Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cover to Cover: Aardvark Ltd. 1983 Catalog (order form, back cover)

Our current Cover-to-Cover survey of a vintage game catalog wraps up today, with the last few pages of the Aardvark Ltd. catalog for February/March 1983.

Page "15" is the Order Form, a relic of the pre-email, pre-laser printer, pre-Web era:

From a 2011 perspective, this page serves to inform or remind us that:
  • The MasterCard used to be known as MasterCharge
  • There were 4 different configurations of the Ohio Scientific Instruments (OSI) computer on the market
  • Software could still be purchased on cassettes and loaded into memory via audio signals, at sub-modem speeds
  • There were 2 different floppy disk formats in use (neither of which was the 3.5" hard-case format)
  • The TRS-80 Color Computer had two versions of BASIC, and Extended BASIC was not necessarily fully backward-compatible with the simpler version
  • Ads for computer games were more likely to be seen in print magazines than anywhere else, and games were often purchased sight unseen
  • A mail order business could operate Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 4 PM, instead of 24 x 7
  • Aardvark's word processor used to "typeset this entire catalog" was not capable of handling tables with labeled columns, so those are supplied the old fashioned way, with a typewriter
And then we're at the back cover, with one of those vaguely evocative adventure game-themed drawings used to decorate this sort of publication back in the day.  I must have received this catalog with something I bought from Aardvark, as there's no mailing address label.  I never physically visited the company until I found myself living in the area years later, and discovered a chiropractor's office at Aardvark's former location.

And that wraps up another old computer/video game catalog!  I have a lot of these in the archives, so after a brief random ad intermission tomorrow, I'll most likely start sharing another one with you.

1 comment:

  1. I “won” an Aardvark catalog at a fiber arts event I attended in the 80’s. I loved the quirky selection of things and ordered some things. It was literally a mom and pop who owned the business, and they had one daughter. The parents were tragically killed in a traffic accident on the way to an oncology treatment for the father.