Abby’s House of Discount Software (Commodore 64, VIC-20)

in retrocomputing •  12 days ago


http://megalextoria.blogspot.com/2018/09/abbys-house-of-discount-software.html

It's always interesting to go back and look at these ads from various 8-bit software/hardware dealers of the 80s to see what was available. I swear some of these places must have literally been fly by night. I never remember seeing and ad for this particular dealer until I ran across this one recently.

This particular ad is from the June 1984 issue of Commander magazine, a Commodore 8-bit publication. What's interesting about this one is that it is early enough to show cassette based software for sale. The Commodore 64 had been introduced less than two years before and had not been widely available for too long at this point. However, it's pretty clear from this ad that cassette based software, while certainly available in North America, was never as popular as disk or cartridge based software.

Read more: http://megalextoria.blogspot.com/2018/09/abbys-house-of-discount-software.html

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These sorts of ads are ubiquitous in the early days of computing and video game hobbyist publications. Many of them were basic wholesalers who got a discount for buying direct from the publisher in bulk, then did a slight price markup which still beat the prices at the computer shop. There were fly-by-night operations, but they often didn't last very long. Since early adopters of home computer tech tended to be a more hardcore user base than what we find today, outfits that screwed over customers quickly found their exploits broadcast over every public, semi-private, and private BBS service in the country and watched their sales dry up overnight through word of mouth. :)

Interestingly enough, a good way to avoid the scams was to use companies like this one, which allowed C.O.D. (charge on delivery) ordering. There was often a small charge for this service, but it meant unless their product arrived safely and satisfactorily to the customer, the business didn't get their money. :)

I too love these old ads, as I grew up at a time when you'd still see them in the back of EGM and GamePro. :)

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It seemed like by the time the late 80s rolled around, things had settled down. There were still plenty of ads like this but they were mostly from the same half dozen companies or so. I remember I ordered Pool of Radiance for my Commodore 64 from one of these places though I can't remember for sure which one...

Same as @modernzorker I really love seeing these ads again too, they bring me back to the promise I felt as a child when I imagined all the cool software I could potentially order and use.

Of course I didn't actually order that much (I was pretty young and the budget was very small) but when I did it was a huge event.

So mostly I would just read about everything.

Thanks for continuing to do this wonderful archival work.

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