[Smaug] Dawn of Personal computing: West Coast Computer Faire

Peter Belew abcruzww at gmail.com
Tue Apr 19 13:37:37 PDT 2011


And the computer faires were replaced by the so-called "swap meets",
with lots of small vendors, mostly local, selling bargain-price
software and parts at the Cow Palace, San Mateo Fairgrounds, a civic
auditorium in Oakland, etc. Most of the vendors were small stores in
the Bay Area. With the growth of the WWW most of the vendors shifted
online/mail distribution. I was sorry to see that go - it was fun to
go to those with some friends and wander around looking at the stuff,
maybe even buying something.

Another thing that changed that was the growth of computer/electronic
superstores like Fry's, CompUSA, and so on. In the Bay Area, most of
those have failed, except for Fry's. (CompUSA went under in 2007, but
the Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, whose company owned CompUSA, is
still among the 3 or so richest people on the planet.

On Tue, Apr 19, 2011 at 1:11 PM, Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:
> Quoting Peter Belew (peterbe at sonic.net):
>
>> At one of the Computer Faires in the SF Civic Auditorium I met
>> Gianluigi Zappacosta, one of Logitech's founders, and bought my first
>> mouse. I later visited the US headquarters of Logitech, above the Palo
>> Alto Bike Shop on University Avenue in that city, and was given a
>> Logi-mouse poster.
>
> I loved the West Coast Computer Faires, even though they turned into
> almost entirely a flea market for bargain hunters, after the first few
> years.
>
> At one of the latter-year events, I was helping my friend John Smith of
> Datasmiths staff his booth, when a pimply-faced youth leaned over the
> counter.
>
> PFY:  'How much for Norton Utilities?'
> RM:   '$65.'
> PFY:  'So much?  PC by Root has it for $45.'
> RM:   'Well, why don't you buy it there, then?'
> PFY:  'Er... Ivan Root says they're out of stock.'
> RM:   <big grin>  'When _we're_ out of stock, _our_ price is $40.'
>
> I love it when someone wet behind the ears lets you haul out a corny old
> joke, like that.
>
>
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>
>



-- 
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That's why you have a UNIX or Linux or BSD server for backups.

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