Jan 172014

Courtesy the wonderful world of the Intertubes (what else?) comes an excellent item that lends perspective to the pace of technological change over the past two decades.

Steve Cichon, a writer and local historian in Buffalo, NY, happened upon this full-page newspaper ad from Radio Shack circa 1991:


only to realize that the functions of thirteen of the fifteen electronic gizmos listed for sale (including a “microthin” calculator, VHS camcorder, portable CD player, desktop scanner, and a handheld cassette tape recorder) can be performed by his iPhone at a fraction of the cost.

As Cichon notes:

“You’d have spent $3054.82 in 1991 to buy all the stuff in this ad that you can now do with your phone. That amount is roughly equivalent to about [$5224.98] in [2013] dollars.”

The current price for an entry-level 16-GB iPhone 5s? $199

From this perspective, at least, the price of progress looks like a pretty sweet deal.

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