Vaguely Threatening Computer Training Commercials of the 80s

Posted by Michael Pinto on Aug 16, 2009 in Tech |

Both of these spots come from a local TV station in Florida from 1988 — and they both share the theme of needing to know computer skills (or blue collar “technology” skills like in the spot below) to survive in the marketplace. Most people think of the 80s as a prosperous time but in fact even during the high points there were many layoffs due to mergers and acquisitions. In fact when these commercials were shot it was right after the stock market crash of 1987, so people would have had their eyes on keeping their jobs.

By the way least you think that learning these skills was trivial, keep in mind that these folks weren’t using the technology of today but that rather primitive stuff that was thought to be high tech in 1988. So the poor lady in the first spot was probably going to have to learn how to use a program like WordPerfect or MultiMate running on MS-DOS, which means tons of hidden key commands and no windows in sight. Also if she was learning those skills that would also mean that her dumb boss wouldn’t know ow to type himself, which in turn means translating tons of hard to read handwriting into text.

Below: If you were lucky you might have a program like Lotus Magellan to help you make MS-DOS useful.


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