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Paleo-Comptuing Illustrations: Fantastic Pictures from Vintage Computer Books

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Data Processing Systems Analysis and Design (1978) by Robert J. Condon

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This is what a “portable” computer looked like in ’78.  Imagine sitting that on your lap on an airplane!  (I hope he’s wearing his truss.)

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When the only thing bigger and better than that massive floppy disk and that dot-matrix printer behemoth are those shoes.  Outta sight!

 

CD-ROMS (1987) by Christopher Lampton

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Before the CD-ROM, your software install basically involved loading and unloading what seemed like fifty floppy discs.  A Godsend!

 

Computer Animation (1974) by D. D. Weiner

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Who would have imagined that just about 20 years later, we’d have Jurassic Park CGI?

 

Encyclopedia of Computers and Electronics (1983) – Rand McNally & Company

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Man, the Sheraton Hotels website really needs to be updated.

 

Information Processing: Concepts, Principles and Procedures (1985) by James F. Clark and Judith J. Lambrecht

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What is this poor woman hoping to get out of this computer shopping guide?  So far she’s probably spent a fortune on the video cassette and this fancy handheld device….. what is it going to tell her?

 

Information Retrieval: The Essential Technology (1970) by Roger Meetham

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Interestingly, most computer operators – the ones that actually put their hands on the technology – were women.  Sure, it was largely monotonous data entry work for low wages, but the fact is – the front lines of early computing was almost exclusively female.

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What is she typing in relation to what’s on the computer screen? And there appears to be a red light flashing – I don’t think that’s a good thing.

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The Computers (1973)  by Berenguer, X., Corominas, A., and Garriga, J.

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Just right click to make this your desktop wallpaper.  You know you want to.

 

Microcomputer Graphics: Techniques and Applications (1983) by Donald Hearn and M. Pauline Baker

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I love how these two are just so serious – both intensely concentrating on the serious project at hand…. drawing some dumb cartoon!

 

The First Book of Information Science (1973) by Joseph Becker

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Ah, the joy and splendor of the microfiche. Miles and miles of sterile cubicles for mind-numbing data entry.  Isn’t technology wonderful?

And the next illustration reminds us that – yes, yes it is!

Using Computers: Managing Change (1989) by Levi Reiss and Edwin G. Dolan

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  • Freakanatcha

    Any background on the photo that appears to be some kind of check-in desk (I think the uniform patch reads BOAC)? If it is an airport, why is everybody smiling and appearing helpful? Why isn’t the system down and no flights are coming in or out? Is that what air travel was like in the ’80’s?

  • Steve Mills

    Miss Paper Tape in the green dress has quite the gams.