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How the cost of computing has changed...

Share your reflections or stories of New Zealand's computing past

How the cost of computing has changed...

by kevman3d » Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:08 pm

I was digging through stuff today and I ran across a duplicate copy of an old "Computer Input" magazine from 1984 that I am going to throw up on Trademe (if it wasn't a duplicate copy, no way would I consider this obviously :wink: ). I snapped a pile of old adverts just because it was fascinating to show the younger generation I deal with each week (I currently teach 3D animation at http://www.yoobee.ac.nz) how much you could buy in the 80's compared to what you get for the same amount today.

If anybody is interested in those piccies, I've slapped them up here for your amusement from my Dropbox. If I take any more piccies of old stuff (not just magz) I'll add them into this gallery. :D

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/t4ubag47cozqcbh/enzxmasYAP
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Re: How the cost of computing has changed...

by tezza » Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:13 pm

Great to see those old ads. Yes, the NZ Bits and Byte Magazines are also full of them. Microcomputers were amazingly expensive. My first, a Dick Smith System 80, Cassette-based, 16k RAM (no screen) was about $1195 from memory...and that was 1981! My salary as a new graduate was something like $18,000 a year. Not cheap especially for something that could only play games and you could learn programming on. To do anything useful you needed a printer ($1500) and lusually drives (1 drive and expansion unit ($2000 or so)...and you would need to spend even more if you wanted a screen rather than using the TV (another $1000). Those were the prices around 1981. They fell pretty quickly after that though.
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Re: How the cost of computing has changed...

by tezza » Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:18 pm

Just on that here are some System 80 prices.
http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/sys ... motion.htm

These are mostly Australian prices. They were about 1.7x more expensive in NZ once you factored in currency exchange and import tarrifs (and imported profit margin).
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Re: How the cost of computing has changed...

by kevman3d » Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:08 pm

I thought it was worth snap shotting that Alpine computing advert, simply to show the comment about supporting NZ programs and paying royalties. Try to do that these days at your local Electronics Boutique kids! lol! :mrgreen:

Its funny how often I would pop into Alpine computing on my weekends with friends to see what was new. Often we used to buy old C10-C20 tapes from them where their duplication would have failed... Of course, often the tape was the problem as well... :lol:
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Re: How the cost of computing has changed...

by WelshWizard » Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:13 pm

What a rip off, Atari 800XL at over $800 and 1050 Drive at over $900 when in March 1984 in the UK Dixon's and Curry's were closing out 800XL's with 1050 Drive and software for £125 I am sure the exchange rate, was at the worst 3 to 1 then, so should have been in the region of $375 for both 800XL and the 1050 drive. even adding $100 for postage it would have been cheaper to buy it in, ( also if buying in you would have lost £13.88 because you would have been VAT free.
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Re: How the cost of computing has changed...

by Carcenomy » Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:33 pm

I liked how the 1541 is the same price as the Commodore 64 :)

And DAMN how cheap is the SC3000? I have two of them and recently have noticed they sell for quite good cash on TradeMe, who knew they were actually not that expensive from day one?
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Re: How the cost of computing has changed...

by kevman3d » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:20 pm

Carcenomy wrote:And DAMN how cheap is the SC3000? I have two of them and recently have noticed they sell for quite good cash on TradeMe, who knew they were actually not that expensive from day one?


I had one, and the 3" FDD unit that sat under it over 2 decades ago - I paid like $20 for the machine and $25 for the drive from Deka up on Karangahape road. They were doing a clear-out of their stock room and found a pile of them, so they were in brand new condition (you gotta love that shop staff just slapped $20 on them - obviously no idea what they were worth). I ended up giving it to a friend who wanted it (and then cheekily put it immediately on Trade and Exchange after I gave it to him for nothing - oh well). :roll:
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Re: How the cost of computing has changed...

by Carcenomy » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:16 pm

That flaming 3" drive unit has been the source of much anguish among SC3000 owners of late, the few that turn up on Trade Me now are often missing parts and still command huge premiums. I'd love one to go with the SC3000H, but simply not feasible and definitely not justifiable; I only use mine for the occasional game of Yamato and Flicky. Even Congo Bongo doesn't require the SC3000 now... I have it on cartridge for the Commodore 64...
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Top selling games and systems (UK) in 1984

by kevman3d » Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:04 pm

Interesting page from a PCN magazine (I spotted while cleaning up here today) in Jan 1984 had a chart of the top sellers - both machines and games - in the UK. I suspect that the NZ story wouldn't be immensely different (well, other then the pricetags, and perhaps the other machines here like System80, Sega, etc that weren't as prevalent in the UK). Always interesting to see how well the Speccy was doing, not only as the top seller but with the top 21 games being primarily for that platform. That said, perhaps it wasn't the platform that was the key, but the game developers producing great games that just happened to be on the Speccy... Something to deliberate over...

Added this to my dropbox album I posted the link to, but if you're interested, here's the direct link to the piccy itself:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/t4ubag47cozqcbh/kPiItmRhWS/PCN_Charts_1984.JPG
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Re: How the cost of computing has changed...

by SpidersWeb » Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:39 am

woo! IBM PC #1 rich-people-computer!

Amazing what the home 8 bit machines were doing when you compare the price difference to the IBM PC, if it was 1984 I can't imagine myself going for the IBM.
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Re: How the cost of computing has changed...

by acsi » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:30 pm

My eyes just lit up - "There's a Vic20 version of JetPac?"

Time to do some searching.
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Re: How the cost of computing has changed...

by tezza » Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:21 pm

SpidersWeb wrote:woo! IBM PC #1 rich-people-computer!

Amazing what the home 8 bit machines were doing when you compare the price difference to the IBM PC, if it was 1984 I can't imagine myself going for the IBM.


The IBM PC was a very expensive machine here in New Zealand. In 1984 (or 198)5 our department bought one. Cost of a Mono unit, with an optional serial card (whoo hoo!) - $NZ 12,000. And money was money back then.
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Re: How the cost of computing has changed...

by kevman3d » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:04 am

acsi wrote:My eyes just lit up - "There's a Vic20 version of JetPac?"


If its an emulator version, then there's a T64/TAP copy here : http://www.girv.net/vic-20/games.html
I don't run a Vic 20 emulator - though I guess there must be one that can write that out to tape I'm sure (maybe) if you need it for a real machine - from the screenshot it doesn't look too shabby! :-)
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