Do you remember when floppy disk drives were priced at $3,000+? If not, lets take a trip down memory lane and look at some “expensive” gadgets of the past — compared to today’s prices.

$3000 Floppy Disk Drive

Vintage Computing takes us back to 1977 with this interesting advertisement. Midwest Scientific Instruments wants to make your computer even more boring with their FD-8 Floppy Disk Memory System, which allowed users to easily load programs into system memory. One drawback, the drive was priced at $950.00 ($3,082.73 – 2005) or $1,195.00 wired and tested ($3,877.75 – 2005).

If this is the standard of “boring,” then I suppose my current computer is about 2000% more boring than the average computer in 1977


$589.99 CD Player

In 1983, you could’ve purchased this brand new CD player — the size of a VHS deck — for $589.99, complete with “LASER” etched onto the tray. View full-sized advertisement here

You’ve heard stereo before, but never like this. Treat your ears to music that sounds so real, you might just think it’s the original. Our Compact Digital Audio Disc Player (CD) uses a sophisticated laser system to delicately lift the sound off compact discs for phenomenal sound.


$40,000 Hard Drive

Back in 1985, hard drives were gigantic and not to mention insanely expensive (40MB/$40,000) as shown in the above image. That was coincidentally the same year Microsoft released Windows 1.0, which sold for $100 ($177.47 with inflation) a piece. [Source]

$9,995 Apple Lisa

The Apple Lisa “was first introduced in January 1983 (announced on January 19) at a cost of $9,995 US ($19,000 in 2005 dollars). It was one of the first commercial personal computers to have a GUI and a mouse.”

It used a Motorola 68000 CPU at a 5 MHz clock rate and had 1 MB RAM. The first Lisa had two custom 5¼ inch floppy disk drives designed with two head assemblies, one per side, which could seek independently. These drives required custom media with two head openings. They were nicknamed “Twiggy” drives. An optional external 5 MB Apple ProFile hard drive (originally designed for the Apple III) was also offered

10MB Hard Disk for $3,495

That’s right, a 10MB hard disk for only $3,495 back in 1980 — and it’s refurbished to boot. A brand new unit would have cost you $4,495. If adjusted to 2005 dollars, that’s $11,415.77 (new)/$8876.11 (refurbished). View the full-sized advertisement here.

And this isn’t one of your 3.5″, half-height 5 1/4″ or even full-height 5 1/4″ hard drives either. No; it’s a hulking, old-school, non-Winchester jobbie that takes interchangeable disk cartridges

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