Computer stores

Alan Frisbie Flash688 at
Tue Aug 25 21:30:09 CDT 2020

On 8/22/20 8:52 AM, Murray McCullough via cctalk wrote:
 > 45 yrs. ago last month, mid-July, Dick Heiser started a new industry, 
 > the retail computer store. It opened in West L.A. under the name
 > Arrow Head Computer Company. aka, The Computer Store. This began the
 > direct marketing of microcomputers to hobbyists, later to the masses
 > of the middle class.

Slight correction:  The name was Arrowhead (one word, not two) Computer

I remember this very well.  I was living in Santa Monica at the time,
and drove down Pico Boulevard almost every day.  Needless to say, I
immediately noticed the "Computer Store" sign and stopped in, soon
becoming one of the regular "hangers on".

Dick Heiser and his wife Lois were taking a big chance, but it
proved to be a good bet.  Initially, their business consisted of
buying Altair 8800 kits and assembling them in the back of the
store.  A lot of people were happy to pay extra to not have to
solder all those hundreds of connections.

Dick was a regular fixture at meetings of the Southern California
Computer Society (SCCS), often making deliveries and taking orders
there.  In those days, SCCS monthly meetings were *the* place for
computer geeks to get together and exchange news and get help.

A few months later, two guys named Steve showed up at a meeting
with a kit they called the "Apple I", for the grand price of
$666.66.  I wish I had had the foresight to buy one!  Instead,
I wound up joining the SCCS group purchase of DEC LSI-11 systems.
I still have that system, with a case and power supply from a
TRW surplus sale.  It isn't worth nearly as much as an original
Apple I, though!  :-)

Alan "Hindsight is 20-20" Frisbie

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