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World's first Apple computer retailer to shutter operations on Mar. 30 - Page 2

post #41 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Read the article. They’re both correct.

Actually, "do the math" would be more accurate. The article did say it started in 1941, but not as an Apple reseller.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #42 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by marvfox View Post
 

That's life.

Yeah, sadly, in this life, we have to endure bitter, hateful douche bags. 

post #43 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

Wasn't the first Apple retailer the Byte Shop in Silicon Valley? I mean they sort of funded the start of Apple Computer right?

Perhaps the headline should read "World's second Apple computer retailer to shutter operations on Mar. 30"?
Quote:
Byte Shop and Apple[edit]

The Byte Shop was the first retailer of the original Apple I computer,[2] ordering 50 of the as-yet-unbuilt units from a persistent Steve Jobs.

Jobs approached a local computer store, the Byte Shop, who said they would be interested in the machine, but only if it came fully assembled.[3] The owner, Paul Terrell, went further, saying he would order 50 of the machines and pay $500.00 each on delivery. Jobs then took the purchase order that he had been given from the Byte Shop to Cramer Electronics, a national electronic parts distributor, and ordered the components he needed to assemble the Apple I Computer. The local credit manager asked Jobs how he was going to pay for the parts and he replied, "I have this purchase order from the Byte Shop chain of computer stores for 50 of my computers and the payment terms are COD. If you give me the parts on a net 30 day terms I can build and deliver the computers in that time frame, collect my money from Terrell at the Byte Shop and pay you."[4]

With that, the credit manager called Paul Terrell who was attending an IEEE computer conference at Asilomar in Pacific Grove and verified the validity of the purchase order. Amazed at the tenacity of Jobs, Terrell assured the credit manager if the computers showed up in his stores Jobs would be paid and would have more than enough money to pay for the parts order. The two Steves (Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak) and their small crew spent day and night building and testing the computers and delivered to Terrell on time to pay his suppliers and have a tidy profit left over for their celebration and next order. Steve Jobs had found a way to finance his soon-to-be multimillion-dollar company without giving away one share of stock or ownership. [5]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Terrell

There were [at least] 2 Byte Shops in Silicon Valley. Both were on the El Camino -- 1 in Palo Alto, the Other in Mountain View.

The Palo Alto Byte Shop was run by Bob Moody a tall, stocky, hirsute, intimidating visage -- an image of Rasputin comes to mind.




That shop was about two blocks up El Camino from where I worked for IBM (at the time). A friend and I would regularly walk past the store at lunch time. The store was unattractive and rarely open.

I believe that when ComputerLand franchised attractive stores in the area, it was too much competition for the Byte Shops. I think they stopped selling Apples after the Apple I.

One day, we found the Palo Alto Byte Shop open and I asked Moody if they sold Apple computers ... He led me to the back room where they had an Apple I motherboard mounted on a slab -- then he scorned me and said "Yeah, we sell Apple computers". It was a total turnoff!
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post #44 of 89
I don't know it "can't compete" is the right reason... Apple products are somewhat notorious for being the same price everywhere. I think consumers have just shifted from supporting the local X-tech type of outfit to wanting the big, bright lights of the big box / Apple Store. They walk out with the same product, the same price, and the same support...
post #45 of 89

As an insider, I can say you hit it right on the head, Soundivision.

post #46 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

1confused.gif I always thought it was "Fall Forward, Spring Back". 1confused.gif

Spring Forward, Fall back.
post #47 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeaEarleGreyHot View Post

Or maybe 57 employees?  Hard to believe the numbers in this story….  (even given that 73 years and 37 years are both correct)

75 does seem like a lot but remember its retail so there are probably more part timers, sales/techs/cashiers, open 7 days a week for 12 hours, 2 shops, a couple mgrs per store, inventory crew, etc.
post #48 of 89
Very sad but they look like they could use a bit of rest.
post #49 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


75 does seem like a lot but remember its retail so there are probably more part timers, sales/techs/cashiers, open 7 days a week for 12 hours, 2 shops, a couple mgrs per store, inventory crew, etc.

75 seems very high ... probably closer to 50. However they opened the ill-advised store in a mall in Rochester a couple of months ago and they are open very long hours, so it's possible they have 15 employees or more there, including part time retail. So considering both locations, 75 might be more accurate than we think.

 

Also, yes, it sounds like a lot for a retail store, but there are a lot of trainers, repair techs, business to business sales people, etc that most people don't know about.

post #50 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeaEarleGreyHot View Post
 

 

Or maybe 57 employees?  Hard to believe the numbers in this story….  (even given that 73 years and 37 years are both correct)

Just change all the numbers to 50 to make it easy on us.  50 employees, founded 50 years ago, sold the first Apple 50 years ago.  Much easier.  Especially if there's going to be a test on this.

post #51 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


Spring Forward, Fall back.

Now we have something that we agree on :)

post #52 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

Now we have something that we agree on 1smile.gif

Now I changed my mind 1smile.gif
post #53 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePixelDoc View Post

OMG no! I took the bus downtown just to visit them in the late 70's when I was in High School! Without giving my identity away, because it's so important ( 1rolleyes.gif ), I grew up in the North Suburbs... that's all I'm going to say about that.... 1smoking.gif

All good things come to an end sooner or later, and I hope that the employees all find a new rewarding job soon!

 

Is that you, Woz? :D

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post #54 of 89
In NYC, TekServe, a similar company, has kept alive by supporting old model Macs that the Apple Store does not. (NYC has five Apple Stores.)

For those not able to upgrade every three years, repair of legacy equipment is important.

Those employees who are losing their jobs might think about banding together to start a computer repair shop for older Macs.
post #55 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post

The last paragraph of this AI story needs to be expanded. Here's what their product manager said in the St. Paul Pioneer Press:

***

Evans attributes FirstTech's demise to market forces, including shrinking hardware margins amid competition from a growing number of aggressive national vendors.

These vendors have "basically been willing to sell the computer equipment below cost to go after the national service business," he noted. It became increasingly difficult for "a brick-and-mortar to offer personalized service when we can't make any money off the product you're selling.

"It has been a dramatic change in that regard, the last couple of years in particular," Evans said.

Apple Inc., which does not heavily discount its products, had little to do with this trend, he said.

***

http://www.twincities.com/business/ci_25378187/minneapolis-firsttech-apple-retailing-pioneer-is-closing

I hate to say it, but look to the online discounters featured right here on AI as one of the reasons. The online marketplace is draining sales from bricks-and-mortar stores. So it goes.

Freaking B&H, and J&R
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post #56 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeyondYourFrontDoor View Post

I don't know it "can't compete" is the right reason... Apple products are somewhat notorious for being the same price everywhere. I think consumers have just shifted from supporting the local X-tech type of outfit to wanting the big, bright lights of the big box / Apple Store. They walk out with the same product, the same price, and the same support...

It depends on the wholesale prices. Given that Apple so effectively sells direct to customers, they have very little reason to sell to other retailers at low prices and it seems they don't:

http://www.macworld.com/article/2024257/how-apple-sets-its-prices.html

"Apple, extends only a tiny wholesale discount on its Macs and iPads to your retailer of choice. The actual numbers are a closely guarded secret, protected by confidentiality agreements between Cupertino and its resellers, but the difference probably amounts to only a few percentage points off the official price that you find at Apple’s own stores. With such a narrow gap to tinker with, most retailers can’t offer big discounts and still hope to turn a profit."

Apple only makes 25% net margin on their Macs so the wholesale prices are not going to be below 75% of the retail price. Take a $999 Air, Apple's profit would be $250 if they sold direct to a customer. They likely wouldn't be happy with a 3rd party making more profit than them so I'd expect them in the best case to split it 50/50 and sell it to the reseller for 87.5% ($875). The reseller then has to compete with Apple's $999. They might shift a few at $899 but Apple probably gives out limited supplies and 87.5% is a best-case scenario.

You can see the prices on AppleInsider's own price page:

http://prices.appleinsider.com

Most for the entry Air are ~$949, except for MacMall. Given that MacMall must still make a profit at $920, the wholesale price would be 87.5%-92%. Let's say that they have bought them for $875, then $949 would be 7.8% margin but this isn't net margin for them, it's gross margin. They still have to pay retail staff, server costs and payment processor fees to process the order and other support costs out of that 7.8%. Physical retail stores can't survive on that. They have to make the margins on price-inflated 3rd party accessories. They need to stock the carrying cases for the Air that they can buy for <$10 and sell for $20-30, sell support services, maybe they can make more of a cut on AppleCare sales.

The reason computer stores stock Dell, HP, Sony, Lenovo etc is probably what contributes to their low margins vs Apple because in order to sustain the high volumes, they need to give over so much of the profit margin to the retail stores.

I expect this is much the same with the iOS devices and why phone stores try to push Android devices. They'll make more margins from those than from Apple's products but it kills the margins for the manufacturers.
post #57 of 89

Too bad they didn't invest in some Apple stock in the 70's.  Even a small stake would be worth millions today.

post #58 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apres587 View Post
 

Too bad they didn't invest in some Apple stock in the 70's.  Even a small stake would be worth millions today.

 

Considering Apple didn't have their IPO until 1980 that would be some trick.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #59 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post


Sorry to hear. I bought my wife a 20" Haswell iMac before Christmas from one of these guys at an excellent price and prompt free shipping.

 

Price was great for me too.  Shipping was a little flakey, took about a week to a week and a half if I remember correctly.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


Why don't you name the vendor and say what happened? Specifics make a complaint more believable.

 

I didn't think any one would care but since you asked, I fell for a free Parallels 8 offer on Black Friday.  It was one of those buy it now and send in the rebate offers.  I sent it in only to have my rebate rejected with a generic letter and no explanation of what was needed to complete the rebate.  (I sent them everything that was listed in the rebate.)   I tried contacting them numerous times via the number they supplied to find out why my rebate was rejected. It never rang, it was always busy.  One time just for laughs I was up and called at 2 am, it was still busy.

 

Finally one day out of the blue some one contacted me.  I don't know if it was a follow up or what.  I think they were looking for corporates sales leads.  I told him what happened to me a few months earlier, I even told him I'm not perfect, here is a copy of everything I sent and here is MacMall's response, what is missing?  He finally responded and tried negotiating a store credit with me for half the value of the original rebate, $20. I told him that was unacceptable, the rebate was for $40, and he had a copy of everything I sent.  Why won't they honor the rebate?  He never replied back.

 

Well, they might have "won" that little fight with me for $40 but they lost the war as far as I'm concerned.  I've purchased three machines since (I know not a lot by some standards) and they've all come from Apple.  If I couldn't trust them over $40 (probably $20 - $27 their cost?) There is no way I'm going to trust them with anymore of my business and I'll warn others when appropriate.

 

Hope you believe me now...

Just say no to MacMall.  They don't honor their promotions and won't respond to customer inquiries.  There are better retailers out there.
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Just say no to MacMall.  They don't honor their promotions and won't respond to customer inquiries.  There are better retailers out there.
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post #60 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorpit View Post
 

 

Price was great for me too.  Shipping was a little flakey, took about a week to a week and a half if I remember correctly.

 

 

I didn't think any one would care but since you asked, I fell for a free Parallels 8 offer on Black Friday.  It was one of those buy it now and send in the rebate offers.  I sent it in only to have my rebate rejected with a generic letter and no explanation of what was needed to complete the rebate.  (I sent them everything that was listed in the rebate.)   I tried contacting them numerous times via the number they supplied to find out why my rebate was rejected. It never rang, it was always busy.  One time just for laughs I was up and called at 2 am, it was still busy.

 

Finally one day out of the blue some one contacted me.  I don't know if it was a follow up or what.  I think they were looking for corporates sales leads.  I told him what happened to me a few months earlier, I even told him I'm not perfect, here is a copy of everything I sent and here is MacMall's response, what is missing?  He finally responded and tried negotiating a store credit with me for half the value of the original rebate, $20. I told him that was unacceptable, the rebate was for $40, and he had a copy of everything I sent.  Why won't they honor the rebate?  He never replied back.

 

Well, they might have "won" that little fight with me for $40 but they lost the war as far as I'm concerned.  I've purchased three machines since (I know not a lot by some standards) and they've all come from Apple.  If I couldn't trust them over $40 (probably $20 - $27 their cost?) There is no way I'm going to trust them with anymore of my business and I'll warn others when appropriate.

 

Hope you believe me now...

 

I've had my own run ins with MacMall, believe me.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #61 of 89
I'm glad I'm not the only one. At first I though you might have been associated with MacMall and didn't want to go in to details.

I did way more than I should have as a customer to try and get things right. I was a sales manager in a previous life and know mistakes happen, just fix them when they do.
Just say no to MacMall.  They don't honor their promotions and won't respond to customer inquiries.  There are better retailers out there.
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Just say no to MacMall.  They don't honor their promotions and won't respond to customer inquiries.  There are better retailers out there.
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post #62 of 89
More evidence that Apple is doomed. Will Apple HQ be next?
post #63 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

More evidence that Apple is doomed. Will Apple HQ be next?

 

I think about 95% of the uses of the word "doomed" on this site are now by people who are pro-Apple. To me, the joke is tired.

 

I thought about making it into a drinking game, but I'd be dead of alcohol poisoning in two hours. 

post #64 of 89
seltzdesign, I live in Minneapolis and have been to the store many times. In fact, I bought my first Harmon Kardon stereo system from their first business, Team Electronics. Yes, it really is a small local shop. They have (had?) a big repair side to the business, and I'm sure a lot of the employees were added when they tried to expand beyond their traditional retail and repair business. Yes, businesses have to learn to adpapt; they tried but couldn't survive. The original stereo store business was failing as big boxes took hold, so they moved into computer. It worked for a long time. I'm sad to see them go, a victim of Apple itself who placed a company store 4 blocks away, as well as the changing face of retail. I don't know if they could have survived, but I do wish that Apple had shown some appreciation and gratitude for a fine bunch of people who have stood with Apple for decades.
post #65 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by brlawyer View Post

Is that you, Woz? 1biggrin.gif
Now where would you get that silly idea from... considering Woz grew up around San Jose, CA.

So no... not only are you not close to warm... you're down right frigid cold like the MN Winter... which came back to "normal" this year like it was in the 60's and 70's.

Since I decided to "concentrate on my education" (LOL... that's what I'd still like to believe) rather than continue playing hockey after HS, I headed out to sunny SoCal, USC, surfing, and beach bunnies.

@Dick Applebaum - I purchased my first "personal" Mac in Summer '85 at a computer shop on La Brea between Beverly and Wilshire in Hollywood. I lived only a couple of blocks from there. For the life of me I can't remember the name. Have any idea?

Part 2: How I find myself in Germany since '89 is a story for another day.... 1tongue.gif
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post #66 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeyondYourFrontDoor View Post

I don't know it "can't compete" is the right reason... Apple products are somewhat notorious for being the same price everywhere. I think consumers have just shifted from supporting the local X-tech type of outfit to wanting the big, bright lights of the big box / Apple Store. They walk out with the same product, the same price, and the same support...

Apple's products USED to be priced the same everywhere.  It gave customers the ability to choose their store based on the service being provided.  It gave the small resellers a chance against the big box stores.

 

Unfortunately, about a year ago, that all changed.  Apple removed the restriction of advertising their products at the same price, and suddenly, the big box retailers were selling at or below cost of the small shops.  They could do that because they don't offer anywhere near the level of service, and they use the popularity of Apple products to bring people into their stores to buy other things that do have higher margins.

 

Competing against Apple stores that sold at the same price as you was challenging, but not impossible.  A small shop offers a much different experience than a crowded Apple store, and customers could choose which one to shop at.  A big box store exposed Apple products to customers that may not have been interested prior to that, but never offered a great experience to the customer.

 

But, now that the big box can sell the product at a lower price, customers have to choose between the quality personal service they were getting versus saving some dollars on the purchase.  Some customers would go as far as to use the service provided by the small shops to get the information they needed, then drive over to the big box to purchase the item.  That's pretty much impossible to compete with.

post #67 of 89

Someone missed a fact check. The first retailer was Computer Plus in Sunnyvale CA. 

 

Updated: I did... Computer Plus was in fact the 5th. Memory, when combined with pride can be a fickle beast. :)


Edited by tbruinsma - 3/21/14 at 10:39am
post #68 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Jojade View Post
 

Apple's products USED to be priced the same everywhere.  It gave customers the ability to choose their store based on the service being provided.  It gave the small resellers a chance against the big box stores.

 

Unfortunately, about a year ago, that all changed.  Apple removed the restriction of advertising their products at the same price, and suddenly, the big box retailers were selling at or below cost of the small shops.  They could do that because they don't offer anywhere near the level of service, and they use the popularity of Apple products to bring people into their stores to buy other things that do have higher margins.

 

Competing against Apple stores that sold at the same price as you was challenging, but not impossible.  A small shop offers a much different experience than a crowded Apple store, and customers could choose which one to shop at.  A big box store exposed Apple products to customers that may not have been interested prior to that, but never offered a great experience to the customer.

 

But, now that the big box can sell the product at a lower price, customers have to choose between the quality personal service they were getting versus saving some dollars on the purchase.  Some customers would go as far as to use the service provided by the small shops to get the information they needed, then drive over to the big box to purchase the item.  That's pretty much impossible to compete with.

 

I think it's just the cultural shift as computers became common and the 'computer store' was no longer the domain of the geek... Or perhaps, the feeling of walking into a small computer shop became intimidating while you could not be afraid to be a dummy at Best Buy.  We used to have a store, aptly named 'Software Supermarket'... I worked there part-time as a high school geekender...  Anyway, I recall when we'd get 25 copies of 'Kings Quest' or 10 Amiga 500's in a shipment.  It would be the same 50-100 people in that store week in and week out.  

 

In my small city, we had maybe 5 of these little shops... each with 3-5 employees and the square footage of a large washroom.  It wasn't about computers, it was about community.  The first round of death for these shops was Gateway... the large 'Computer Shopper' magazine where people got their tech-fix by mail-order.  Suddenly saving $50 on a $3000 computer was worth killing your local shop.

 

A few stuck it out only to be killed by the big box... and the Apple Store is just an extension of the big box.  But, it also recreates that atmosphere of being 'a computer store' and even though they are relatively sparse, I know plenty of people that plan a trip to the city around a stop at The Apple Store.

 

What will kill the Apple Store?  Who knows... but nothing seems to last.  They certainly tie up huge capital in prime locations and artsy architecture.  Kind of reminds me of Gateway and their 'fancy' cow boxes...  Hmmm....

post #69 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeaEarleGreyHot View Post

Or maybe 57 employees?  Hard to believe the numbers in this story….  (even given that 73 years and 37 years are both correct)

75 does seem like a lot but remember its retail so there are probably more part timers, sales/techs/cashiers, open 7 days a week for 12 hours, 2 shops, a couple mgrs per store, inventory crew, etc.

75 isn't bad for 2 stores ... Likely, they had an active service/repair department of 5-15 people. In the early Apple ][ and Apple /// days, savvy stores would burn-in all the equipment for at least 24 hours prior to selling/releasing to customers *. Also, savvy stores would offer training such as: checkout introduction; more advanced tips an techniques; speciality training (apps, networks, hard drives, etc.). In our stores, the sales people were non-commissioned and did training about 25-30% of the time.

In those days most of the chips were not soldered in, and they would work their way loose with the heat from a few power off/power -on cycles. Also, periodically, Apple would ship defective equipment. One case comes to mind:

We received a large shipment of [5 1/4 mini-floppy] Disk ][ drives for the Apple ][. Apple had just changed drive manufacturers, Our burn-in testing had a failure rate of about 98%. I took about 50 of these drives and stacked then on top and around an Apple ][ and christened it the Apple "Data Wall". Then I called Wil Houd, VP of Apple Service, and said: "Ca'mon over and let me buy you lunch -- I've got something you will want to see ...". After lunch, I showed Wil the "data Wall" and explained the problem. Wil took it good-naturedly and immediately brought over technicians to address the problem. A temporary solution was available within days ** until the drive manufacturing problem could be resolved.

** The problem was that the drive couldn't properly center the disk because of the thinness of the flexible magnetic disk surface. The temp fix was Apple supplied free thin plastic rings that you would stick to the center of the disk material (like notebook page hole reinforcers). It was a jerry-rig solution, but it worked until Apple replaced all the drive mechanisms.

The Apple /// was infamous for CPU and Twiggy drive problems.
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post #70 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePixelDoc View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by brlawyer View Post

Is that you, Woz? 1biggrin.gif
Now where would you get that silly idea from... considering Woz grew up around San Jose, CA.

So no... not only are you not close to warm... you're down right frigid cold like the MN Winter... which came back to "normal" this year like it was in the 60's and 70's.

Since I decided to "concentrate on my education" (LOL... that's what I'd still like to believe) rather than continue playing hockey after HS, I headed out to sunny SoCal, USC, surfing, and beach bunnies.

@Dick Applebaum - I purchased my first "personal" Mac in Summer '85 at a computer shop on La Brea between Beverly and Wilshire in Hollywood. I lived only a couple of blocks from there. For the life of me I can't remember the name. Have any idea?

Part 2: How I find myself in Germany since '89 is a story for another day.... 1tongue.gif

TarPits R Us ???

Sorry ... In the '80s Apple was aggressively approving dealerships -- like gas stations, 4 on every street corner 1hmm.gif So we stopped paying attention to any but the stores in Silicon Valley.

Go, Trojans!
Edited by Dick Applebaum - 3/21/14 at 9:15am
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post #71 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

75 isn't bad for 2 stores ... Likely, they had an active service/repair department of 5-15 people. In the early Apple ][ and Apple /// days, savvy stores would burn-in all the equipment for at least 24 hours prior to selling/releasing to customers *. Also, savvy stores would offer training such as: checkout introduction; more advanced tips an techniques; speciality training (apps, networks, hard drives, etc.). In our stores, the sales people were non-commissioned and did training about 25-30% of the time.

In those days most of the chips were not soldered in, and they would work their way loose with the heat from a few power off/power -on cycles. Also, periodically, Apple would ship defective equipment. One case comes to mind:

We received a large shipment of [5 1/4 mini-floppy] Disk ][ drives for the Apple ][. Apple had just changed drive manufacturers, Our burn-in testing had a failure rate of about 98%. I took about 50 of these drives and stacked then on top and around an Apple ][ and christened it the Apple "Data Wall". Then I called Wil Houd, VP of Apple Service, and said: "Ca'mon over and let me buy you lunch -- I've got something you will want to see ...". After lunch, I showed Wil the "data Wall" and explained the problem. Wil took it good-naturedly and immediately brought over technicians to address the problem. A temporary solution was available within days ** until the drive manufacturing problem could be resolved.

** The problem was that the drive couldn't properly center the disk because of the thinness of the flexible magnetic disk surface. The temp fix was Apple supplied free thin plastic rings that you would stick to the center of the disk material (like notebook page hole reinforcers). It was a jerry-rig solution, but it worked until Apple replaced all the drive mechanisms.

The Apple /// was infamous for CPU and Twiggy drive problems.


Another classic one from you - BIG thanks!

Wasn't there also a model which suffered from 'self-rising' memory modules? And Apple advised customers over phone support to 'power down and disconnect the Mac, lift it 6 inches and then simply drop it'. "This ought to reseat the modules".
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post #72 of 89
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post
Wasn't there also a model which suffered from 'self-rising' memory modules? And Apple advised customers over phone support to 'power down and disconnect the Mac, lift it 6 inches and then simply drop it'. "This ought to reseat the modules".

 

After that, Apple stopped buying their RAM from Fleischmann’s.

post #73 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

After that, Apple stopped buying their RAM from Fleischmann’s.

I'm baffled by the long retention time of your memory!
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post #74 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


Another classic one from you - BIG thanks!

Wasn't there also a model which suffered from 'self-rising' memory modules? And Apple advised customers over phone support to 'power down and disconnect the Mac, lift it 6 inches and then simply drop it'. "This ought to reseat the modules".

 

I think that was the Apple ///: http://books.google.com/books?id=mXnw5tM8QRwC&lpg=PA245&pg=PA41#v=onepage&q&f=false

post #75 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbruinsma View Post

Someone missed a fact check. The first retailer was Computer Plus in Sunnyvale CA. Embarrassing. ..

As one of 3 founders of Computer Plus, Inc. in Sunnyvale (and San Jose). I must correct you. We were the 5th Computer Store in Silicon Valley and opened December 28, 1978 as an Apple dealer (with no stock to sell). *

There were 2 Byte Shops (the first Apple retailer) and 2 ComputerLands. Also there were quite a few Apple retailers that preceded us in Pasadena, San Francisco, greater LA area. There even was a Computers [plural] Plus in La Brea, CA.


* Apples were a very hot product and very hard to get, then. Our first customer bought an Apple ][ at ComputerLand in San Francisco for his kids (so he claimed). Then, the Apple ][ was supposed to come with game paddles. Because of supply-chain issues Apple substituted a chit that could be redeemed for paddles when available. The customer called Apple, then drove down the peninsula stopping at each Apple reseller looking for game paddles. He hit our store -- the only computers we had were Mark's Apple ][ and my Apple ][ (both personally owned) computers. Both had game paddles. After listening to the guy's story, I traded him the chit for my game paddles. Total sale; $0.00 -- Computer Plus' first sale ... But one of the best sales we ever made, as we gained a customer for life and a source of many reference sales!
"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

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post #76 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

75 isn't bad for 2 stores ... Likely, they had an active service/repair department of 5-15 people. In the early Apple ][ and Apple /// days, savvy stores would burn-in all the equipment for at least 24 hours prior to selling/releasing to customers *. Also, savvy stores would offer training such as: checkout introduction; more advanced tips an techniques; speciality training (apps, networks, hard drives, etc.). In our stores, the sales people were non-commissioned and did training about 25-30% of the time.

In those days most of the chips were not soldered in, and they would work their way loose with the heat from a few power off/power -on cycles. Also, periodically, Apple would ship defective equipment. One case comes to mind:

We received a large shipment of [5 1/4 mini-floppy] Disk ][ drives for the Apple ][. Apple had just changed drive manufacturers, Our burn-in testing had a failure rate of about 98%. I took about 50 of these drives and stacked then on top and around an Apple ][ and christened it the Apple "Data Wall". Then I called Wil Houd, VP of Apple Service, and said: "Ca'mon over and let me buy you lunch -- I've got something you will want to see ...". After lunch, I showed Wil the "data Wall" and explained the problem. Wil took it good-naturedly and immediately brought over technicians to address the problem. A temporary solution was available within days ** until the drive manufacturing problem could be resolved.

** The problem was that the drive couldn't properly center the disk because of the thinness of the flexible magnetic disk surface. The temp fix was Apple supplied free thin plastic rings that you would stick to the center of the disk material (like notebook page hole reinforcers). It was a jerry-rig solution, but it worked until Apple replaced all the drive mechanisms.

The Apple /// was infamous for CPU and Twiggy drive problems.


Another classic one from you - BIG thanks!

Wasn't there also a model which suffered from 'self-rising' memory modules? And Apple advised customers over phone support to 'power down and disconnect the Mac, lift it 6 inches and then simply drop it'. "This ought to reseat the modules".

The memory chips (and some others) working loose was the problem I described in my post. I never heard of "dropping it 6 inches" * as a solution. Rather, the burn-in would heat the chips and cause them to loosen. You then pushed down on each chip [with power on if you were good at it] and reseat the chip in its socket (usually with an audible click). Rinse and repeat over 24 hours and the chip contacts and socket contactss would acclimate themselves to each other -- which largely resolved the issue.

* how do they test air bags in the cars 1biggrin.gif
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"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
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"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
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post #77 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Our first customer bought an Apple ][ at ComputerLand in San Francisco for his kids (so he claimed). Then, the Apple ][ was supposed to come with game paddles. Because of supply-chain issues Apple substituted a chit that could be redeemed for paddles when available. The customer called Apple, then drove down the peninsula stopping at each Apple reseller looking for game paddles. He hit our store -- the only computers we had were Mark's Apple ][ and my Apple ][ (both personally owned) computers. Both had game paddles. After listening to the guy's story, I traded him the chit for my game paddles. Total sale; $0.00 -- Computer Plus' first sale ... But one of the best sales we ever made, as we gained a customer for life and a source of many reference sales!

 

Now that's some quality service! 

post #78 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlor View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Our first customer bought an Apple ][ at ComputerLand in San Francisco for his kids (so he claimed). Then, the Apple ][ was supposed to come with game paddles. Because of supply-chain issues Apple substituted a chit that could be redeemed for paddles when available. The customer called Apple, then drove down the peninsula stopping at each Apple reseller looking for game paddles. He hit our store -- the only computers we had were Mark's Apple ][ and my Apple ][ (both personally owned) computers. Both had game paddles. After listening to the guy's story, I traded him the chit for my game paddles. Total sale; $0.00 -- Computer Plus' first sale ... But one of the best sales we ever made, as we gained a customer for life and a source of many reference sales!

Now that's some quality service! 

2 of the 3 owners, Jim and myself, came from IBM ... so quality and service were part of our DNA.

We decided on these simple objectives for our company:
  1. provide a fair return [profit] to our investors
  2. provide the best products and services to our customers
  3. have fun

You can't believe how easy that makes everyday decision making!
"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
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"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
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post #79 of 89

I stand corrected. :)

post #80 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler82 View Post
 

Yeah, sadly, in this life, we have to endure bitter, hateful douche bags. 

I endure that every day when I look in the mirror.

"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
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"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
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