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Computer Renaissance, Harbison Boulevard: 2000s   no comments

Posted at 5:27 pm in historic,stores

Computer Renaissance is a chain of used computer stores. I first became aware of them when I was working in Augusta, and there was one on the Bobby Jones Expressway where we would sometimes get parts, and where I bought a much beloved AT&T/NCR 386 laptop. (Which I still have, and which still works great, running FreeBSD 2.2, though I never could get X working). I say "used computer" store, but they also have new parts such as sound cards, video cards etc.

This particular store, which is now sells fitness equipment, is off of Harbison Boulevard in the Books-a-Million plaza. I got my second "main" home computer there while I was still living in Aiken. At the time, I was still convinced of the virtues of SCSI disks vs IDE (eventually the price differential just became too great however), and I was struck by a used SCSI tower system they had. It was just a 100mhz but it served me well as a DSL anchor box for years, and was still running fine when I retired it shortly after returning to Columbia (though I had switched out the SCSI drives for IDE by then).

Not too long after I got it, I noticed the Computer Renaissance store in Augusta went under, and the next time I checked Harbison, this store was gone as well. I think part of the problem was that new computers had just become so cheap that the used computer market crashed. There may also have been management problems. There is a new Computer Renaissance store out on Hardscrabble Road, and one of the guys there told me that the chain had completely changed concepts after its hard times. I believe he said they had switched from a company store model to a franchaise store model though I could have that backwards -- at any rate it was a big change. I have gotten some parts at the Hardscrabble store, and have seen some good deals on systems there, but in general, Hardscrabble is just to difficult for me to get to (it's obvious it's going to have to be a 4-lane road someday -- why not just bite the bullet and do it?) especially since I'm pretty comfortable with my computing base right now.

Written by ted on November 12th, 2008

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