The 80’s were weird, two of the most popular home computers were made by leather companies
@RobinHood I think I was born the day Colecovision came out
@InternetEh Coleco stands for Connecticut Leather Company. When I first learned this, I think I blacked out for like 10 mins
@RobinHood yeah I know. And wasn't Nintendo like a playing card company?
@InternetEh I think so! But like, at least that’s somewhere near the same genre? I really don’t understand the leather thing
@RobinHood they invented the leather laptop bag first and needed to invent the computer to go in it
@RobinHood apparently in Tandy's case, they got into selling ham radios by mail in kits, which is how some of the early personal computers were sold. Then they sold whole, prefab computers.
@InternetEh that makes sense!
@RobinHood it seems like the answer is leather arts and crafts was a DIY business, and the early computer industry was highly DIY. Which is weird to think about
@RobinHood There's still a Tandy Leather down the road a little. I should call in and ask for a TRS.
@RobinHood my friend has a TRS-80 and it smells like cigarettes.
@doubleDensity after all these years?!?
@RobinHood it's 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘤.
@RobinHood Commodore made typewriters and moved on to calculators. Texas Instruments wiped them off of the calculator market, so the CEO of Commodore (and later Atari) Jack Tramiel made it a point of ego to undercut TI out of the computer market with the C=64
@RobinHood I knew about Tandy, but I was today years old when i learned about Coleco
The Tandy branding was much more widely used in Britain for the entire electronics shop (from 1970s until about 1999/2000) as there was already a small business called "Radio Shack" in Southern England selling amateur radio equipment so that brand name had already been claimed here..
@RobinHood And one of the other ones was made by a company that was subsequently reduced to selling remote control vehicle toys.
@RobinHood They did a really good job of fictionalizing this in Halt and Catch Fire; the company the first two seasons take place within started out making things like kit radios, fell into midlevel corporate computer networking and software support, and then started making cutting-edge hardware. There wan't really such a thing as a "computer company" then.
@RobinHood Since other interesting prehistory bits have come up in this thread, a bit of "where are they now?"
Williams Electronics, as they were called when hits like Joust, Robotron, and Defender hit the arcades was originally known as Williams Manufacturing. They started as a pinball company and continued after the stopped making arcade games. In the late 90s they rebranded as WMS gaming and focused on making physical and digital slot machines.
They have since been bought by Scientific Gaming.
@docskrzyk Williams also made a lot of bowling and refrigeration equipment
@BalooUriza Yep. I worked there when they were doing "blackbird", which was basically making a linux based slot machine. The warehouse had a bunch of crazy ass shit.
I also had a brief moment of glory in which I was the admin of pinball.com and had access to every ROM for every Williams pinball machine made. They kept them there for field service techs.
I am an idiot for not keeping an "offsite backup" of that shit.
@RobinHood I like to call Dallas' light rail system the Tandy DART because their livery is nearly identical to the Tandy Center's trains back when that shopping mall had its own light rail system.
A cool and chill place for cool and chill people.