Originally Posted by NetworkTV
I never said computers were rare.
I said few people could afford one - and, no, those Ataris, Commodores and Adams weren't true computers. They were game devices disguised as computers, which is why you would never find them in schools.
I'm talking about 1982 when the IBM PC and the Apple II series computer were at the top of the heap - and they cost a heap of cash in 1982 dollars.
Wow Ataris and CBMs were not true computers??? Good grief. What exactly were they then? Calculators? Abacus?
Apple II and IBM at top of the heap? Apple II????
Wow, you really swallowed the kool-aid back then.
The Atari and C64 were 10x the computer the Apple II ever was.
What was an Apple II? A keyboard, a little memory and a 1MHz 6502 CPU. That is it. No custom chipsets, nothing.
What was the Atari 8bit? A keyboard, a little memory, a 1.79MHz 6502 CPU (yes, almost twice the computing power of the Apple II right there) plus it had custom graphics and audio chips so the CPU didn't have to do everything itself.
The IBM PC had the same basic joke of a design as the Apple II, although the Intel chip was a little faster and more powerful. A bit more powerful for raw calculation but no custom graphics/audio chips either. IBM put there bottom rung design team on it since they thought the idea of home computers was dumb and didn't expect it to go anywhere.
A few schools did use Ataris and CBMs but yes many did not but:
1. since when do you look to schools for the best decisions?
2. the Apple II/TRS80 did come out first and many had already purchased and couldn't afford to re-buy; heck some stuck with printer as screen ancient junkers
3. Apple had a certain brilliant marketing guy who knew that giving schools deals and free this and that would then help them get the impression that they were the real computer and the one to have at home; MS too
4. apple/ms had much better business guys pushing things and they played numerous dirty tricks behind the scenes too (with the press as well)
An IBM PC a year earlier started at $1500 - with no disk drives. A year after the movie came out, my family bought a model with one of the first color monitors, 128K of memory and a price tag of over $3000. Heck, even the Atari 800 was $1000 (OK, $999.95). Just for some perspective, $1000 in 1982 is roughly $2200 now.
Well not so much by '82 at Trons release true, but not long after, just by '83 I remember a ton of kids in grade school got Atari 8bits and even moreso by '84. C64s too. I think you could get the Atari 800 for around $780 or so by then. True, that wasn't cheap in those days, but all the same plenty had 'em. Granted it wasn't like today where almost everyone has one and the people who had them were certainly more technical on average than today and you can get one for a lot less money today, but I wouldn't call 'em particularly out of the ordinary by '83.
This was before the Mac, before widespread IBM clones and before Windows and before stuff started to come down in price in the 90's.
Once again that was the junk, the MAC and Windows clones. Crazy expensive and no custom audio, disk, graphics processors, no dedicated video memory, no multi-tasking at all at first and not pre-emptive until years later. Heck Apple and Microsoft actually used Amiga computers hidden behind the tables to run their trade show appearances at times, hah, because their own stuff couldn't cut it. They were the leaders in marketing/management/business not cutting edge technology. Granted it was more expensive back then since even an Amiga system was around $1500-$1800 early on.
I remember all the MAC and Windows clone lemmings going on and on about how the more advanced Amigas and such were just plastic little toys because they had graphics processors and could show more than a few colors at once and was told again and again that multi-tasking was just a little toy gimmick. (I even had some joker salesman try to talk me into at least getting an Apple II instead of an Amiga even if I wouldn't go for a top computer like a MAC or IBM PC clone. Hah 1 mhz 6502 with a few K's of memory and no custom chips and barely even an OS is a better buy than a 7MHz 68000 with 1.5MB memory and custom graphics bus, stereo sample audio, blimmer for moving graphics around, display list controller, GUI (plus UNIX-like console complete with pipes, etc.), pre-emptive multi-tasking OS, etc. etc.
Funny how the same people then went on years later to brag about their OS finally 'introducing' pre-emptive multi-tasking to the world or how amazing their NVidia GTX 580 and PCIe bus are today hah. I guess they decided they liked little plastic toys and not 'real' computers in the end.
A modern windows/mac box looks a heck of a lot more than the 'toy' 'not real computers' of years past than the Apples and IBM clones of years past.
Anyway let's get back to Tron....