Antiquities: Computer Advertising 1997

    Old devices, portable and desktop, should be considered in the context of their own wishes from their youth or the characteristics of the then-computer iron market. This is not easy to do, but when you try, simple picking up gadgets expands into a real archival business. However, in my case, this is just a nice bonus to the devices. For example, my tour of the world of audio cassettes led to the appearance of a box of tapes, on which in the nineties jazz programs of a European radio station were recorded. So who wrote them? And for what?

    The consequence of the recent study of minidisks has become hundreds of carriers with heavy metal music, someone once assembled and decorated at the highest level. These are living examples of the use of a device or format. To recreate the situation twenty years ago or earlier in my head, I still use the archives of the old media, and I regularly write about it in my channel . But then foreign publications, and today I will show our, domestic advertising from magazines and booklets of 1997, from the Comtek exhibition.

    I keep the diary of the collector of old pieces of iron in real time in the Telegram . There are available scans (or rather photos) advertising brochures in full size.

    Promotional materials were given to me by a colleague who brought them together almost 22 years ago at the exhibition itself, which took place at the end of April 1997 in Moscow. I didn’t attend the exhibition at that time — maybe I wanted to, but there was no money, I was limited to reading reviews in Fido. Therefore, do not expect detailed retrospectives from me: as in the case of other artifacts, I am trying to restore the past according to such fragmentary information. I am sure that this article will be read by eyewitnesses. Tell us how it was there.

    Nevertheless, you can learn something about the exhibition from still available publications in the media. 3DNews Edition in Comtek 2001gives context : 1997 was the most successful year for this domestic counterpart of the Consumer Electronics Show - 550 participating companies. Since then, the number of companies has steadily declined. In the May 1997 issue of Computerra magazine , devoted to the exhibition, a certain crisis of the genre is already noted. An editorial article talks about transforming an exhibition from an event for its own to a show for the consumer. Opinions of representatives of companies vary - someone is pleased with the advertising effect, someone was expecting more.

    In this material provides interesting information about the updates to Russian manufacturers of computers. I quote: "Home computers use a Pentium processor with a clock speed of 120/133/150/166/200 MHz or a Pentium 166/200 MMX. Depending on the configuration, they are equipped with 16-256 MB of EDO RAM, hard disks from 2.6 to 4 GB, S3 Virge 3D / V + video card with memory from 2 to 8 MB, 10-12-speed CD-ROM and Creative sound card Vibra 16 ". The newspaper" Kommersant "is not interested in such details, and writes in a malicious manner about problems with the site and" crowds of greedy schoolchildren ". However, let's look at the museum exhibits.

    Exhibition printed products are divided into three types: booklets of companies, brochures and advertisements of specific products, magazines simply and magazines issued specifically for the exhibition, as a rule, also filled with advertising. Let's start with the Lamport company directory, where we are offered to buy ThinkPad laptops.

    The ThinkPad 560 is the thinnest notebook in the series. The top model of that year, the 760ED, is one of the first laptops with built-in DVD-drive. Actually, the first ThinkPad with DVD was the 770, also released in 1997, but at the end of the year. Since the processor power was not enough to process such video, a separate MPEG-2 decoder was built into the laptop. This laptop cost much more, from 7 thousand dollars.

    On the next page are Toshiba compact laptops, the maximum processor frequency is 150 megahertz. A typical notebook screen resolution is 800x600 pixels, there are models with XGA (1024x768).

    If the diskette is not enough (and there is usually enough of them), then the data could be transferred on Iomega Zip magnetic media. Writing CD-drives already existed, but they were expensive, they are not even in Moscow price lists.

    Prices for software - this is an incredibly useful thing for the modern collector. First, it is interesting how much the software cost then: the experience of buying licensed software for money was then, to put it mildly, not for everyone. Secondly, you can link the version of the software to a specific era. Windows 98 will be released only next year, the most popular axis is Windows 95, but DOS can still be bought, relatively inexpensively. For sale OS / 2 Warp 4, IBM released it in 1996. Visitors to Comtek don't know it yet, but Warp 4 will be the latest major release of OS / 2.

    Advertising a very popular modem USR Sportster, in the version at 28.8 kilobits per second. Distributor handed out English-language advertising, sticking to each his business card.

    But the Zyxel advertised modem for the 33600, and even in Russian. Advanced modem!

    Excellent advertising sound card Creative Sound Blaster AWE64, which I still (in the Gold version) I actively use in my vintage computer . How much did it cost? You can see in the current catalog of the company Formosa-Center.

    One million one hundred eleven thousand five hundred rubles. The benefits of the Formosa catalog are twofold: they give prices not only in dollars (like almost everyone), but also in rubles, everywhere noting that the course is a changeable thing. Before the 1998 crisis, there are 15 months left, and the situation is generally positive.

    Fair prices. A year later, I get access to a Pentium 166 MMX based computer. Compared to my home 386, it seems to be the pinnacle of evolution. All computers come with a Samsung SyncMaster 3Ne 14-inch monitor.

    Includes useful software.

    Separately, Intel Pentium processors.

    Another very detailed catalog of SoftUnion. There is a lot of professional technology here and you can look at computers and servers not only based on x86 architecture.

    "PC servers" in computing power is not much different from expensive desktops. The only possible upgrade is a dual-processor system based on Pentium Pro. Incredible by home standards 128 megabytes of RAM. Alpha- based servers run at a much higher frequency. Refreshing prices.

    Price list of Apple technology to the return of Steve Jobs. A unique sign of the times: not only Apple devices are sold, but also official clones. The practice of licensing software existed for some time in an attempt to increase market share, and was discontinued almost immediately after the return of the founder of Apple to his company.

    More software. There are no cloud subscriptions for Adobe products, and you can buy the program once and for all. It will be interesting to try an earlier version of Adobe Premiere: version 4.2 under Windows 95 is advertised in the booklet.

    ComputerDirect is an advertising publication created in the Computerra publishing house.

    Here you can find prices for modern video cards. The coolest (at least for the price) - Matrox Millenium with 4 megabytes of memory. Interface - PCI, although the introduction of the AGP bus is already under discussion.

    The end of the nineties - the era of admiration for the multimedia capabilities of personal computers. CD-ROM and sound card become the standard equipment of new PCs, TV tuners, sound cards, even the first webcams are produced. Professionals available and video editing capabilities, usually tied to a specialized hardware. The usual can not cope.

    The collection of monitors: from relatively inexpensive (15 inches, 1280x1024) to the "gold" (20 inches, 1600x1200 with a refresh rate of 76 hertz). Warm-tube monitors still do not bind the owners in a specific screen resolution - set what you want, if the video card and eyes allow.

    And, in conclusion, advertising computers from a company with a well-known name. This is from the number of "Computerra" in December 1996, which apparently was also found on Comtek.

    22 years ago, I enjoyed viewing such advertisements, trying on the latest computer technology for myself. When almost every computer upgrade gives a performance boost almost several times, it's easy to get carried away. Since then computers have become duller and much cheaper. Warm and lamp times have passed, and we say thanks to those who have preserved such artifacts for history. And it is also very interesting to me, in 22 years, at two thousand and forty-first, which vintage pieces of iron from 2019 will we recall with similar nostalgia?

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