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  • Montgomery Grant (May 1988)


    Source: Run – Issue Number 53 – May 1988

    Montgomery Grant was another one of several hardware dealers that advertised in Commodore related magazines. I may have bought a power supply for my Commodore 64C from them once but I can’t remember for sure. This particular ad is from the May 1988 issue of Run magazine.

    They generally had pretty good prices but some of their packages were a little suspect. For example, you normally wouldn’t want to buy a Commodore 128 with a 1541 disk drive and a monochrome monitor. And they also had a Commodore 64 package that came with a monochrome monitor. For Commodore computers you would almost always want a color monitor. They were probably trying to advertise package prices that were better than other places and then upsell you when you called but to get the full power and speed out of your Commodore 128 you would want the double-sided and much higher speed 1571 drive over the 1541 that was designed for the Commodore 64 and in either case you would want a color monitor (and one that could also do 80 column mode if you had a Commodore 128).

    In addition to Commodore equipment, they also advertised Apple 2 and PC stuff.

  • Macrotech (Apple II)


    Source: inCider – March 1983

    In the 1980s, the various 8-bit computers available each had their own advantages and disadvantages. The Apple II was on the expensive side but one advantage it had was that it was easily expandable. Like today’s PCs, most Apple II models had several expansion slots that various cards could be plugged into to provide additional functionality.

    This particular ad is from a company called Macrotech and showcases several expansion cards for the Apple II, most of them memory expansion related. They would add anywhere from 16k to 128k to the existing system memory. Later on, memory expansion for the Apple II would become a little more standardized but in 1983 certain memory expansion cards tended to only work with certain software.

    This ad is from the March 1983 issue of inCider.

  • The Wizard of Id’s WizType

    [APP2 / ATARI 8-BIT / C64 / DOS]
    [USA] [MAGAZINE] [1984]

    • Electronic Games, November 1984 (#33)

      • Scanned by Jason Scott, via The Internet Archive


    At one time there were a variety of software products on the market for teaching you how to type. I’m not sure what that market is like today but in 1984 The Wizard of Id’s WizType by Sierra was one of the better such products out there. It was available for many of the computers available at the type including the Commodore 64, Atari 8-bit line, DOS and Apple II.

    Like most software of its type, WizType offered various options including practice, a game and testing. The most interesting in the options in WizType were probably the game, own lesson, and paragraphs.

    The game, along with the theme for all the other sections, was based on The Wizard of Id comic strip. In the game, typing accurately and quickly enough caused the Wizard to zap the spirit from the well. Too slow or inaccurate and the spirit eventually turns into a dragon and breathes fire on the wizard.

    The ‘Own Lesson’ option allowed you to enter words or letter combinations for you to practice. This was useful if you had difficulty with something in particular or were just tired of the provided content.

    Paragraphs provided paragraphs out of various literary works (Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities for example) for you to practice on. It also allowed you to enter and store your own paragraphs for practice. This feature is what really gave WizType longevity.