While today’s computer market is a two horse race between Macs and PCs, it was very different story back in the '80s. The arrival of (relatively) cheap processors and no clear industry standard meant that any company with their toe in the electronic field could have a go. The end result was – to put it bluntly – a clusterfuck. And the advertising wasn’t much better.
If you were a parent looking to buy a computer for t3h kids back in those days, you would have been faced with a dozen different platforms (and none of them compatible with each other). This was back when companies like Texas Instruments, Radio Shack, Sony, Sinclair, Commodore, Amstrad, Apple, Panasonic and IBM all made their own proprietary operating systems, software came on tapes, and you often had to wait weeks (if not months) to take delivery of your computer.
Ads from the late '70s and early '80s show just how quaint the industry was back then. This was a time when a mouse was still a big deal, Atari had to explain to parents that their console wouldn’t blow up the TV, IBM sold computers for $18 thousand dollars and sexism was still par for the course. Oh, and Bill Cosby was considered a tech expert.