Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

There Are "Ironclad" Warranties, And Then There's...

Back in the 80's, before the superstores really took over, a lot of electronics came from local dealerships. A few bought advertising time on local TV stations, but I've never seen a spot like this. Is this commercial for real? Looks like it is. This is Joe Pierre who takes an informal approach in this local TV commercial for his electronics business in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He invites viewers to come down and check out the latest cassette Walkman - and check out that back wall with even more 80's gear.

Pierre's business promises that they service what they sell. He purrs in the direction of the Walkman, promising that they will "fix the little turkey if it breaks down". You know what? I believe him. In my electronics shopping career, the best service has come from small, locally owned electronics businesses. I've gotten some of my best deals that way too.

Big box stores are great if you know exactly what you want, and don't have any customer service expectations (either before or after the sale). But if I'm buying something that really matters, something that I really want to last, going local still feels right to me. Obviously caveat emptor still applies (don't get me started on the guy who's been "repairing" one of my turntables for the last 7 years), but if you shop around you can still find those dealers who specialize in their product, have actual useful advice, and know the value of your business.

To quote Joe, "That's worth something, isn't it?"


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