Geek Out

Weird And Amusing Aussie Computing Ads From The 1980s


In many ways, the 1980s were exactly like now. We had a lot of computer gear to choose from. And some of the ads the industry used to try and persuade us to buy that gear were downright bizarre — especially given that a low-speed modem cost more than $1000.

This is an entirely personal selection of mildly amusing advertising I recently dug up in the pages of Computing Australia, a long-since-defunct weekly newspaper which covered the Australian technology scene back in the 1980s. The title had a distinctly enterprise/corporate bent, but that didn’t mean the ads weren’t strangely appealing and/or appealingly strange. Enjoy (click on any picture for a much larger version).

Obviously this one predates all those serial killers ruining Australia for tourists.

“Eliminate hot sites fast”? Quick, get one for Senator Conroy!

The next time you want to complain about broadband prices, remember that a 2400bps modem could easily have cost you more than $1400 back in the day.

I think this one speaks for itself.

Bonus points if you can identify any of these “stars” other than Orson Welles. And sign me up for a copy of “Debt Collection By Telephone”.

Yes, that really is a disk drive, not a medium-size kitchen appliance.

Clearly, the issue of booth babes is an age-old phenomenon.

A hot-stamped logo on a floppy disk. Also, Chandlers. I’m feeling very nostalgic.