Computer Classifieds Dating Back Over 35 Years, Uncovered

As often happens, I got an idea for a blog post about a place of my past that readers may find interesting, and jumped online to scour the search engines for some tidbit of history I could use to prop up the piece. And, as often is the case, I found nothing. Memories that make for an interesting post on this particular blog, by their very nature, often concern places and events that happened pre-internet. There’s all too often just not a trace out there about the topic in question.

In this most recent search, I was using keywords that would target the local newspaper where I grew up. I wasn’t having any luck, when I stumbled across a newspaper index / archive site that seemed to offer possibilities for my search, for a monthly fee. So, I went in on it and almost instantly found a full-page article concerning the place I had in mind. Stunned, I quickly searched for a number of other ideas I’ve had for both this blog and my other, Nostalgic Virginian, that were search engine dead ends. Boom — relevant material on every count materialized. (There are some nice posts in store, I think!)

Collection of classified ads for computers from the 80s and 90s

Sitting there quite satisfied, it then occurred to me that classified ads over the decades may be part of this archive. I was something of a serial platform monogamist way back when, moving through a great many machines over the years. I would put one up for sale in the local paper  and then, when it sold (usually with $ome help from mom and dad), I would jump to the new platform. So, I began searching on my home phone number for the two houses we lived in while I was growing up in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, and — voila! In no time, I located ten scanned classified ads that, in my youth, I had written up and phoned in to the Daily Press newspaper. It’s amazing for me to sit here today and look at these decades-old artifacts from my computing past. The dates that these ads ran in the paper have adjusted my memory a bit as to what was happening just when, but I do remember it all.

I hope readers find this collection at least an interesting glimpse back, if not so profoundly fascinating as I do.

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9 Responses to Computer Classifieds Dating Back Over 35 Years, Uncovered

  1. George says:

    Those were serious prices back then. I think that a bit before you advertised the IIC we purchased a washer and dryer, and paid around $900 for them. That put a hole in one paycheck that astonished me.

    I admire your management of inventory.

    • Blake Patterson says:

      Well, I meter my life by what computer Inowned when. It’s surprisingly effective. I am lucky I have that kind of memory. It has let me zero in on so many occurrences over the years. Not sure how other people do it. But I am told my long term memory is astounding. I think the computers are why. Later girlfriend events took the place of machine purchases, but it’s a similar thing. Girlfriends have less varied interfaces, of course.

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