Fourmilab Home Page

Marinchip Systems
First Advertisement: 1978


Marinchip Systems: First Advertisement, 1978

Shortly after we announced the M9900 CPU at the Second West Coast Computer Faire in March, 1978, we began to run a monthly advertisement in Kilobaud and Byte magazines. This was an inexpensive third-page black and white ad (we only learned later that the cheap addition of a single process colour made it jump out of the page) which was produced by another entrepreneur in Marin County operating out of his house. I wrote the copy, and he handled the photography, production of half-tone and masters, typesetting and layout. Of course, once you run an ad in a national publication, you have to keep on running it every month lest people assume you've gone out of business (which happened frequently in this embryonic phase of personal computing). As humble as this ad was, it ended up recruiting the majority of Marinchip's customers and dealers who sustained the company over its history. This is how the ad appeared in the August 1978 edition of Kilobaud. We ran the same ad for over a year. The “M49” in the ad was added by the publisher to link it to the “bingo cards” they sent us for reader queries generated by the advert. We responded to them by mailing our product brochure and price list, a later version of which you can see here.

It made me ill to see “Pascal” set in all capitals in the title here, as if it were an acronym. Note that it is properly rendered in the body copy. The designer said it was necessary to balance the all-caps at the left of the title. Liberal arts majors….