Watch this Coleco Adam home computer commercial starring Lori Loughlin (1984)

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/09/24/watch-this-coleco-adam-home-co.html

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What is going on with the way that guy types?

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I wanted an Adam so badly back in the day. When my parents got me a ColecoVision for Christmas, all of the booklets insisted that, really really soon, I’d be able to turn it into a fully functioning computer. When they finally delivered on that promise, it was… underwhelming. And they had a bad habit of breaking down, and erasing your files when you started up the system. But they did have a surprisingly good word processor and printer!

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Apparently, she just has really bad legal instincts.

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He must be typing soooo fast it’s skipping the frame-rate.

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I was more flummoxed by the fact that this nerd has a 20 year old Lori Loughlin in his room at night and decides it’s time to…play video games? I guess if she was that impressed by him finishing his paper, maybe she’ll really love seeing him play Launch Sequence for six hours.

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It does look odd- as if he’s seen typing before but isn’t exactly sure how it’s done.

Either that, or it’s a holdover from being taught to type on a mechanical typewriter, and he’s used to having to give the keys a lot more vertical movement.

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I think they cast this kid and forgot to make sure he could type.

It reminds me of a time when my team and I cast an actor for a commercial in which he’d need to park a car… We stupidly assumed everyone knew how to do that, but found out on set that the’d never driven before… Fun times!

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That makes a weird kind of sense… this was the 80s, and most everyone did not have a computer in their home back then or use them regularly for work/school like now…

What did you guys do about the kid in your commercial? Did you go with the second casting choice or did you try and train him to do the job?

Also, casting director stories!

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(N.B. Rusting was not actually a problem with the Coleco Adam.)

This being the Adam, it was all about that Super Buck Rogers.

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I have to admit that a big selling point to me about the Adam was its ability to save games, which was a very big deal in 1983.

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Is that Casey Kasem as the announcer? They really went all out.

She wouldn’t have taken a plea deal back then, either.

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First computer I ever interfaced with was some sort of dumb terminal hooked up to a time share computer someplace down at the University that we called into using an acoustic coupler… No idea what that iron was, but we had both punch cards and tape! And the Most Holy Thing one could do was to duplicate the StarTrek program tape. Tapes were not easy to come by way back when. Learned some simple programming that did nothing for me, other than that now I’m elbow deep in computer graphic design, web and game coding every day.

Amazing how far we’ve come in 40 years… playing with Adobe Fresco on iPad pro and pencil is amazeballs and this interweb thing is pretty cool too! Yahoo!

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My kind of commercial.

Fun fact: The Coleco Adam was the only 8-bit machine of its era that could read tape and disk data asynchronously in the background without occupying the main Z80 CPU. Games like Buck Rogers would load the next level off of tape/disk into memory while you’re playing the current level.

It could do this because its serial bus was controlled by a separate Motorola 6801 CPU that had direct access to system memory.

It was a flawed machine with some interesting engineering, an excellent keyboard, and a few great software titles.

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The director sat with him in the car for about 20 minutes and taught him to park it… It was a really minor shot so everything worked out in the end, but it was definitely a learning experience for me as writer/creative director!

In my limited experience so many things go wrong on set, the willingness to improvise is what gets everything done. But man it can be scary to watch the sun start to set while waiting for your mistake to be fixed… I work mostly in post now, and it’s far less nerve-wracking!

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Is that commercial legal?

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I remember one time I was casting for voiceover on a spot for P&G, and the agency sent me several CDs of v/o talent. I tried hard to sell P&G on using Henry Rollins or Jim Cummings for their coffee commercial. So close!

I will say though that I was very happy to get to cast this guy for an AirHogs spot. I wanted the ultimate nerdy teacher and wow, was he perfect.

14%20PM

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Ah yes, another in a long line of tech-related ads where the male shows the female “how it’s done”.

And that daisy wheel printer. Big smoke at the time, it seems. I have an old copy of the APA Style Guide somewhere that decries 9-pin dot-matrix text as entirely unsuitable for documents.

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