Archive for the ‘computers’ tag
I see this storefront has already attracted another business: Laptops For Less. It's a little odd that the Radio Shack marquee is still up there. Usually a chain which is still in some form of existence wants their logo off of former locations. And there *are* still some open stores though the present continued existence of RS as an entity is pretty tenuous at the moment.
Technesis at 536 Meeting St in West Columbia has closed.
This was the followup operation to Microprice around 2010.
The owner sold the customers to another IT company out of Charlotte and closed the doors.
It is nice that the customers were taken care of in the closing.
(Hat tip to commenter Frank)
Here's another vacant storefront in Tillman's Plaza on Two Notch. I happened to glace across the street as I was at Kinko's, printing some documents and noticed it was gone.
Here's a vacant little Leesburg Plaza storefront. It's not too clear initially what it was:
So let's take that sign and equalize it:
And then flip it:
OK then -- based on phonebooks, it looks like Shell PC & Networking Solutions probably closed shop in 2010.
I would never go back to one, but there is something magical about a typewriter: the rhythm of the keys, the ding of the bell, the tactile sensation of the platten ratchet advancing while you slap the carriage back over.. Even the smell of one is distinctive, a unique combination of metal, stale air, oil and ink. And for something ubiquitous so recently there are few other things (the phonograph is one..) that illustrate the generational divide so clearly. Set a high school student in front of a typewriter today, and you might as well have supplied a blank cuneiform tablet and chisels.
The Typewriter Exchange had been on Two Notch for as long as I can remember, probably going back into the '60s. I often wondered in recent years how they continued on, but a look through their window suggested they had moved into computer repair as typewriters became paperweights. Although the building had been up for sale since at least 2010, the business continued until recently, but last time I drove by, I noticed the place is now a church.
UPDATE 29 April 2014 -- Here is the place today as Fruit Of The Spirit Love Ministry:
Chipco specializes in building a wide variety of desktop computers for just about any application.
Columbia has had more tech companies than you might expect, back at least to the days when NCR was building innovative systems in West Columbia. Still, I was unaware of this distributor, nestled with a cheerleading academy in a business park off of Farrow Road. I'm not sure exactly when they closed, but given that it was just in Have Your Say and that we recently turned a month over, I suspect it was the end of March.
(Hat tip to commenter Joe)
Once upon a time, computers were magical devices, "Electronic Brains", spoken of with tinges of awe and fear. See for instance the classic Hepburn / Tracy movie Desk Set. Nobody, in their day-to-day lives would expect to see a computer, and few people had any idea what they actually looked like. Everybody was sure, however, that they involved lots of blinking lights (and tape drives moving forever back and forth).
That first actually wasn't far from the truth. Early computers did have many lights, often signifying bits in various registers and program counters. They also had toggle switches (like the much missed computer in the old Columbia Science Museum) for setting all those bits.
The illuminated front panels of early computers loomed large enough in techie culture that you often found variations of the following sign posted in a computer room:
ALLES TURISTEN UND NONTEKNISCHEN LOOKENPEEPERS!
DAS KOMPUTERMASCHINE IST NICHT FÜR DER GEFINGERPOKEN UND MITTENGRABEN!
ODERWISE IST EASY TO SCHNAPPEN DER SPRINGENWERK, BLOWENFUSEN UND POPPENCORKEN MIT SPITZENSPARKSEN.
IST NICHT FÜR GEWERKEN BEI DUMMKOPFEN. DER RUBBERNECKEN SIGHTSEEREN KEEPEN DAS COTTONPICKEN HÄNDER IN DAS POCKETS MUSS.
ZO RELAXEN UND WATSCHEN DER BLINKENLICHTEN.
and the portmanteau word blinkenlights permanently entered the hacker lexicon.
So people were interested, a bit awed and a bit scared by the idea of computers, and had only a very general idea of what they could do and how they looked. Thus: The TELEVAC 86000.
This amiable faux computer has been making the rounds for as long as I can remember, which is to say, at least since 1965 or so, and probably prior to that. Every year, it would set up shop in the Steel Building or the Ruff Building and dazzle the passers by. How could you possibly doubt a handwriting analysis from the TELEVAC 86000? IT'S A COMPUTER! IT'S SCIENCE! IT HAS BLINKING LIGHTS!
While we never did spring for the analysis when my parents took us to the fair back in the day, I have the feeling that at the time, this wonder of technology dispensed pre-printed cards dissecting your penmanship -- certainly there were no portable printers available for such a travelling roadshow.
As the years went on, the TELEVAC did add a printer, and astrological predictions as well as handwriting analysis, but the basic blinkenlights front panel stayed fundamentally unaltered, even through the name change to the less antique sounding CENTAURI-68000.
By the time I actually dropped $3.00 in 2012, the whole concept was not too credible. Whereas in 1965, nobody had seen a computer, much less had a computer, and the blinkenlights represented (to this 5 year old anyway) the apex of science, by 2012 most everybody (including lots of the 5 year olds) had a computer, and everybody knew what one looked like.
Sad to say, the TELEVAC / CENTAURI did not make an appearance at the 2013 State Fair, and I'm afraid it is the end of an era.
I've noticed Maunz Electronics off and on over the years as I drove down Sunset. The building has some nice retro touches (which may have been current when it was built), and it would catch my eye, as would the strong blue of the roadside sign.
The notices on the door list 12 October 2012 as the last day here, with the nice touch of referring people to another local business for future work.
(Hat tip to commenter MB)
Well, that didn't last too long. On the other hand, I suppose it wasn't intended to since similar exhibitions zip in and out of Jamil Temple fairly often. (Not to mention temporary stores like Giant Book Sale in other unused Harbison storefronts).
Anyway, this liquidation center went into the old Office Depot location across from the Harbison Barnes & Noble a month or so ago, and offered bargins on fashion and electronics. I've gotten some good deals on computer equipment at the Jamil sales, but the trick is to remember that you only go if you actually think you'll buy something, as there is a $5.00 fee just to walk in the door. In this instance, there was nothing much I needed, so I never did.
I see from a sign that the building is still available for short-term leases, so perhaps the lidiquation company (apparently out of Ohio) will lease it again sometime.
Now computer store PC Corner (which was *not* in a corner spot.. ) has joined them, and fairly recently I think, as it was listed in this year's (February 2012) phonebook.
UPDATE 13 May 2012 -- Commenter Terry sends in this 1994 receipt for a top-of-the-line PC Corner system. Hey Terry, I think you can let that receipt go now -- I'm pretty sure the warranty has expired!