had/have some PC Games/PC Gamer magazines from the late 90's to about 2006, and to see how much computers cost back then was pretty mind blowing. Similarly sold (not the same parts, obviously) computers that now hover around $700-900 were like $2000+. Yikes.

And I've learned something from the old video game magazines I have from the early 90's, video games are pretty much the same price 20+ years later.

$60 for a new game in 1993
$60 for a new game in 2013

Although $60 in 1993 is more than $60 now.
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Old 03-03-13, 01:06 PM
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Re: Fun with old magazines!

My 20 meg hard drive cost $550 in ~1987; so to get a terabyte of space back then would have cost me almost 30 million dollars, versus about 80 bucks today.
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Old 03-04-13, 09:02 AM
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Re: Fun with old magazines!

I think I paid close to $200 for a 2 GB SD card. But it was 2GB!!!!
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Old 03-04-13, 09:10 AM
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Re: Fun with old magazines!

I think I paid $550 for my first CD Burner, had to buy a special SCSI card for it too.
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Old 03-04-13, 11:00 AM
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Re: Fun with old magazines!

I think it was 1997 - I paid $500 for a 5GB drive.
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Old 03-04-13, 01:35 PM
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Re: Fun with old magazines!

$300 for my 56k modem...
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Old 03-04-13, 04:02 PM
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Re: Fun with old magazines!

archive.org has a mess of scans of old computing magazines.

Here's an issue of Compute from 20 years ago, 1993:
http://archive.org/details/1993-03-compute-magazine

The editorial starts "The year 1992 will probably go clown in the computer history books as the year of the operating system." due to Windows 3.1 and IBM OS/2 being released, while Windows NT was announced. It continues "We'll see 1993 go down in the history books as the year of the Windows database."


And an issue of Creative Computing from 30 years ago, 1983: http://archive.org/details/creativecomputing-1983-03

It starts with a 3-page fold-out ad announcing the "end of the disposable computer" with the SpectraVision SV-318, promising that "you'll grow into it, not out of it." The big story in the magazine may be a hands-on preview of the Apple IIe
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Old 03-04-13, 04:11 PM
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Re: Fun with old magazines!

Someone really needs to archive all of these old magazines.

I'd love to have a full run on Omni Magazine on .pdf or .cbr/.cbz.

I used to have a ton of old computer magazines from the 1980s like Compute!, Compute's Gazette, K-Power, Run, and a few others. Not sure where they are now... maybe boxed up back at my mother's house?

I remember typing games into my Commodre 64 back in the day. Taught me how to type AND program.
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Old 03-04-13, 04:35 PM
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Re: Fun with old magazines!

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
I'd love to have a full run on Omni Magazine on .pdf or .cbr/.cbz.
Here's an almost complete run:
https://archive.org/details/omni-magazine
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Old 03-04-13, 08:40 PM
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Re: Fun with old magazines!

Popular Mechanics, from 1951 to 2005.
http://books.google.com/books/about/...d=49gDAAAAMBAJ
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Old 03-05-13, 03:01 AM
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Re: Fun with old magazines!

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
archive.org has a mess of scans of old computing magazines.

Here's an issue of Compute from 20 years ago, 1993:
http://archive.org/details/1993-03-compute-magazine

The editorial starts "The year 1992 will probably go clown in the computer history books as the year of the operating system." due to Windows 3.1 and IBM OS/2 being released, while Windows NT was announced. It continues "We'll see 1993 go down in the history books as the year of the Windows database."
I'm flipping through this one, and noticed a blurb about a TV Tuner card. I hadn't realized that those were made that far back. $299, and you can even save a still photo of the screen!

On the same page they also talk about a disc technology that will be able to hold 100 times the amount of data a CD can. Normal Blu-rays don't hit that mark...yet. It's an early form of molecular storage, which is still being worked on today.

The next page has an ad for Legends Of Future Past, the first commercial MMORPG. It only cost as low as $3.00 per hour! What a deal!

But here's a fun one: 10 ways to Supercharge Windows! The funny part is that while the numbers are way out of date, most of the advice still stands today:

1: Add More RAM
2: Optimize Smartdrive
3: Install a RAM Drive
4: Install a graphics accelerator
5: Install a data compression utility
6: Install a new front end
7: Install a macro program
8: Install TrueType fonts
9: Install a sound board
10: Install a microphone

Wow, they even have an ad for CDROM porn. You can even buy a Penthouse branded US Robotics modem for accessing Penthouse online.
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Old 03-05-13, 05:04 PM
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Re: Fun with old magazines!

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
Here's an almost complete run:
https://archive.org/details/omni-magazine
Hey, thanks, Jay. That's pretty cool, even though the scans are pretty low quality. Still mostly readable, though. Cool walk down memory lane.

I notice that the all but one of the missing issues contains content from Harlan Ellison.
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