Here's another item from my grandmother's cedar chest — I love these old newspaper line-art illustrations. ECS was Oak Ridge, Tennessee's first retail computer store, if I recall correctly from an old article I read. They advertised quite a lot in the local newspaper, including the ad for the Apple II you see above.
The Apple II's configuration with two Disk II drives and a small monitor on top is interesting. I believe I've seen Apple promotional photos from the early Apple II days with the same setup. The relatively tiny display seems somewhat silly from a modern perspective, but computer monitors were very expensive back then. A large one that would have covered the entire top of the Apple II would have cost $400 or more in 1980-ish dollars.
In fact, just perusing some ads in the back of a 1981 BYTE magazine, I don't see any monitors offered larger than a 13″ color Zenith for $399.95 ($933 in 2009 dollars). 9-inch to 12-inch monochrome monitors cost anywhere from $150 to $260, which is equivalent to $350 to $606 in 2009 dollars. You get the point — even entry-level displays back then cost an arm and a leg. Even if you paid two arms and two legs, the monitors were still relatively small.
Discussion topic of the week: Tell us about your first Apple II experience. Where and when was it, and why were you using it?
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