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The place I bought my first TI-99/4A is fading into history.


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#1 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 9:32 AM

<< NEWS ARTICLE HERE >>

 

I'm feeling old today.  :(    The company I bought my first TI-99/4A, and many of it's accessories from, is fading into history.  While my local store has been gone for years, the entire company is about to be thrown into the 'dustbin of history'.

 

When thinking back, I realize that almost every company or store I did business with as a young adult is now gone.  Sears, Radio Shack, Wards, Pay-N-Pak, for the big chains, and too many smaller outfits to name.



#2 jrhodes OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 9:42 AM

Since sears and k-mart are owned by the same parent company, is k-mart going to croak next?



#3 twoodland OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 9:56 AM

I share your feelings.  The Atari 2600 that I got for Xmas 1978 was from Sears.  As a young man, my Dad bought me a set of Craftsman screwdrivers so that I would quit using and misplacing his lol!  Speaking of Radio Shack, I loved that store.  I would ride my bike there every week and buy my reel to reel tapes, tape head cleaner, rubber restorer, swabs, cables, adapters, fuses, electronic components and of course, use my free battery of the month card!  It was the catalogs displaying the TRS-80's that got me fired up about computers so much that my parents got me the TI-99/4A. It makes me wonder what my son will say when he is old like me, about the things he likes now that may be gone.  



#4 adamantyr OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 9:57 AM

Yeah both Kmart and Sears.

We bought our TI at Jafco, my box still has the stickers on it. Jafco became a store called Best in the 90s and closed completely in the late 90s.

#5 towmater OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 10:06 AM

The United States?

 

Oh, sorry, I had only read the topic title.

 

My heart still sinks a bit when I drive past our former Atari dealer location, ATCOM, in Thousand Oaks.


Edited by towmater, Tue Jan 8, 2019 10:16 AM.


#6 Casey OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 10:23 AM

Practically every classic computer I had was purchased from a company that is no longer around (or in serious trouble):

TI 99/4A came from Children’s Palace when TI was giving them away for $50.
Commodore 128 and 1571 - purchased from Sears.
Tandy 1000 RL, 1000 RLX, 1000 RSX and 3100 Model 10 - All from Radio Shack of course.

#7 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 10:26 AM

I just realized, the catalog was just like the company... it slowly went down 'the you know what' a piece at a time before it was gone.

 

 

Attached Files



#8 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 11:08 AM

Creative destruction.  Sears and its ilk have proven unable to compete in the new economy.  While brick-and-mortar stores are closing, Amazon is opening brick-and-mortar stores.  There is a successful formula there.



#9 adamantyr OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 11:12 AM

Sears and KMart were both mis-managed deliberately into the ground by a corporate shark who made one final attempt to bail out the company solely to squeeze a few extra dollars out of it. I'm glad he was denied the opportunity.

 

There are successful brick and mortar store chains still, I work for one! E-Commerce is critical to any business these days, so you need a strong web presence in addition to a physical store.

 

At least until Amazon invents teleport technology anyway...



#10 boxpressed ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 11:20 AM

We bought our TI from the Texas Instruments retail store in Prestonwood Mall in Dallas, Texas. The whole store was TI. I wonder if any photos survived from that era.

#11 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 11:40 AM

They'll all look like this soon...

 



#12 FDOS OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 1:30 PM

I bought our first one for the family Christmas 1982 at Toys R Us.  They did some severe down-sizing, but seemed to have survived in some small way, as there is one within about 3 miles of me.  I have not been there, as toys R not Me.



#13 FarmerPotato ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 4:56 PM

My retail places are long gone. In Lubbock, Texas, I was able to play with all the home computers and video games at BEST Products which was a catalog showroom. They had one of those big Atari 2600 walls with 100 game selection, a TI-99/4A demo wall with cartridges on retractable wires, also VIC-20, C-64, Intellivision, ColecoVision, Atari 400/800. You could ask a salesperson to open a cartridge box behind the counter. If you bought something, a box would be brought from the back to the checkout.

 

There is still a Sears store standing where I played Sears-branded Atari, the Intellivision, and Odyssey game systems (KC's Krazy Chase). Come to think of it, this was next to the Radio Shack where I saw the TRS-80 and CoCos. 

 

I'm lucky to live near a Fry's Electronics .. for all their clumsiness, they still do more than Radio Shack did.



#14 sm3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 5:30 PM

I just read they are going to reconsider the offer from Lampert. So there may yet be hope! ;)

 

Oh, I guess I should have read the article you linked, it says that very thing!



#15 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 5:35 PM

 

I'm lucky to live near a Fry's Electronics .. for all their clumsiness, they still do more than Radio Shack did.

 

Tandy, which owned Radio Shack, also owned Incredible Universe, which I believe was bought out by Fry's at some point.



#16 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 5:41 PM

I knew our Sears would be closing a few years ago, well before the announcement.  I was driving around between sites and decided I would call the store about my busted cordless drill.  I was on hold for over a half-hour and I found myself near the store, so I went in.  I shit you not, I walked up to the hardware counter just as the kid answered the phone.

 

What is the sound of a failing company*?  46 minutes of hold music.



#17 RXB ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 6:52 PM

Bought my TI99/4A from ToysRus, it closed down years ago...now totally gone.....



#18 arcadeshopper ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 7:40 PM

mine came from the toys r us 50$ xmas sale..  and they are gone too



#19 Ksarul OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 8:25 PM

I bought my first 99/4A from the Base Exchange while I lived in Berlin (I had to special order it from their catalog). I didn't try to expand it to much until I moved to Florida (just bought some pain sticks and a few cartridges), but while I was there I bought my first PEB from the local K-Mart. The Exchange in Berlin closed when the military moved out of Berlin in the early 1990s, and the K-Mart looks like it is gone now too. . .



#20 matthew180 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 9, 2019 1:29 AM

My dad bought me my 99/4A at JC-Pennys in 1982 or so. Not sure if they are going under like the rest. It was a toss up between a C64 and 99/4A, and my dad chose the TI because he knew the brand and he had a programmable TI calculator that he liked. I dont think I realized what was happening at the time, or what kind of impact this decision was about to have on my life.

#21 iliketurtles OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 9, 2019 4:36 PM

I bought my first 99/4A from the Base Exchange while I lived in Berlin (I had to special order it from their catalog). I didn't try to expand it to much until I moved to Florida (just bought some pain sticks and a few cartridges), but while I was there I bought my first PEB from the local K-Mart. The Exchange in Berlin closed when the military moved out of Berlin in the early 1990s, and the K-Mart looks like it is gone now too. . .

Didn't you say you saw a Joust cartridge in that K-Mart?


Edited by iliketurtles, Wed Jan 9, 2019 4:36 PM.


#22 digdugnate OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 9, 2019 7:07 PM

Dad worked for TI, so I'm pretty certain that the 99/4 and 4A both came from the 'company store' (in addition to carts, and disks, and PEB, and and and, lol).

 

Our C64/1541 and C128/1571 were all bought at Target.  We did buy a few C64 carts at Toys'R'Us and Mastertronic games at K-Mart.



#23 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 9, 2019 7:19 PM

Brings up an interesting point for me.  The TI-99/4A was the only home computer I ever owned which was bought brand new.  All other computers and components I purchased second-hand.



#24 etownandy OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:46 AM

Dad bought ours from JC Penny, I believe.  At lest THEY'RE still around...for now.



#25 retiredqwest OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:26 PM

I bought my first console at a store called Best Products or just Best as most people called it. Don't remember how much it cost. And I have no idea where I bought the PEB.......

 

Best has been gone for years, bought our first VHS camcorder there. We still have a few Xmas items with a Best price sticker on them.






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