Computer Show Shock

I went to my first computer show in 1992, almost 19 years ago. I used to go regularly, buying parts to build or fix my own machines, or ones for other people. It was the place to go. It was routinely mobbed.

With my own business, parts vendors, and limited need, I stopped going very often, and haven’t been to one… probably since 2003, come to think of it, maybe 2002. If they weren’t exactly the same then, they were still of interest.

I went to one today, since the local one, formerly one of the largest the show company held, was local. I was mainly curious to see what was new, what prices there were, and how it had changed.

It was sad to see what it has ground down to with time and internet. It took maybe a third the former space. There were as few as half a dozen actual vendors. Most of it was computers, mostly laptops, heavily Dells, at what generally seemed to be great prices for used/refurbished machines. If I’d had the kind of stray money I’ve had now and then, I might have come home with a machine or three. There was one that essentially matched or beat a machine I recently helped people with, similar to one of the two on my desk now, eighty bucks. I feel like I can toss most of the old machines that might have maybe been used by kids, or been parts for same, or for anyone who wanted to play legacy DOS games natively, because I can replace them and better for nothing.

Bottom line: If I decide I need a laptop but don’t care if it’s brand new, I’d go there and know I could get a buy on one. Ditto if I wanted a slightly (or much) older Apple machine, just to have used one and become more familiar.

It took me maybe 15 minutes to walk through and give it a good look. Since I was out of the house, alone – free!!! – I didn’t want simply to buzz home. Heck, I could have gone to a movie, come to think of it. I went to the supermarket I seldom visit because it’s not local. Got enough good buys to be happy.

Not sure what I’d do if I were running the show. Probably keep it going, if there were any money in it. Sounds familiar. It’d depress me, though. Sounds familiar.