The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

You're viewing an article in TMO's historic archive vault. Here, we've preserved the comments and how the site looked along with the article. Use this link to view the article on our current site:
Mac Vs. PC: Remembering 1989 (With Pic)

Mac Vs. PC: Remembering 1989 (With Pic)

by , 9:00 AM EST, January 30th, 2001

We see it all around us, but sometimes it takes a focal point to remind us how much computers have changed in, say, the last 12 years. We received this scanned image of a newspaper ad the IT guys at La Presse who apparently have a good sense of humor.

Say, what was a computer like in 1989? Just how much did a top of the line PC go for back then? This baby was produced by Tandy Corporation, the owner of Radio Shack. During the late 80's and early 90's, Tandy was actually a big player in the PC market. They say Macs were too expensive, but how does CN$8499 grab you for a 386?

A lightning-fast (!) 20 MHz processor, MS-DOS, VGA graphics, 2 MB RAM with a maximum of 16 MB, no mouse or monitor, all that for CN$8499. We did the math, and found out that one could pay this in 170 easy payments of $49.95! That doesn't count interest, of course...

At the same time, Apple introduced the Macintosh IIci in September of 1989. That beast raced along at 25 MHz (32 bit processing), came with 1 MB of RAM but maxed out at 128 MB (with 8 SIMM slots), had a 40 MB internal hard drive, and supported operating systems through OS 7.6.1 which was released some 9 years later. Not too shabby. We don't have Canadian pricing for the IIci in 1989, so if you do, please let us know or post your comments below.

The Mac Observer Spin:

Note that PageMaker is running on the machine, the same program that brought desktop publishing to the Mac. This would have been on of the first PC ports of PageMaker, but our guess is that PageMaker was not used to actually lay this particular ad out (we could be wrong, but it's not a very good looking ad). Also note that among the supported operating systems, there is nary a mention of Windows. That may be a bigger sign of how much things have changed than the price!


Other Articles From This Series

Remembering 1993 With Newton QuickTime Commercials (The Candidate & Where Is Newton?)
May 11th

Remembering 1993 With Newton Commercials (QuickTime)!
May 4th

Remembering 1990 With A Couch Made From 35 Macs!
April 30th

Remembering 1990, The IIfx, & The Power To Be Your Best
April 27th

Remembering The Apple I & The Two Steves (With Pics)
March 30th

Remembering 1990 With Apple Brochure For Mac Classic, Mac IIsi, & Mac LC (With Pics)
March 23rd

Remembering 1984 With Screen Shots Of The Original Mac!
March 16th

Remembering 1984 With Massive Newsweek Spread (With Pics)
March 9th

Remembering 1984 With An Original Mac Brochure
March 2nd

Remembering 1984 With Steve Jobs & The Entire Macintosh Development Team (With Pics)
February 23rd

Remembering 1984 With The Mac 128K, Apple ][c, & Education Ad (With Pics)
February 16th

Remembering 1984 With A Macintosh & Lisa Brochure (With Pics)
February 14th

Remembering 1984 With An Original Mac Magazine Article (With Pics)
February 9th

Remembering 1977 With The First (Apple I) Apple Ad!
February 7th

Remembering 1977 With Apple Ad Featuring Pre-Rainbow Logo (With Pic)
February 5th

Remembering 1980 & 1984 With Two Apple Ads (With Pics)
February 2nd

Mac Vs. PC: Remembering 1989 (With Pic)
January 30th

Recent Headlines - Updated May 23rd

Wed,3:10 PM
How to Deauthorize All Devices in iTunes 12
Fri,6:47 PM
1987 Apple Promo Video Hints at Hubris of the 1990s
3:29 PM
Blur Premium Privacy Protection Lifetime Subscription: $49.99
2:55 PM
Apple May Finally Be Ready to Reinvigorate the iPad
2:39 PM
Google Study Finds ‘Security Questions’ Next to Useless
1:08 PM
TMO Daily Observations 2015-05-22: Fingerprints to Google and Apple Watch Heartrate Monitoring
11:16 AM
Apple Watch OS Update Reduces Background Heart Rate Monitoring Frequency
10:10 AM
Apple’s App Store Needs Cold Storage
8:30 AM
Apple Watch: Three Tips on Contacting Your Pals
Thu,5:44 PM
Promotional Apple II Video with Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Byte Shop
4:47 PM
Google Reportedly Plans to Fingerprint ID to Android M
4:09 PM
The Pick Your Own Apple Toy Giveaway
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Apple Weekly Report
  • TMO on Twitter!