does anyone remember computer shows?

This is a discussion on does anyone remember computer shows? within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Hi all, Does anyone remember computer shows? It was the place you could go to meet other likeminded computer nerds ...

  1. #1
    Linguistic Engineer... doubleanti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    2,459

    does anyone remember computer shows?

    Hi all,

    Does anyone remember computer shows? It was the place you could go to meet other likeminded computer nerds and vendors who sold you hardware at prices lower than what you could readily purchase elsewhere. When I was 12 my pop would take us down to Pomona to the Fairplex. It was in two giant hangars and there a lot... a lot... of sweaty old men there. But never mind that!

    We might purchase some RAM or I remember we would always have to go to different tables to compare prices for CPUs and stuff. Remember when it was amd and intel and cyrix? I remember once he spent 30 bucks for 8 megs of ram so I could play Quake shareware when it first came out. Because it needed 8 megs. I remember too that once we got like, the cyrix 686 cpu which ran at like 75 mHz or something, and it was 'sooo' fast! Or like my pop once bought a 4x cd-rom drive, and I got all excited because we could play doom 2 directly off of the cd!

    It was at the point where it was worth the 6 bucks for parking, because every time you went you knew you were gonna get something good, and my dad would give me his 'old' stuff, which meant an upgrade for me! =)

    Anyways... so yeah the internet sort of ruined all that for us. Boo... but remember?
    hasafraggin shizigishin oppashigger...

  2. #2
    Registered User Sharke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    303
    Yep - two places where you're likely to get a bunch of deeply unstylish and/or nerdy guys - computer shows and guitar shows. I went to a few of both in the 80's and early 90's. I guess that makes me a nerd. At the computer shows all I can remember is dot matrix printers as far as the eye could see; at the guitar shows, balding denim clad middle aged men as far as the eye could see.

    I don't know what was worse - seeing a bunch of nerds crowding around another nerd programming in assembly language, or seeing a bunch of nerds crowding around another nerd demonstrating his guitar chops.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,167
    Yeah we still have those here in Taiwan. Prices are typically 10-20% lower than everywhere else, if you take the time to compare prices (they are like... 100 computer stores in the same building), and prices are definitely negotiable. You can negotiate for freebies with your purchases, too. Common ones are things like keyboards, mice, speakers, extension cords, USB flash drives, bluetooth dongles, a few sticks of RAM... things that don't cost much to them, but are potentially very useful to you. They have a set of prices on the internet, and a lower set if you call them, and even lower if you go ask them in person.

    I'm not sure if that's what you meant by "computer show", though. There's the COMPUTEX (the second largest annual computer show in the world, after the one in Germany) in Taiwan, where they unveil new products and technologies, but it's not open to the general public.

  4. #4
    Linguistic Engineer... doubleanti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    2,459
    Oh wow, yeah it's like that, cyberfish. Except, you can't really haggle too much, or at least it wasn't as common. When I went to Vietnam, there was an open market where everyone haggled. Fortunately I fit in so people thought I was a local. =p

    Anyways, yeah I meant the local ones that happen once every off month, not like the Annual E3 CompudynotexmexCon or anything like that. Though I hear those are cool too, haven't been!

    I also remember when sdram came out, it was so much faster than EDO everyone was like "oooh dang!"... Except, I don't really get that feeling from RAM anymore. I believe it's because the limiting component now is the harddrive. So I am so ready for SSD to become a mature technology!

    I also intend to tweak out my new HTPC build with cool futuristic-like things, like a car alarm keyfob which turns it on. =p She comes in the mail tomorrow the case... yay!

    Anyways, I remember the very first show my dad took me too, he bought a Sound Blaster, remember? When it was new? It was digital audio. He used it to play Wolfenstein 3d, which at the time was also new, and came on 5 1/4 inch floppies. T'were the days!

    I want to put one of those floppy bays on my quad-core case, just to fool people. =p But I can't even find one, not even on Craigslist!
    hasafraggin shizigishin oppashigger...

  5. #5
    &TH of undefined behavior Fordy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    5,789
    Yeah, you don't seem to see them any more. Round my way they were always held in leisure centers and there was always some guy that would sell warez copies of Office or Windows that he kept under the desk.

    You'd also see things that hadnt hit the mainstream yet, like Voodoo accelerator cards & CD writers - wow!

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    1,831
    Before those kinds of computer shows, which rapidly turned into crapfest flea markets, there were industrial type computer shows.

    Mainframes, huge plotters, fancy graphics workstations. Usually you'd get special invite from your company, or knew someone who knew someone... and if you were lucky you'd get a special collored badge saying "vendor", which means you'd get extra pushy salespeople accosting you trying to make you purchase 100s of units rather than just 10s. Mmmmmm, quantity discount!

    Ahhh, remember booth bimbos? Or tradeshow trollops as I used to call them. Before you knew it you bought a Cray because she smiled at you just right. Or two. At the very least you were talked into inviting a gaggle of high-pressured sales people to your office for next week. None of whom looked as good as the sample. I don't know why that is.

    The aim of the outing was to accumulate more glossy brochures than any of your cohorts. At the intial huddle, you all agreed that the first sub-goal was of course to find the vendor who handed out nice sturdy shopping bags to hold all your loot. Loot included said glossies, but could also include mugs, pens, inflatable globes, sample goodies. As the day wore on you mastered the one-gesture business-card exchange manoeuvre. Smooth!

    At the close of the evening, you and your posse would compare the spoils - just like it was Halloween. Hey, you got an extra balloon. How did you manage that?? Dammit I have to go back!!!. But we're business execs, goddammit. Yeah. But I wanna ballon. I'll trade you this mug for that pen.

  7. #7
    Registered User Sharke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    303
    Ah but I miss the early 80's computer scene. My stepdad worked at a computer firm and so I'd end up there sometimes as a kid - still remember the walls of magnetic tape units, guys changing the reels constantly, the sound of 20 dot matrix printers spewing out endless yards of that computer paper with the green stripes and the holes punched in the sides...guys with combovers, sideburns and tinted spectacles hunched over green VDU's programming in C with cigarettes in their mouths....

    And yes you could tell they'd been to computer shows because literally every coffee mug and ashtray in the place had some obscure computer firm's logo on it.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    1,831
    I resemble those coffee mugs and ashtrays! My kitchen cupboard.... well let's not go there.

    Back then, the vendors made real efforts to cart their racks and racks of gear to those shows in huge trucks... cables everywhere...

    Even the home-brew builders shows (S-100 bus, kit computers) were still interesting because those people actually accomplished something. Then very quickly the entire exercise turned into huge flea markets with foreign vendors and incense - phone cords and discount floppies, and commoditized hardware add-ons which were dubious at best. About the only thing still worth going for were pr0n on floppies and comparing who offered the best dial-up bulletin boards.

    Paralleling that, somewhere along the line computer parts stores turned into book stores. Then computer book stores turned crap as well when the theory and real knowledge books degraded to specific-software-manuals. Try to find a decent graphics/geometry theory book and all you'd get is "click this pull-down on AutoCad".

Popular pages Recent additions subscribe to a feed

Similar Threads

  1. Computer Scientists and Hacking
    By TheDan in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 12-04-2006, 08:44 PM
  2. Which distro should I run on my old computer?
    By joshdick in forum Tech Board
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-09-2003, 01:37 AM
  3. Computer Quotes
    By JaWiB in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 04-01-2003, 07:31 AM
  4. Computer differences causing error?
    By conright in forum Windows Programming
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 01-06-2003, 02:48 PM
  5. Computer Problems..... I NEED HELP!
    By bobthemighty in forum Tech Board
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-07-2002, 10:24 AM

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21