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First post, by eesz34

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Sorry if this has already been discussed. I'm sure it has but couldn't find it, instead finding posts on current prices for old hardware.

I used to have a Hauppauge 386/16 like this one: https://books.google.com/books?id=6T4EAAAAMBA … AT%2F16&f=false

$1500 in 1988, $3600 in today's dollars! For a motherboard that doesn't seem all that remarkable.

The original Adlib card: http://dosdays.co.uk/topics/Manufacturers/adlib.php
$220 in 1987, $550 today! This board contains a lot of common chips that were common and cheap then, and this blows me away.

Less remarkable was the first hard drive I ever bought, a ST3243A 214MB for around $220 in approximately 1994, which is over $400 today. That is the most expensive hard drive I ever purchased, even when not accounting for inflation.

Same goes for a 4MB 72 pin SIMM I bought for $180, around 1995-96. That also was the most expensive RAM purchase I ever made, even ignoring inflation.

No wonder I didn't have nice things, being a kid who was too young to have a job and parents that saw no value in a computer.

Last edited by eesz34 on 2022-02-18, 17:18. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 1 of 11, by The Serpent Rider

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Well yeah, prices dropped significantly since 80s, due to relocation of various manufacturing plants into Asia and increased scale of production. Although it might over now, due to prolonged disruption of logistics and increasing hostility between China and other actors in the region.

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Reply 2 of 11, by eesz34

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2022-02-18, 16:49:

Well yeah, prices dropped significantly since 80s, due to relocation of various manufacturing plants into Asia and increased scale of production. Although it might over now, due to prolonged disruption of logistics and increasing hostility between China and other actors in the region.

I should have added, I find it equally amazing just how much technology I can get on a modern MB for the price. $50-$100 is incredible when one considers these are, what, 8 layer boards or more, with a lot of specialized components on them.

Reply 3 of 11, by StevOnehundred

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The original price of my 1997 Packard Bell MediaRunner - 233mHz MMX, 6gb drive, CD-ROM, 32mb RAM was nearly £1300. Prices really started dropping 2000/2001, I think, especially when XP arrived and opened up easy and reliable internet connection for the majority. You could get a 2.66gHz P4 machine for about £400 by 2002.

I paid £50 for the PB in 2003 and that included a 6 month old monitor! Used it daily til 2009. When I finally upgraded, I got a shiny new Dell quad-core, 4gb RAM for £500.

Reply 4 of 11, by BitWrangler

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Heh yeah, my parents bought me a ~$150 8 bit machine in 1981 checked off "computer supplied" and over the next 10 years just wasted all their money on boring stuff like food, heat and fixing the roof... so yeah, I was working 1.5 jobs before I had my next computer.

edit: crap I lied... I actually bought 2 other models of that 8 bit and a previous model used from junk sales for "paper route" pocket money about 5 years later, between $2 and $20 maybe. Mainly because the original was shared with a sibling... annnd of course to start my obsession with taking computers apart and poking at the innards with a sharp stick.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 5 of 11, by Jo22

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Remember mid 90's RAM prices? Suddenly, prices dropped. What happened?
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10176890

Hm. I thought there was a time (late 80s-early 90s?) in which RAM prices were lower/moderate before the price increased.
Hm. Not sure. Maybe my memories play tricks on me. 😅

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In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 6 of 11, by BitWrangler

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Yah RAM prices are always a rollercoaster, driven by periodic shortages in manufacturing, changeover from one tech to another and release of RAM hungry "killer apps" such that everyone wanted to upgrade at the same time.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 7 of 11, by charliegolf

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It seemed like I couldn't afford anything back then.
I had nasty quickshot joysticks and couldn't afford a soundblaster. I got a Media vision thunderboard as my first sound card from the bargain bucket of the local computer store and later got a GUS for cheap when they were selling them off as clearance . My first 3d card was a hand me down voodoo banshee. If only I still had them now 😒

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Reply 8 of 11, by konc

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Imagine how hard it was for people living in underdeveloped or developing countries with a still weak local currency and no tech production to get into computers. Similarly to anything new and imported of course.

Many bought a brand new 8-bit home computer or an XT in the early 90s, while ads in the US or Germany for example were about 486s. And not because they were "poor", the contrary. They could afford a seriously outdated computer costing a couple of monthly salaries only because they were relatively wealthy. In a poor country though 😀

Reply 9 of 11, by lawyerpepper

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I vividly remember buy RAM for $25/MB in the late 90's and thinking that I got a great deal. Inflation-adjusted, that's 43.79/MB * 64GB = $2,869,821.44 worth of RAM in my desktop. Apparently I'm rich.

Reply 10 of 11, by AppleSauce

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What's even more amazing is that people can now actually consider buying things like an mt32 , sure they're still fairly expensive , but back then man , its no wonder not many people had them.

This article has the original price.

http://www.muzines.co.uk/articles/roland-mt-32/2510

For a bit of comparison of price with inflation:

Price
1987 £450
2022 £1294

That would be like buying a super top tier graphics card these days.

Reply 11 of 11, by The Serpent Rider

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AppleSauce wrote:

That would be like buying a super top tier graphics card these days.

£1294

*chuckles*

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me