Paleo-Comptuing Illustrations: Fantastic Pictures from Vintage Computer Books

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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