30 years of the IBM PC: Back when we had to be convinced to buy a computer

In the 1980s, when the personal computer was still mostly a novelty, we had to be convinced to buy a computer. IBM used an icon personality to make the case for its PC.

Some 30 years ago, when the concept of the personal computer was more of a luxury than a necessity, the general public had to be convinced that they needed to buy a PC. As other manufacturers like AT&T started selling IBM-clones, the marketing team at IBM decided to capture our attention with the iconic image of Charlie Chaplin's lovable tramp.

To this day, I don't know why that iconic image was chosen — I never got the connection. I can only assume IBM wanted to make us feel more comfortable with this strange new appliance. However, with that being said, I do still remember seeing them.

What early PC commercials do you remember?


Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox