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An amazing repository of technological detritus is closing forever

Since 1986, the WeirdStuff Warehouse has been a place where, it seemed, you could find any computer, gadget, software, or related accessory ever manufactured if you just spent enough time scouring its aisles. (I swear there’s an Apple-1 in there somewhere.) Sadly, the vast salvage shop–located near Yahoo in Sunnyvale–is closing on Sunday, robbing Silicon … Continue reading “An amazing repository of technological detritus is closing forever”

An amazing repository of technological detritus is closing forever
[Photo: Harry McCracken]
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Since 1986, the WeirdStuff Warehouse has been a place where, it seemed, you could find any computer, gadget, software, or related accessory ever manufactured if you just spent enough time scouring its aisles. (I swear there’s an Apple-1 in there somewhere.) Sadly, the vast salvage shop–located near Yahoo in Sunnyvale–is closing on Sunday, robbing Silicon Valley of a treasure I can’t imagine existing anywhere else. I paid my respects during one last visit today and saw, among countless other wonders:

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  • VCR Plus, the handy-dandy remote control that let you program your VCR by punching in codes
  • Both Web TV and Web Pal, two different ways people browsed the internet on their TVs in the 1990s
  • Some copies of Windows Vista that were among the few things in the place under lock and key
  • An unopened Columbia House Kris Kristofferson album on eight-track
  • An iMac whose LCD was missing, revealing the circuitry and hard drive once hidden behind the screen
  • A networking switch from a company called Blonder Tongue, which has been around since 1950 and was indeed founded by a Mr. Blonder and Mr. Tongue
  • An incredible selection of obsolete storage devices and media–Zip, Jaz, SyQuest, and on and on
  • All the stuff you’d expect to find in a store like this, from typewriters to Power Macs to every cable ever used to connect anything to something else

[Photo: Harry McCracken]
I’ve rhapsodized about WeirdStuff before, in a 2010 slide show and a 2014 story in which I said I hoped to be shopping at the place 20 years in the future. I’m sorry that won’t be the case–and glad that I got to go spelunking as often as I did.

About the author

Harry McCracken is the technology editor for Fast Company, based in San Francisco. In past lives, he was editor at large for Time magazine, founder and editor of Technologizer, and editor of PC World.

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