electronicbook Here’s a blast from the past. BoingBoing links to a 1986 ad for “The New Electronic Book from Radio Shack!” The device cost $24.95 ($48.17 in 2009 dollars) with supplemental “learning packages” that ranged from $19.95 to $24.95 each.

Of course, what Radio Shack considered an “electronic book” then is very different from what we would call an “e-book” now. This was a peripheral shaped like a physical book that plugged into the Color Computer 2’s joystick port, with touch-sensitive surfaces that kids could touch to evoke a response from a computer program—not a “book” that one read electronically.

Still, it is interesting to see the term was in use as far back as 1986.


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