An amazing repository of technological detritus is closing forever

By Harry McCracken

08 April 2018


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:

    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

An amazing repository of technological detritus is closing forever |

[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.