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Which computer shop did you go in the 80/90`s?

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stiggy2009
(@stiggy2009)
Noble Member

I was quite a lucky lad back in the 80's as i amassed quite a lot of games for free by basically playing games after school & weekends. I'll explain -

The parents of my best mate owned a computer shop (originally a home electronics shop owned by my friends grandparents). I had access to pretty much all of the early home comps like the Dragon32, Vic20, Beeb etc etc. We used to play games on the demonstration computers whenever we wasn't at school & got quite good and selling games to parents who weren't sure what to buy there children. My friends parents were so impressed with my 'sales' skills, they let me have whatever games took my fancy. I also used to borrow quite a few computers to take home & more often than not they'd let me keep them. Sweet deal!

For shop brought stuff, there was a little computer shop in Nottingham called Intoto (now a cafe). I used to have three paper rounds that would earn me enough for bus fair to the city, lunch, the latest 9.99 Ocean hit and a little left over for the tuck shop at school. I brought most of my c64 stuff there and later a Master System but couldn't really afford many of the carts on a regular basis. Chap that ran the place would just let you hang out there.

I forget the name of the shop, but there was a large store in the Broadmarsh centre in Nottingham. Many happy memories there as I recall was the place to be to see/play on the next big game/system.

I remember the store being packed as they pumped Xenon II's Megablast out of the speaker system. Seeing Rick Dangerous for the first time and buying a copy within a few minutes. It was also a great place to see imported stuff too like the first time i got my mitts on a PC Engine & Neo Geo. Great chaps that used the run the place too, let me play for hours on an imported version of Final Fight on the Super Famicon. Bet you don't get that kind of thing at GAME nowadays?

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Posted : 31/05/2010 11:16 pm
Womble
(@womble)
Noble Member

Got most of my games from WHSmiths, used to love going in an trawling through the cassette rack, remember the scary prospect of dropping 10 quid on Midnight Resistance, my 1st full price game.

Some of the early games my dad bought me have price stickers from a local chemist on the cassette box, very retro that is, until home computing took off WHSmiths and the like were very wary, chemists often were the 1st bricks and mortar outlets after mail order.

Sic Transit Gloria Atari

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Posted : 31/05/2010 11:42 pm
PhoenixTLB
(@phoenixtlb)
Member Moderator

First shop I ever went was in Leicester, it changed its name a few times, not sure which came first - Microware & Bits 'n' Bytes, it was just around the corner from Mays on St Peters Lane.

I bought my Intellivision from W.H. Smiths, I can remember them stocking Atari 400's too.

Then came the time of the Amiga and Datanest (a favoutire lunchtime haunt from college for me and Andy), that and Mays (which Andy proudly was ejected from when being witness to someone getting a game demo on a C64, then shouting 'Christ, I've seen better graphics on a ZX81!') ... Good times!  ;D ;D ;D

Be sure to pray at the Shrine of Bub & Bob

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Posted : 31/05/2010 11:44 pm
Scarlettkitten
(@scarlettkitten)
Member Admin

I used to get c64 games from "Softspot" in Daventry or Banbury either that or Boots had some games upstairs in Rugby. Ahhh happy dayz 8)

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Posted : 01/06/2010 12:09 pm
AndyRCM
(@andyrcm)
Member Admin

First shop I ever went was in Leicester, it changed its name a few times, not sure which came first - Microware & Bits 'n' Bytes, it was just around the corner from Mays on St Peters Lane.

I bought my Intellivision from W.H. Smiths, I can remember them stocking Atari 400's too.

Then came the time of the Amiga and Datanest (a favoutire lunchtime haunt from college for me and Andy), that and Mays (which Andy proudly was ejected from when being witness to someone getting a game demo on a C64, then shouting 'Christ, I've seen better graphics on a ZX81!') ... Good times!  ;D ;D ;D

Dave, was that a little shop literally around the corner from Mays? - if so, I remember that one too!
and btw . . . it was a game demo on an Atari ST! 🙁 It looked grey as fook and that is why I said I had seen better graphics on a ZX81 😉

"I could see the faces of those who led pissing themselves laughing" - Funeral Pyre by The Jam

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Posted : 01/06/2010 12:13 pm
PhoenixTLB
(@phoenixtlb)
Member Moderator

LOL! I should have known it was an ST  ;D

Yep the shop was literally 50 yards around the corner from Mays, I bought my ZX81 from there and had them put it in a DK Tronics keyboard with 4k Graphic ROM.  ;D

I can even remember buying GULP from them for £3.45  8)

Be sure to pray at the Shrine of Bub & Bob

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Posted : 01/06/2010 12:34 pm
AndyRCM
(@andyrcm)
Member Admin

£3.45 good price! 😉

"I could see the faces of those who led pissing themselves laughing" - Funeral Pyre by The Jam

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Posted : 01/06/2010 12:40 pm
felicemaggie
(@felicemaggie)
Eminent Member

Being based in Bedford at the time, we had an excellent store there which also did mail-order of games and hardware too - they were called 'Dowling Computers'. Unfortunately they closed back in 1993 in the depths of the recession that hit the town very hard  >:( However, a couple of hours after they went under, I got a call from one of the directors which basically told me to go to their warehouse unit and grab what I wanted for nowt; they wanted regular customers to have the benefit of the stuff on offer there rather than the liquidators, who hadn't arrived by the time I got there  ;D

Boots, WH Smiths, Software Plus and one or two other places there also sold games and hardware, but unlike the independent places (with the exception of Software Plus staff in Bedford at the time) the customer support and service was pretty rubbish. The indie stores were the best places to go.

Cheers,

Rich.

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Posted : 01/06/2010 2:23 pm
Phu
 Phu
(@phu)
Member Moderator

I didn't visit a great many shops as I only had pocket money (I was born in 1980) and couldn't afford to buy new games all the time. Plus I'd inherited a load of stuff from my brother when I got a Speccy so I was quite content...

On the rare occasion, I did buy from "The Computer Store" (I think that's what it was called), a local shop that sadly didn't survive into the 90s. When I needed bits for my BBC Micro, "Bits n Bytes" down in Portsmouth city centre. Then they went bust too...

-- Richard

8 End of File, RCM:1

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Posted : 01/06/2010 2:24 pm
AndyRCM
(@andyrcm)
Member Admin
[rant]Somewhat of a trend here me thinks - and a bad one at that. All of the smaller indie stores went quite quickly from what I can remember and from what you are all saying here! Only the big chain stores carried on. With that though surely the personal touch has now gone completely? Going to a local store in the 80s for computer games etc. more often than not they would let you have a play so to speak. Can you do that now in the big 'chain' stores? I don't think so? The more I think about what this country has lost it makes me more determined to  get our computer museum open fully to the public on a full time basis. So that you CAN go into somewhere to play on a game or system you want to play on . . . yeah it will cost a few quid to get in but . . . it WILL be worth it surely?
[/rant]

Andy - apologies for this outburst, but I am sure 99% of you know exactly where I am coming from! 🙂

"I could see the faces of those who led pissing themselves laughing" - Funeral Pyre by The Jam

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Posted : 01/06/2010 2:38 pm
Phu
 Phu
(@phu)
Member Moderator

I'm with Andy.

PC World does (in places) have Console games available to playtest, but usually a limited range. More to show off the system than the games... although they probably provide the latest "big" release to play.

The way I see it, there's three types of people who will come to a permanent RCM:

1) People who had the systems in their youth and have come for some nostalgia.
2) The young generation who love gaming and what to see how it used to be done.
3) The "tourist" types who just want a good day out.

I think we've had a good share of all three at the open days, showing there's definitely a market for RCM.

-- Richard

8 End of File, RCM:1

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Posted : 01/06/2010 2:59 pm
Cap
 Cap
(@cap)
New Member

9 years later.
I used to visit a shop literally a few doors further down the same road the RetroComputerMuseum is on.
I bought my A1200 ppc accelerator there plus many more parts.
I cannot remember the owners name but i wonder if he is linked to this Museum at all.

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Posted : 10/07/2019 11:07 pm
AndyRCM
(@andyrcm)
Member Admin

Nice post . . . 9 years! 😉

We are now open to the public . . . albeit only 2 days a week but . . . we have come a long way and will continue to do so . . . 😉

Andy

"I could see the faces of those who led pissing themselves laughing" - Funeral Pyre by The Jam

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Posted : 23/07/2019 11:05 pm
muguk
(@muguk)
Member Admin

In Wandswort (London), I always hung around Gallery Software. I even attempted, but never finished, porting a C64 Quill adventure from a printed out listing (which I still have) into PAWS on the Spectrum 128K.

When the family relocated to Wales, it was initially Jo Micro in Rhyl, then a guy who worked there went and set up his own (better) shop called Broadsword Computers. All letters that were sent to me at that address contained various bootsectors from games / demos for me to incorporate into my Professional Virus Killer on the Atari ST.

Several sites to choose from:
a) Word Toolbox Add-In - for any power Word user
b) My old hacking stuff of yore
c) Preserving old photographic slides found at car boots!

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Posted : 26/04/2021 10:52 am
nikko
(@nikko)
Active Member

in that old times I had only mobile phone

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Posted : 09/09/2021 8:44 am
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