The Softsel Hot List for the week of December 22, 1986


Back in the days before Internet-based software distribution, heck back even before the Internet existed in a form resembling what it is today, one of the most important ways of keeping track of the consumer computing industry was to subscribe to the Softsel Hot List, a weekly poster of the top sellers in various categories. Here is the Softsel Hot List for the week of December 22, 1986, or at least an HTML reproduction of it. The title at the top was inspired by a space agey font popular at the time, but I am too lazy to figure out how to do that in HTML so you'll have to use your imagination. (If your imagination fails you, you can use the photo from this page.)

SOFTSEL® HOT LIST®
HARDWARE
This
Week
Last
Week
Weeks
on
Chart
  PRINTERS
 1   1   43    120D Dot Matrix • Citizen America
 2   3   30  P7 Pinwriter • NEC Information Systems
 3   2   100    MSP-10 Dot Matrix • Citizen America
 4   4   19    P6 Pinwriter • NEC Information Systems
 5   5   34    Premiere 35 Daisywheel • Citizen America
 6   6   37    MSP-20 Dot Matrix • Citizen America
 7   7   86    MSP-15 Dot Matrix • Citizen America
 8   8   46    3550 Spinwwriter • NEC Information Systems
 9   9   33    P5 Pinwriter • NEC Information Systems
 10   –   1  KX-P1080i Dot Matrix • Panasonic
 
  MONITORS
 1   1   40    JC 1401 Multisync • NEC Home Electronics
 2   2   98    Video 310A Hi-Res Amber TTL • Amdek
 3   3   79    Color 600 Hi-Res RGB • Amdek
 4   4   33    JB 1285 Amber TTL • NEC Home Electronics
 5   6   37    Color 722 CGA/EGA • Amdek
 6   5   82    121 Hi-Res Green TTL • Taxan
 7   –   1  318 Hi-Res Color • AT&T
 8   7   50    122 Amber TTL • Taxan
 9   –   1  Super Vision 720 Hi-Res • Taxan
 10   –   1  313 Mono • AT&T
 
  DISK DRIVES & STORAGE DEVICES
 1   1   27    Laser FD100 Apple Drives • Video Technology • AP
 2   4   17  Bernoulli Box Dual 20MB • Iomega • IBM, MAC
 3   2   26    FileCard 20MB Hard Disk/Card • Western Digital • IBM
 4   3   36    QIC-60H External Tape Backup • Tecmar • IBM
 5   6   23    Bernoulli Box Dual 10MB • Iomega • IBM, MAC
 6   5   26    QIC-60AT Internal Tape Backup • Tecmar • IBM
 7   8   3    Teac AT 360k Drive • Maynard • IBM
 8   –   23    Maynstream 20MB Portable Backup • Maynard • IBM
 
  BOARDS, MODEMS & INTERFACES
 1   1   165    Hercules Graphics Card Plus • Hercules • IBM
 2   2   155    SixPakPlus • AST Research • IBM
 3   3   113    Hercules Color Card • Hercules • IBM
 4   4   170    Smartmodem 1200B • Hayes • IBM
 5   7   14    Above Board/AT • Intel • IBM
 6   5   188    Smartmodem 1200 • Hayes • AP
 7   8   38    Advantage AT! • AST Research • IBM
 8   6   68    Smartmodem 2400 • Hayes • IBM
 9   9   36    Gamecard III • CH Products • IBm
 10   11   35    Smartmodem 2400B • Hayes • IBM
 11   13   113    Grappler • Orange Micro • AP
 12   16   37  Practical Modem 1200 • Practical Peripherals • IBM
 13   12   37    Above Board/PC • Intel • IBM
 14   10   31    QuadEGA+ • Quadram • IBM
 15   15   7    SixPakPremium • AST Research • IBM
 16   20   20    Rampage! AT • AST Research • IBM
 17   –   19    Hotlink • Orange Micro • AP
 18   18   17    Autoswitch EGA • Paradise Systems • IBM
 19   19   39    Expanding Quadboard • Quadram • IBM
 20   17   2    Advantage Premium • AST Research • IBM
 
  ACCESSORIES
 1   1   116    Mach III • CH Products • AP, IBM
 2   2   98    Microsoft Mouse • Microsoft • IBM
 3   3   178    Joystick • Kraft Systems • AP, IBM
 4   4   35    Mach II • CH Products • AP, IBM
 5   5   2  Tac 10 • Suncom • AP, IBM
 6   7   34    Safe Strip • Curtis Manufacturing
 7   8   222    System Saver • Kensington • AP, MAC
 8   9   10    Intel 80287 Coprocessor • Intel • IBM
 9   10   99    MasterPiece • Kensington • IBM
 10   –   21    Intel 8087 Coprocessor • Intel • IBM
SOFTWARE
This
Week
Last
Week
Weeks
on
Chart
  BUSINESS
 1   1   138    WordPerfect • WordPerfect Corp • AP, IBM
 2   2   202    1-2-3 • Lotus • IBM
 3   5   22  Javelin • Javelin • IBM
 4   3   161    Microsoft Word • Microsoft • IBM, MAC
 5   4   7    Quicken • Intuit • AP, IBM
 6   6   15    PFS:First Choice • Software Publishing • IBM
 7   8   31    SQZ! • Turner Hall • IBM
 8   7   49    dBase III Plus • Ashton-tate • IBM
 9   11   3  Lotus HAL • Lotus • IBM
 10   9   57    Q & A • Symantec • IBM
 11   12   113    Sidekick • Borland Int'l. • IBM
 12   10   56    Paradox • Ansa Software • IBM
 13   27   2  NewsMaster • Unison (Brown-Wagh) • IBM
 14   20   27  ProDesign II • American Small Bus. Comp. • IBM
 15   15   27    DAC Easy Accounting • DAC • IBM
 16   16   9    Microsoft Works • Microsoft • MAC
 17   13   57    VP Planner • Paperback Software • IBM
 18   18   11    PFS:Professional Write • Software Publishing • IBM
 19   14   18    MacDraft • IDD • MAC
 20   21   177    Multimate • Ashton-Tate • IBM
 21   22   55    Reflex • Borland Int'l. • IBM, MAC
 22   19   37    Multimate Advantage • Ashton-Tate • IBM
 23   24   25    Note-It • Turner Hall • IBM
 24   25   8    Clipper • Nantucket • IBM
 25   23   97    Wordstar 2000 • MicroPro Int'l. • IBM
 26   28   52    Microsoft Windows • Microsoft • IBM
 27   17   62    Microsoft Excel • Microsoft • MAC
 28   –   9    MORE • Living Videotext • MAC
 29   –   1  PFS:Professional File • Software Publishing • IBM
 30   –   7    R:Base System V • Microrim • IBM
 
  SYSTEMS & UTILITIES
 1   1   167    Crosstalk XVI • DCA/Crosstalk Communications • AP, IBM
 2   3   116    Norton Utilities • Norton Computing • IBM
 3   4   140    Sideways • Funk Software • IBM
 4   2   39    Fastback • Fifth Generation • IBM
 5   9   109  Turbo Pascal • Borland Int'l • AP, IBM, MAC
 6   8   17    Carbon Copy • Meridian Technology • IBM
 7   6   25    Dan Bricklin's Demo Program • Software Garden • IBM
 8   5   99    Smartcom II • Hayes • IBM, MAC
 9   7   27    XTREE • Executive Systems • IBM
 10   10   5    Disk Optimizer • SoftLogic Solutions • IBM
 
  HOME & EDUCATION
 1   1   128    Print Shop • Broderbund • AP, IBM, MAC, COM
 2   2   163    Math Blaster! • Davidson & Assoc. • AP, IBM, MAC, COM, AT
 3   6   5  Microsoft Learning DOS • Microsoft • IBM
 4   3   122    Typing Tutor III • Simon & Shuster • AP, IBM, MAC, COM
 5   4   21    Certificate Maker • Springboard • AP, IBM, COM
 6   –   90  Managing Your Money • MECA • AP, IBM
 7   5   95    The Newsroom • Springboard • AP, IBM, COM
 8   8   194    Bank Street Writer • Broderbund • AP, IBM, COM
 9   7   211    Mastertype • Mindscape • AP, IBM
 10   –   118    E.G. for Young Children • Springboard • AP, IBM, MAC
 
  RECREATION
 1   1   203    Microsoft Flight Simulator • Microsoft • IBM, MAC
 2   2   156    Sargon III • Hayden Software • AP, IBM, MAC, AT
 3   4   3    King's Quest III • Sierra On-Line • IBM, ST
 4   3   71    Jet • SubLogic • AP, IBM, COM
 5   5   52    Winter Games • Epyx • AP, MAC, COM, ST
 6   7   91    F-15 Strike Eagle • Microprose • AP, IBM
 7   6   204    Flight Simulator II • SubLogic • AP, COM, AT, AG
 8   8   43    Silent Service • Microprose • AP, IBM
 9   10   48    Where is Carmen San Diego • Broderbund • AP, IBM, COM
 10   –   1  Bop'N Wrestle • Mindscape • AP, IBM, COM
BEST PERFORMERS THIS WEEK COMING UP FAST WATCH CLOSELY

Week of December 22, 1986

The HOT LIST is compiled from Softsel sales to over 15,000 dealers in 50 states and 45 countries. Sales may vary regionally. The names of the products and companies appearing above may be trademarks or registered trademarks.
For an annual HOT LIST subscription, send your check for to: Softsel Computer Products, Inc., Attn: Hot List Subscriptions, 546 North Oak Street, P.O. Box 6080, Inglewood California, 90312-6080. For more details, please call Softsel's Marketing Department at (213) 412-8290.
©1986 Softsel® Computer Products, Inc.
Comments (21)
  1. Hildar says:

    Is that a few hard drives with TENS of Megabytes I spy? Who would ever need that much disk space. Next you will be telling me I need the whole 640kB of ram just for my OS, preposterous I say!

  2. DWalker says:

    What, no prices?

    I recently found a Micron catalog for "Holiday 1997".  16MB of memory was $55.99.  64MB was $248.00.  A 17" monitor was $499.99.  

    A ClientPro VXE 166 computer (with a 166MHz Pentium) was $1449.00.  A Millenia MME 266MHz computer with 48MB of SDRAM and Office 97 SBE was $2199.00.  Monitor included.  (Office 97 Pro was $259.99, close to the same price it is now.)

    If you wanted to go all the way to a server-class 300 MHz Pentium II processor, with 64MB memory, the price was $6199.00.

    Good times.....

  3. John says:

    It blows my mind that companies like Broderbund and Sierra are, for the most part, distant memories, but some of our business areas are still using Lotus Notes. Then again, that business software category would logically have a lot more staying power than the others just by nature of the sector.

  4. Michael says:

    What are those "best performers", "coming up", and "watch closely" icons supposed to be? They look like a person sitting on a toilet to me...

    [They are a man sitting on a chair watching, sitting on a chair applauding, or standing on a chair applauding. Perhaps inspired by this. -Raymond]
  5. JIm says:

    I can see that IBM dominated the Computer product landscape either HW or SW. If you can make this similar list today, who would that be?

  6. Joshua says:

    Ah yes XTREE. Really good right up until the Windows directory got too big to fit in DOS RAM.

  7. Scott Brickey says:

    While not on the list, I know of at least a few OKI MicroLine 320 (dot matrix / impact / continuous fed paper) printers that are STILL in use TODAY.

  8. JM says:

    The Microsoft Mouse at position 2... I still remember my Logitech MouseMan with fondness, but it wasn't introduced until 1990. And to this day I'm still replacing my mouse when I get a new computer -- now I couldn't live with a free-spin wheel.

    My keyboard, not so much. As far as I'm concerned development of that stopped with the Model M. I have a modern remake that includes the Windows keys, but that's it.

  9. Dave Bacher says:

    @John:

    Broderbund specializes in educational software; they're very much still around.  They always were focused on the educational market, with the other software as kind of a tag-along.  Where else are you going to find an app to teach you to play the violin, complete with a working violin?

  10. Skyborne says:

    Daisywheel?  That brings back the memories.  My dad had a daisywheel-based printer hooked up to a series of bitty boxes through the 70s-90s, but I think the last system to use it was an Amiga 500.  When we finally got a Windows 95 PC, we got an inkjet to go with it.  With patience, it could produce 300dpi output!

    Whenever my mom complained about the noise of the daisywheel, he'd tell her to be thankful it wasn't a chain printer.

  11. mikeb says:

    Look at all those 1200 & 2400 Baud modems. And whippersnappers today complain when they don't have an LTE capable mobile phone.

  12. Gabe says:

    What surprised me most about the list is that MS Word was actually on the list nearly a half-year longer (161 weeks vs. 138) than WordPerfect!

  13. eggplant says:

    I longed for a FileCard. This was a 3.5" disk, welded to an ISA controller board. One slot, no bays, big drive (for the time). About the size of a modern high-end video card, but generated far less heat (although it ran very hot for its day).

  14. I am 10 years younger than the products on this list...I would like to been there

  15. Amos says:

    Back when a 300 baud modem was lightning fast!  Everything was text based back then no pictures.

  16. Antonio 'Grijan' says:

    I remember using most of the software titles for the Apple II listed there. Back in the day. I feel old.

    @Gabe: Microsoft Word and WordPerfect were second generation word processors. They replaced the first generation kings: Wordstar and Apple Writer, both from the late 70s.

  17. cheong00 says:

    It surprise me that Genius mouse from KYE Systems is not on the list. I remember that they are known to be cheap but reliable, and was my uncle's favorite.

    Btw, I was just at primary 1 at the time.

  18. Joe says:

    Makes me feel old when I recognized more than half the products on that list and have used at least a third.

  19. John Styles says:

    Good God! R:Base is still going en.wikipedia.org/.../R:Base ! Despite the [Citation Needed] in the article, I do remember we had a copy of the Microsoft badged R:Base sitting round in our office. I don't remember anyone ever using it.

  20. Erik F says:

    I remember the first NEC MultiSync with fondness. Before that, every time you changed adapters you basically needed a new display, so the ability to keep the display was amazing! There was one at my high school and it managed to last almost 10 years before the vacuum tube inside started to die. Its last use was to display VGA on an original 2-floppy, 64KB, 4.77 MHz IBM PC with a 10MB HardCard and a 512KB multifunction card; I think that we even were able to get Windows 2.0 installed, although you didn't want to actually use it because the computer was so frustratingly slow. It still beat the pathetic Olivettis that we had kicking around though! Good times.

  21. 12BitSlab says:

    It surprised me to see how many of those products I remember.  It also surprised me -- although it shouldn't have -- to see how many of the companies are no longer around.

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