A Commercial History of the Personal Computer

If you haven’t already seen this go now to A Brief History of Computers, As Seen in Old TV Adds put together with commentary by Harry McCracken at PC World’s Techblog!

It’s been said that the average American will see two million TV commercials by the time he or she turns 65. Doing some quick math in my head, I believe that means that I’ve seen…well, a terrifyingly large number of commercials for PCs and related products over the past 26 years or so. You too, maybe.

One of the many perversely fascinating things about YouTube is that its users have uploaded a remarkable percentage of those ads to the site, including both famous and obscure examples. Watch enough of them, in the right order, and what you have is a history of the PC in American life.

Well, perhaps you should wait until you get home from workas you might want to spend just a bit too much time watching this fascinating collection of commercials.

As cool as many of these ads are Americans might get just a slight feeling of having been short changed if they check out the example of why the author did not include commercials from Europe in his selections:

Q: Where are these commercials from?
A: The U.S., as far as I know. Rule one of European computer commercials: They’re too dirty for American TV.

I don’t agree with the ‘dirty’ description at all but, yes, this one is probably not work friendly.