Lonely Computer Begs Uninterested Public to "Touch Me" in 1983

I had no idea that there was a personal computer with a touchscreen on the market twenty-five years ago, but indeed there was: the HP-150 from Hewlett Packard (also the first computer to use the rigid 3.5” diskette). While not a "true" touchscreen (it uses infra-red transmitters and receivers), it's still jarring to see a feature that seems so modern set in a tiny black screen with glowing green type (those I remember). Alas, like many things ahead of their time, the HP-150 was not a big seller. P.S. If, like me, you think the caterpillar-into-butterfly metaphor is rather twee, take heart: According to John Barry’s Technobabble (1993), HP allegedly spent $30,000 trying to get the butterfly to land in the perfect spot on the computer screen in another ad from this campaign. Oh, the travails of advertising in a pre-CGI era.


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