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Seattle, WA, USA

Posted Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:31 am

Last week my good friend and site member Zippy Zapp sent me something very cool in the mail: an original Commodore Christmas Holiday Computer Sale catalog from 1987. I wanted to share a few photos of it here and pluck your nostalgic heart strings like the bard from Bard's Tale playing his lyre.
This is the cover from Computer Direct, a company based out of Barrington, Illinois.

Back in the day you even had to pay $1 to get this catalog! They didn't ship it for free apparently.
The catalog is all black and white, and completely filled with Commodore goodness from cover to cover.

It looks like the cost of floppy disks hasn't really changed much after all these years, does it?

A reminder that the acquisition of Infocom by Activision had already occurred by this time.

Complete pages devoted to Activision, Electronic Arts, GEOS, Epyx, Timeworks ("When you've sold 1,800,007 programs you must be doing something right."), Firebird, Data East, Broderbund Software. It goes on and on.
A brand new, boxed C128D with all the goodies for only $549? Hell yes! And who in their right mind would pick the 64C these days? I mean, seriously.

Interestingly (and probably coincidentally) the catalog is exactly 64 pages long cover to cover. Also interestingly, it is 100% 8-bits. Not a single mention of Amiga to be found in this catalog in 1987. That must have been a completely separate catalog one had to order.

It's a time capsule of the greatest order, and one I'll be keeping in my nightstand for the occasional perusal.

Thanks, ZIppy Zapp! I really appreciate it. I hope those reading this do, too. (And if you'd like me to take a pic of anything I mentioned above, feel free to ask. I wasn't about to scan all 64 pages.)

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Zippy Zapp

Posted Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:53 am

Awesome pics and I am glad you liked it. I love these old catalogs too as it brings back memories of all the things I used to save for and want to buy in my late teens. If I can scan a couple more without destroying them I will try as I have a few more that I saved in my Amiga stuff years ago.

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Posted Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:02 pm

What an awsome blast from the past! :)

It always fascinated me that the floppy drives were more expensive than the actual computer, especially the 1571.

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Posted Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:59 pm

Gawd I miss those days! I would have read that as a kid and just dreamed the time away!

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Posted Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:32 am

I wonder what the price difference was between the mono monitors in the catalogue and the colour ones you would have been talked into buying...
I didn't get a C64 until Christmas 1988 and I had to make do with a crappy TV and an RF cable.

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Posted Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:11 pm

3D-vice wrote:What an awsome blast from the past! :)

It always fascinated me that the floppy drives were more expensive than the actual computer, especially the 1571.
TBH, Commodore floppies probably have more in them than the computer! An inbuilt PSU, 6502 CPU, memory, ROM as well as the actual drive mechanism.

When you connect your C64 to a 15x1 floppy drive you're effectively networking two computers together.

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Posted Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:10 am

Hi Bulletdust,

that is how I remember the Commodore floppies for the C64.

There was at least one program to calculate fractal graphics that ran at roughly double speed with a 1571 because it utilised the second CPU of the floppy.

Would be interesting to see a list of programs that supported something like this.


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