[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Apple II Newspaper Ad

April 13th, 2009 by Benj Edwards

Apple II Newspaper Ad - 1982Computers? What is the world coming to?

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.

[ From The Oak Ridger (World's Fair Issue), March 25th, 1982 ]

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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11 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Apple II Newspaper Ad”

  1. Geoff Says:

    My first memory of the ][ was my dad bringing it home from the PX on base in CA. My brother and I were not allowed to use it for a solid month after he brought it home.

    Oak Ridge, TN? I'll be there next week for work.

  2. JackSoar Says:

    Like a lot of other people, my first Apple II experience was in elementary school. We used to use them for games during indoor recess when the weather was bad. Oregon Trail was a big hit, and there were some math games we used to play as well, like Number Crunchers. As I recall, I spent most of my time playing some game where you played as a fish, but you always had to be careful of some albatross that was swooping down or something. I have forgotten the title.

  3. Darren Says:

    My first computing experience was with an Apple ][ in 1982 when I was 7.

    Our local public library used their activity room to host a series of BASIC programming tutorials. This was before the //e, so they had mostly Apple ][+'s and a few plain old Apple ]['s. I remember being able to tell that the ][+ was better than the ][, but I can't imagine how or why.

    I grew up to be a programmer, or course. It all started in that library's activity room in 1982 and I still have rather vivid memories of the experience. The library is still around, and for the longest time (well into my 20s) I could visit the library, stick my head in that room, and be flooded with memories of those early times on the Apple ][.

  4. Sirpaul484 Says:

    My first Apple ][ experience was also in grade school, when I was about 3. I pretty much played Word Munchers, even though I did not know the rules and just muched everything in sight.

    Also, JackSoar, the game you are thinking of is Odell Lake. It was another good game.

  5. Geoff V. Says:

    Did any of you guys play Gato, the original Flight Sim or Captin Power?

  6. Nicola Says:

    Oh yes, we played Word Muncher at school too! I had forgotten all about that game until SirPaul484 mentioned it above. We had one Apple ][ computer per school year in the library so we didn't get to play very much. I wonder what ever happened to those old keyboards… I sure would love to get my hands on one now.

  7. mnky9800n Says:

    We had a Apple ][ computer lab in elementary school. It was on some sort of serialized network if I remember correctly. I remember figuring out how to access it and then discovering that there was a whole host of games that no one knew about. I played those for hours. Then there was a Mac Lab in middle school with Dinosaur Tycoon. I had forgotten about word muncher and number muncher. There was also a typing game where blimps would go across the screen and you would have to type what was written on them and they would blow up.

  8. mnky9800n Says:

    Also, I will be in Oak Ridge this Friday, to tour the national laboratory there.

  9. Eric Says:

    Almost surely some sort of computer lab/class in preschool, wherein we were taught basic arithmetic with simple animated graphics by some sort of MECC software. If it had possibly been any earlier, MAYBE at a family friend's house. Probably MECC arithmetic in preschool, though.

  10. Brent Says:

    My first time using an Apple II (II+ actually) was at my aunt and uncle's house in Eagan, Minnesota sometime around 1981. My aunt was the vice-pres. of a software company called RHY Enterprises (RHY was for Robert H. Young) out of Canada and had bought the II+ for work use. A few years later it was passed on to my brother and I.

  11. TNLongFellow Says:

    I live not far from Oak Ridge in TN and sadly like so many mom and pop computer stores I do believe ECS shut it's doors. Sad that so many great shops like that have gone that way.

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