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March 3, 2013 by Dan Nixon
Well hello there you lovely bunch of gadget geeks, come on in and make yourself comfortable as we guide you through our time portal in the latest edition of our Moment In Tech series. This time around we are going deep into the distant past all the way to March 1985. You Spin Me Round by Dead or Alive was topping the charts, Chile was being ravaged by earthquakes, and Mohammed Al Fayed decided to buy some little shop in London called Harrods. But what was happening in the tech world? Well, read on to find out…
Still the preserve of yuppies and world leaders, mobile phones in the mid-eighties were even more expensive than those silly Vertu phones that people like Paris Hilton use nowadays. Leading the way in the mobile revolution was the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, the world’s first hand-held mobile phone.
Although initially only available in the US in 1983, the 8000X only made its way to our fair shores in ’85. Housed in what has become an iconic ‘brick’ shell and featuring the distinctive flexible rubber aerial, the handset became the accessory of choice for Porsche driving city types with wide ties and Filofaxes . It really doesn’t get much more eighties than that.
While mobile phone technology was still very much at the toddler stage, music on the move was reaching its snotty teenage years, thanks in no small part to Sony and its landmark series of Walkman personal cassette players.
1985’s WM-F101 model featured all the mod cons including an FM/AM radio, Dolby noise reduction and, rather bizarrely, TV audio. It was also considered to be pretty slender at the time, although by today’s standards it would be considered something of a big lump. Not at all like the company’s new Xperia Z smartphone then.
With the age of the console yet to really take hold in a huge way, desktop computers were still the order of the day back in 1985. Within that realm, Commodore was at the very forefront thanks to the launch of its A1000 PC.
Hailed as the very first multimedia computer (thanks to its groundbreaking audio and graphics capabilities), the A1000 was rated by none other than PC World Magazine as the 7th greatest PC of all time. Interestingly, Commodore took the decision to only sell the Amiga through computer stores and not toy stores in an effort to change public perception of the brand. How very Apple.
So, there we have it. You are now equipped with enough eighties tech knowledge to impress friends, family and strangers alike for the foreseeable future. You can thank us later.
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