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Bored? Here are some 50-year-old Computer World issues to browse

The other day, I remembered that Google used to archive newspapers. What happened to that? As it turns out, Google gave up, and as far as I can tell, it would really rather I didn’t browse what’s left of the newspaper archive, because it asks me if I’m a robot between every page. Sometimes it stops loading images of the issue I’m reading and I have to navigate back in a new window to remind it that I’m not a robot. Google: You are the robot!

After finding several interesting advertisements for meats, I noticed that Computer World—a publication which is still going strong—was one of the papers in the archive, with a handful of issues from the late ’60s, when it was established, through 1971. I hadn’t thought about the days of tape and terminals in a long time, and the trip back in time is fun, especially for the jousting between IBM, Honeywell (“The other computer company”), and others.

You can find the Computer World archive here (just be prepared to have your humanity questioned often). Below are some of the highlights from my poking around. Here, for instance, is a cartoonist imagining that a computer could explain how to repair itself, which is how I repair every computer:

Here’s a 20-year warranty on magnetic tape in 1970, because the lawyers ‘wouldn’t let them say forever.’ Maybe they could have, though: Graham Magnetics still exists, and will buy back old computer tape.

I am sorry that “Inforex it” never became a thing, Inforex.

In 1970, it cost $3.50 for five cutting-edge CGI Santas.

Wait, what the hell? Screw you, 1970s Computer World newspaper cartoonist John Mahoney, for making a gag out of my precise phone app usage 48 years in your future:

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