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(Deslidefied)   Hottest tech gifts for the 1984 holiday season from the RadioShack catalog   ( deslide.clusterfake.net) divider line
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4345 clicks; posted to Discussion » on 30 Nov 2017 at 8:10 PM (7 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-11-30 05:09:02 PM  
This isn't half as hilarious as looking at a catalog from 1868!
 
2017-11-30 05:14:03 PM  
Warning:  69 page slideshow, worthless on mobile.
 
2017-11-30 05:25:03 PM  
Deslided for your convenience.
 
2017-11-30 05:28:39 PM  
It was a simpler time. Everything was just more square back then.
 
2017-11-30 06:07:33 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size


I got one of these as a gift in the mid 80s.
Used to use it to deliver shots of liquor down the bar.
Still have it boxed up in a closet somewhere.
 
2017-11-30 07:07:12 PM  
So much musical stuff
 
2017-11-30 07:38:53 PM  
So glad to see they had stuff for the youngsters.
 
2017-11-30 08:16:57 PM  
The headphones were expensive!

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-11-30 08:26:20 PM  
I think those pages were scanned using something from that catalog. Can't read the descriptions.
 
2017-11-30 08:27:28 PM  
I just wasted so much time on the linked website. My TRS-80 was $249 in 1984 and $119 in 1985. I bought mine in 1985.
 
2017-11-30 08:29:19 PM  
I still have my Armatron. Coolest toy ever sold by RS, 75-in-one electronics kit a close second.
 
2017-11-30 08:29:31 PM  

jaytkay: The headphones were expensive!

[img.fark.net image 600x776][View Full Size image _x_]


Almost everything was expensive.
$70 for a touch tone phone...dafark!
 
433 [TotalFark] [BareFark]
2017-11-30 08:38:12 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size


I bought one of these from a pawn shop, probably for around 20.  It was a godsend to a bedroom musician recording things on a cassette 4-track.  I could record and mix two stereo effects into two tracks, and more.  The depth of my 4-track stuff increased, I was a happy camper.  I gave it away this past year to someone looking to run stereo synthesizers into a dual input computer interface.  So long, simple and utilitarian mixer!
 
2017-11-30 08:43:51 PM  
ww1.hdnux.comView Full Size


Oh my...  16k for only $1000!!!
And 15 lines of 64 characters!!!

That's a farking bargain!!!

Yes, we did have a bunch of those in my school.  State of the art, man!
 
2017-11-30 08:47:01 PM  
It is amazing how much more expensive things were then.  Clock radios were $30, almost $70 in 2017 dollars!   I can understand the computers being expensive since that was new tech but the basics like telephones, headphones, and radios being that expensive is due to what?  Cheap 2017 Chinese labor is WAAAAY cheaper than cheap Japanese 1984 labor?
 
2017-11-30 08:48:06 PM  

LordChinny: jaytkay: The headphones were expensive!

[img.fark.net image 600x776][View Full Size image _x_]

Almost everything was expensive.
$70 for a touch tone phone...dafark!


If you're talking about the standard beige 2500-style desk phone at that price, it was probably cheaper than what AT&T wanted for one at the time, so it would have looked like a good deal. It was probably even US-made. The cheaper Asian-built phones on the previous pages were not of very high build quality, which you'd likely notice if you ever used one.
 
2017-11-30 08:50:11 PM  

durbnpoisn: [ww1.hdnux.com image 792x1024][View Full Size image _x_]

Oh my...  16k for only $1000!!!
And 15 lines of 64 characters!!!

That's a farking bargain!!!

Yes, we did have a bunch of those in my school.  State of the art, man!


Same here. Five years later, I bought a maxed-out one (64K, two disk drives) for $75 from the school and dragged it to college with me. Wrote a little word processor in BASIC for it to type my papers. It was roughly equal to Notepad, but it did the job.

Things were a little different in those days.
 
2017-11-30 08:51:25 PM  

The Googles Do Nothing: It is amazing how much more expensive things were then.  Clock radios were $30, almost $70 in 2017 dollars!   I can understand the computers being expensive since that was new tech but the basics like telephones, headphones, and radios being that expensive is due to what?  Cheap 2017 Chinese labor is WAAAAY cheaper than cheap Japanese 1984 labor?


From what I remember from those days was that Radio Shack was an expensive store. Almost everything in that catalogue, with exception of the computers, components and mixers, could be bought at Sears for much cheaper.
 
2017-11-30 08:54:23 PM  

jaytkay: The headphones were expensive!

[img.fark.net image 600x776][View Full Size image _x_]


Maybe for the crappy earbuds and $10-$20 Walkman replacements. However, the sub-$50 hi-fi headsets seem pretty damn cheap by today's standards (not adjusting for inflation). I just spent about $100 on a mid-range gaming headset. You could easily blow well over 2 grand on a pair of audiophile-quality headphones, but why on Earth would you want to?
 
2017-11-30 09:00:20 PM  
Pretty much the same shiat as in the Best Buy catalog right now.
 
2017-11-30 09:02:59 PM  
16kb of memory for $999? What is this, an Apple catalogue?
 
2017-11-30 09:03:01 PM  
Say what you want, I'd gladly own that 10 band EQ today... it's sexy.

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-11-30 09:04:41 PM  

pdieten: LordChinny: jaytkay: The headphones were expensive!

[img.fark.net image 600x776][View Full Size image _x_]

Almost everything was expensive.
$70 for a touch tone phone...dafark!

If you're talking about the standard beige 2500-style desk phone at that price, it was probably cheaper than what AT&T wanted for one at the time, so it would have looked like a good deal. It was probably even US-made. The cheaper Asian-built phones on the previous pages were not of very high build quality, which you'd likely notice if you ever used one.


Did Asia ever learn to correctly make a phone?
 
2017-11-30 09:19:19 PM  
I was smart and bought TWO Armatrons... so a friend and I could "Arm Wrestle" with them, competing directly to pick up stuff off the table in front of us.  The gear-driven joints a re noisy, and make a scary racket when you push them to their end-stops... but I got smooth at moving the arm in 4 axes of motion simultaneously.

For a time, there was an article in Byte or one of the hobby magazines - that created a relat interface to connect the armatron's motors to a real computer, to drive them as if they were servos.
 
2017-11-30 09:25:06 PM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: I just wasted so much time on the linked website. My TRS-80 was $249 in 1984 and $119 in 1985. I bought mine in 1985.


I had a TRS-80 at my first real job. Carried that thing back and forth across the country a few times.
 
2017-11-30 09:35:09 PM  
1970. I was 13. My grandparents gave me a Radio Shack cassette recorder. A major factor in what I did for a living most of my adult life.
 
rka
2017-11-30 09:35:44 PM  
It's shocking to me how much of those exact models my family had.

3 piece stereo set? Check
Various tape/VHS carriers? Check
Portable Radio? Check
Portable Cassette Recorder? Check
Portovision? Check
Solar Battery Calculator? Check

One of those clock radios is still in the guest bedroom at my dad's.

In our defense, my hometown only had a Radio Shack and a Ben Franklin as places to get any sort of electronics.
 
amb
2017-11-30 10:00:42 PM  

rka: It's shocking to me how much of those exact models my family had.

3 piece stereo set? Check
Various tape/VHS carriers? Check
Portable Radio? Check
Portable Cassette Recorder? Check
Portovision? Check
Solar Battery Calculator? Check

One of those clock radios is still in the guest bedroom at my dad's.

In our defense, my hometown only had a Radio Shack and a Ben Franklin as places to get any sort of electronics.


Sounds familiar, we had a Ben Franklin and Radio Shack in our small town.  Also had a Pamida. I used to buy 45s at the Ben Franklin for my Sears record player/cassette stereo.

Some of the headphones in the first couple slides look like they would still work well today. They were solidly built.
 
2017-11-30 10:07:55 PM  

The Googles Do Nothing: It is amazing how much more expensive things were then.  Clock radios were $30, almost $70 in 2017 dollars!   I can understand the computers being expensive since that was new tech but the basics like telephones, headphones, and radios being that expensive is due to what?  Cheap 2017 Chinese labor is WAAAAY cheaper than cheap Japanese 1984 labor?


Mrs. E-S still has an R/S digital alarm clock by her side of the bed from, I believe 1988. Yes, they were expensive back then but it's lasted nearly 30 years. It has -the- most annoying alarm tone ever invented by man but sadly she will not let me Hulk-smash it.
Not a single LED segment is dim or even flickering. That's nearly 254,000 hours of continuous use.

/Cheap Japanese product is way, way, way better than cheap Chinese product.
 
2017-11-30 10:16:18 PM  

amb: rka: It's shocking to me how much of those exact models my family had.

3 piece stereo set? Check
Various tape/VHS carriers? Check
Portable Radio? Check
Portable Cassette Recorder? Check
Portovision? Check
Solar Battery Calculator? Check

One of those clock radios is still in the guest bedroom at my dad's.

In our defense, my hometown only had a Radio Shack and a Ben Franklin as places to get any sort of electronics.

Sounds familiar, we had a Ben Franklin and Radio Shack in our small town.  Also had a Pamida. I used to buy 45s at the Ben Franklin for my Sears record player/cassette stereo.


Had a Ben Franklin here too in the mid-late 80s. Cool little store.
 
2017-11-30 10:16:42 PM  
ww2.hdnux.comView Full Size

OMG! 3K for a 12MB hdd. That was "cheap" back then.
 
2017-11-30 10:17:52 PM  

The Googles Do Nothing: telephones, headphones, and radios being that expensive is due to what? Cheap 2017 Chinese labor is WAAAAY cheaper than cheap Japanese 1984 labor?


From an audio standpoint, quality was given priority over cost. Most of that stuff is still functional today, while 95% of the noname crap Amazon is hawking for cheap Christmas sales will be broken by June.
 
2017-11-30 10:25:24 PM  

captjc: jaytkay: The headphones were expensive!
...
You could easily blow well over 2 grand on a pair of audiophile-quality headphones, but why on Earth would you want to?


I only read about obscenely expensive audio gear, but I understand that if you listen to a very familiar source using, say, Focal Utopia phones with comparable playback gear, you'll quickly understand why someone would want to assemble such a rig.

Can you get 90-95% of the enjoyment for a fraction of the price?
Unless you have very rare ears, almost certainly.
 
2017-11-30 10:32:44 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size


Calculator watches, clock pens and personal breathalyzer to make sure you didn't over do your 2 martini lunch...I sure do miss the 80's
 
2017-11-30 10:37:53 PM  
I *still* want an Armatron.  In the nascent days of the Internet, I had a pipe dream to set up a webcam pointed at one that was also controllable via web, just so I could watch and see what people did with it.
 
2017-11-30 10:38:22 PM  

Enormous-Schwanstucker: Mrs. E-S still has an R/S digital alarm clock by her side of the bed from, I believe 1988. Yes, they were expensive back then but it's lasted nearly 30 years.


I've got a GE alarm clock/radio that based on the brown plastic, faux-wood paneling, and blood red LED segments is from somewhere in the '70's. My parents had it before I was born, and gave it to me ~20yrs ago. It made it through 4 moves with them, college + 3 moves with me, and numerous lightning strikes that blew out other electronics on the same circuits. All the switches/buttons still feel tight as they did new, the radio/alarm is clear, and the display shows no signs of age. I'm not planning on having kids to give it to; maybe I'll bury it before dying so future archeologists have something to evaluate 20th century electronics build quality with.
 
2017-11-30 10:41:18 PM  

433: [img.fark.net image 273x176]

I bought one of these from a pawn shop, probably for around 20.  It was a godsend to a bedroom musician recording things on a cassette 4-track.  I could record and mix two stereo effects into two tracks, and more.  The depth of my 4-track stuff increased, I was a happy camper.  I gave it away this past year to someone looking to run stereo synthesizers into a dual input computer interface.  So long, simple and utilitarian mixer!


I still have mine!
 
2017-11-30 10:48:04 PM  

Thosw: I *still* want an Armatron.  In the nascent days of the Internet, I had a pipe dream to set up a webcam pointed at one that was also controllable via web, just so I could watch and see what people did with it.


I had one (and it's probably still somewhere in my mother's basement). It would not be easy to control remotely since the joysticks engaged mechanical gears, not electronic circuits.
 
2017-11-30 10:54:48 PM  

Ivo Shandor: Thosw: I *still* want an Armatron.  In the nascent days of the Internet, I had a pipe dream to set up a webcam pointed at one that was also controllable via web, just so I could watch and see what people did with it.

I had one (and it's probably still somewhere in my mother's basement). It would not be easy to control remotely since the joysticks engaged mechanical gears, not electronic circuits.


Oh, I'm aware of that. There was an electronics store near Ridgmar Mall in Ft Worth that had a controller board that they said could be wired externally, but would still need a program to be written for the interface. That's why it was a pipe dream. I had/have no experience with any of that and it was out of my price range to buy/learn.
 
2017-11-30 10:55:48 PM  
Pages of CB radios and walkie talkies.

It was a different age.  Men picked up women at truck stops and dodged John Law.
 
2017-11-30 10:59:13 PM  
I worked at Radio Shack during the Xmas season from 1985 to 1988. It was like joining a cult with commissions and discounts.
 
2017-11-30 11:01:02 PM  

Thosw: I *still* want an Armatron.  In the nascent days of the Internet, I had a pipe dream to set up a webcam pointed at one that was also controllable via web, just so I could watch and see what people did with it.


What they choose to do with the technology is not important and not necessarily an indictment of the technology.

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-11-30 11:04:37 PM  

John Buck 41: 1970. I was 13. My grandparents gave me a Radio Shack cassette recorder. A major factor in what I did for a living most of my adult life.


 Admit it, you recorded your farts.
 
2017-11-30 11:09:14 PM  

2wolves: Pages of CB radios and walkie talkies.

It was a different age.  Men picked up women at truck stops and dodged John Law.


In my gas jockey days, I once got to see a CB hooker connect with a couple of johns while I waited on her.  She was chattering away on the CB, talking sweet to someone on the other end.  She pulled to the end of the parking lot and a few minutes later a couple of skeevy looking guys in a beat up pickup with a huge whip antenna pulled up and off they all went together.  Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman she wasn't.

I guess these days the young people use Craigslist or somesuch for stuff like that.
 
2017-11-30 11:14:58 PM  

captjc: jaytkay: The headphones were expensive!

[img.fark.net image 600x776][View Full Size image _x_]

Maybe for the crappy earbuds and $10-$20 Walkman replacements. However, the sub-$50 hi-fi headsets seem pretty damn cheap by today's standards (not adjusting for inflation). I just spent about $100 on a mid-range gaming headset. You could easily blow well over 2 grand on a pair of audiophile-quality headphones, but why on Earth would you want to?


Even accounting for inflation, that's still a good value for those headphones.  During that era, RS audio stuff was all rebrands of major manufacturers.  The headphones, for instance, were all KOSS and AKG stuff.
 
2017-11-30 11:20:34 PM  

WyDave: 2wolves: Pages of CB radios and walkie talkies.

It was a different age.  Men picked up women at truck stops and dodged John Law.

In my gas jockey days, I once got to see a CB hooker connect with a couple of johns while I waited on her.  She was chattering away on the CB, talking sweet to someone on the other end.  She pulled to the end of the parking lot and a few minutes later a couple of skeevy looking guys in a beat up pickup with a huge whip antenna pulled up and off they all went together.  Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman she wasn't.

I guess these days the young people use Craigslist or somesuch for stuff like that.


Swipe right.  Swipe right.  Swipe right.  Swipe right.  Swipe right.  Swipe right.  Swipe right.  Swipe right.
 
433 [TotalFark] [BareFark]
2017-11-30 11:21:12 PM  

Unscratchable_Itch: 433: [img.fark.net image 273x176]

I bought one of these from a pawn shop, probably for around 20.  It was a godsend to a bedroom musician recording things on a cassette 4-track.  I could record and mix two stereo effects into two tracks, and more.  The depth of my 4-track stuff increased, I was a happy camper.  I gave it away this past year to someone looking to run stereo synthesizers into a dual input computer interface.  So long, simple and utilitarian mixer!

I still have mine!


F*ck yeah, man!  There isn't much to it, really, a person could feasibly DIY one as good or better, though not from RS shelf stock!  That little piece opened up new worlds for me, in fact, I can link to one that was a result of it - For Eleanor.  I maxed out every input on my own mixer, plus the Radio Shack unit, and my 4-track.  It's only one take of one guitar, but running through tons of modulation, filtering, and multiple delays.

That little brick, I'm not sad that I gave it away, its time with me was over, but I am still very fond of its memory.

moike: Say what you want, I'd gladly own that 10 band EQ today... it's sexy.

[img.fark.net image 767x361][View Full Size image _x_]


They were still selling a line of those when they folded, albeit in new housings.
 
2017-11-30 11:23:59 PM  

RoLleRKoaSTeR: OMG! 3K for a 12MB hdd. That was "cheap" back then.


That's 10k in 2017 dollars
 
2017-11-30 11:46:06 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size


This is the one that amused me, for today I can get a Samsung 50'' LED Smart TV in 1080p full HD for $450 at Walmart ... and that's not even taking into account for inflation and what the above TV would cost in 2017 dollars.

But damn it was fun scrolling through that catalog. Memories, man, memories.
 
2017-11-30 11:50:35 PM  
It's a neat catalog, but it can't hold a candle to the lingerie section of the 1978 Sears Winter Catalog.
 
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