Things back then were very different.
All of us can vividly remember the first PC we had at home or in school. These early models could do a lot (or so we thought) from word processing to games to doing the finances. Of course all this pales in comparison to the devices we use today which can connect us to people around the world in mere seconds. Without a lot of experience with computers back in 1994 the process of buying a home computer was mystifying for most people. And it was expensive for everyone.
To buy a Macintosh in 1994 cost $1,999. The monitor was built in and the cost included a mouse and keyboard, but still this was a lot of money in 1994. Accounting for inflation that would be around $3,572 in today’s money. To buy a Mac printer to go with cost about $800 (or $1,400 today).
So aside from the accessories, what did this huge investment get you? Well, according to the sales pitch you’d get a whopping 160 MHz hard drive. Today you can buy a PC with thousands of times that amount of power for much less. What about storage? How does 4 megabytes of RAM sound? It’s nothing when you consider that today you can buy a thumb drive with 2 terabytes for under $50.
It just goes to show how much things have changed when even our smart phones are more powerful than these early computers yet can fit in one’s hand.
For the tech-hungry folks of the 1990s – just before the internet rose to dominate business, work, and school- these home computers were a deep dive into a realm of data that had never been experienced before. Even to be able to play a movie clip on a PC was wild to think of at the time.