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maplin uk used to sell atari hardware and software


em_kay
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All these years I've been in these forums saying I worked for Maplin as tech sales for Atari......sheeesh...

 

Its even in my About me bit in my profile...

 

What was that saying "he gave them eyes but they cannot see"

 

:)

Edited by Mclaneinc
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All these years I've been in these forums saying I worked for Maplin as tech sales for Atari......sheeesh...

 

Its even in my About me bit in my profile...

 

What was that saying "he gave them eyes but they cannot see"

 

:)

 

I was wondering how long it would take to hear from you. At least he posted some nice pictures!

 

David

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Ha ha...I just wanted to wind up Emkay ;)

 

Yeah the pictures are nice and actually shows what was my shop in Hammersmith so its a good reminder.

 

The prices still leave me cold :) (even with discount)

 

Had many a good time in those years....

 

My wife had to turn around and push my mouth closed, because my jaw dropped and refused to work for a bit when I saw those prices.

And yet we paid them! Any idea how much that is in todays world?

 

David

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My wife had to turn around and push my mouth closed, because my jaw dropped and refused to work for a bit when I saw those prices.

And yet we paid them! Any idea how much that is in todays world?

 

 

 

That 16k Atari 800 at £645 is the equivalent of £2231 today.

 

 

http://inflation.stephenmorley.org/

Edited by GlowingGhoul
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Used to pop into that Westcliff-on-Sea store as a kid a fair bit. Spent a fair time drooling over the "proper" keyboard kit they used to sell for the ZX Spectrum. Always wanted one.

 

Found this review of it here from Sinclair User Issue 27, June 1984

 

The Maplin keyboard, marketed under the name Mapsoft, is for the home hobbyist, in that it is supplied in kit form. It is also the only one which connects to the user port of the Spectrum. There is an extender PCB which fits on to the Spectrum and a ribbon cable to the keyboard.

It has 47 keys, the normal 40 plus Delete, Graphs lock, Shift lock, Caps Lock, single key E Mode and two space keys. There is also one extra key which you can wire up to your own requirements.

Making up the kit is straightforward, provided that you are wed to soldering; if not, it might be an idea to practise first. None of the chips is socketed and special care has to be taken with them.

The made-up board is fitted into a thin plastic moulded case, the top of which is held in place by pieces of Velcro and has the colour legends for keys 1 to 7 and 0. The legends on the keys are three colour cards which fit under a clear plastic top.

Unfortunately the keyboard was received late for review and we did not have time to test it fully. First impressions, however, were favourable, although the case appears to be fairly flexible. If you prefer making your own keyboard, this is perhaps the best, if not the only one available. The kit costs £44.95 inc. and can be obtained from Maplin Electronic Supplies, PO Box 3, Rayleigh, Essex SS6 8LR, or from its many shops.

 

Would still love to own one tbh.

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A bit of Maplin trivia around that organ..

 

We at Hammersmith had a 2 part shop, the actual components side and the other was the computers, Organs and synth projects. After the computers started to die out we still had that organ sat in the shop window, now this was before I was in charge, one of the staff was a big Monty Python fan and any fan will remember apart for Terry Gilliams animations they had some set live action stuff and one was a Python member sat at a similar organ in the nude with just a bow tie on looking back at the camera while playing the organ. Now Melvin the person in question kept asking if he could remake that scene in the Hammersmith window which was on a very busy high street called King St which also had bus stop outside. The manager at the time sad he would sack him if he caught him doing it but on one saturday when that manager was off the deputy manager for some reason allowed him to do it.

 

So there you have the Maplin Matinee organ in the main window of the shop, the bus stop full of people and loads walking past and Melvin sitting on the stool with his back to them but leaning around to look at them totally naked with the bow tie with his silly Gene Wilder looking face with little round glasses on and a huge grin looking at these people while playing the organ...

 

Somehow we got not not a single complaint and Melvin didn't get sacked...

 

All 100% true....

 

Thankfully when I took over a little later we scrapped the other part of the shop to use it as a storage area for stock, the organ went back to Maplin HQ...I bloody hated that organ and the synths, hundreds of single components and if you were missing only a couple the customer would often refuse what there was in stock which took hours to collect. So glad when we dropped them all.

 

 

Edited by Mclaneinc
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As I have always maintained, the people running the actual purchasing and promotion were complete plonkers, 1 guy made all the software and hardware buying choices and he had no clue about the difference between components and computer hardware. He also purchased by price only which lead to my repeated story about the hundreds of copies of Temple of Apshai he purchased because they were dead cheap yet the game was done and dusted long before he brought them leaving us using them as blank disks for the stock system, I ended up with loads of them.

 

The same person also with the main buyers blessing decided it would be great to take in every new little computer because according to him "all computers will sell".

 

Don't think the company ever sold a Sord or and Oric, we most certainly didn't at Hammersmith..

 

So the advert is simply a glimpse at the people behind the scenes at Maplin, don't listen to the sales folk, just buy any old cheap crap in...

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Pretty much everyone I knew got theirs from Maplins - the Westcliff one. there was 'Mike's Computer Store' briefly a bit down the road but until Dixons etc started doing the bundles, Maplins was the only game in town. There was a pretty decent display and interesting hardware/software most of the time. I remember seeing a Versawriter being shown off there.

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Pretty much everyone I knew got theirs from Maplins - the Westcliff one. there was 'Mike's Computer Store' briefly a bit down the road but until Dixons etc started doing the bundles, Maplins was the only game in town. There was a pretty decent display and interesting hardware/software most of the time. I remember seeing a Versawriter being shown off there.

 

Hi Ian,

 

We have chatted about those over the years, the Westcliff shop was ran by Tony (I seem to remember) he had blond hair and glasses, the trouble was that what shops we did have ie there, us in Hammersmith, (Manchester later) and Southampton were staffed by people not really Atari hardcore except us in Hammersmith and that was to be honest me really, my luck was that we had some very clever customers including a certain very well known cracker and coder who also would show off stuff I wasn't in to like Eastern Front for me. It also helped having some dev's locally who showed off their soon to published titles.

 

And then you had the rather timidly named Mikes Computer Store and unless you were familiar with Atari Slough etc you would not have known it was owned by Mike Wilding, ex Atari UK, the man who for Atari took the first UK pirate to court. Mike also was known for other things which were Atari related that I'll not publicly describe but were known to the scene and the guy he took to court in particular :)

 

Always found it odd he ended up running a computer store of his own rather than going back in to management in some other company.

 

There's a lot of history that a lot of the general public don't know on the dark side in the UK, all I'll say is that EVERYTHING was more close knit than people imagined.

 

Paul...

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The main one I remember at Maplins was some young lad who worked Saturdays and was always bashing away on the Macro Assembler, creating demos etc. To be honest, Apart from one or two who had clearly been there a long time, I found them OK on the Atari side but generally I was there Saturday so got the kid genius when I wanted to ask about anything or to see something demoed. It does sound though that Hammersmith was the place to be but back then it was all so new, I was just happy to have access to anything, anywhere!

 

As for Mike, yes, you're right. Oddly, when I warned a friend off of him, he said "You're joking, he's the biggest pirate out there, I get all my stuff from him". He used to drop into Maplins too to show off little demos he'd written (or someone had given him possibly). I remember one that had multiple scrolling bands of text in different sizes/directions/speeds horizontally whilst what looked like some GR.2 text scrolled up behind it all. Very impressive at the time. He opened up his shop around the time the STs started so pretty much all my 8bit purchases were at Maplins, 32K 400 with 410, then the 810, 1029 printer, software etc. I did briefly have an 800 from Scientific & Technical over the road when they flogged a load off in plain boxes for £99 each.

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Yes, Mikes secret was that it was known a lot of what dropped out of Atari did so because of him.

 

The version of Ms Pacman that was on the disk which said other guy got done for was directly from inside Atari as one of their carts which was dumped and then rather stupidly sold on Exchange and Mart by the pirate who shall remain nameless (just in case ) although I think I have said his name or part of it before but I personally knew the guy a loong time as a friend. he was also the legendary Captain Alcan who pirated stuffed for sale in the Maplin shop in Hammersmith. The name comes from his aluminium type Atari jacket and hold all he carried his Happy in.

 

Not sure of the young lad on Saturdays as you only had the managers and deputy managers ever meeting other shop staff unless you were really sad and spent your day off from Maplin at another branch...

 

As for my shop being the place to be, perhaps if you were in London, we were the only decent retailer at that time but Silica shop Sidcup was my favourite Atari centre, can't say I liked their later shops in Tottenham Court Road but the guys were ok, Noel Daniel of Sidewinder and the Uridium clone (something fox) worked there as did a guy called Erol who wrote Foundations Waste on the ST, another Silica guy ran a huge Amiga pirate BBS...

 

Old stuff I've mentioned before but as I've said before, its amazing how so many of us knew one another in one way or another....Closer than most folk realise...

Edited by Mclaneinc
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I can strongly deny that its me, it was indeed a staff member (sadly no photo) and his name was Melvyn, he was one of these uni types who liked to dabble in all sorts of weird ie drink and drugs, very well off parents so basically bummed through early life doing mindless stuff.

 

Strange lad, high IQ but no commitment......Probably a tree hugger these days (hippy type for you Americans)

Edited by Mclaneinc
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Rats! I thought for a little while I knew a TV celebrity... It might not be a bad idea to hug a tree. The way the storms around the US are blowing them over,

and the wild fires are burning them up, we may not have any in a few years. We will have to start calling them Cactus huggers! (That's Texas humor)...

 

David Milsop

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just clearing out some old magazines, I didn't realise Maplins in the UK were Atari resellers

 

check out some of the prices ! (attached)

 

 

 

All these years I've been in these forums saying I worked for Maplin as tech sales for Atari......sheeesh...

 

Its even in my About me bit in my profile...

 

What was that saying "he gave them eyes but they cannot see"

 

:)

 

You know I thought it was odd that emkay didn't realize this either. But then I noticed that this em_kay was not the same as the emkay I was thinking about. Notice the difference in the user names and the different avatar ;)

 

I'm not the sharpest pencil in the stack :)

 

- Michael

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Rats! I thought for a little while I knew a TV celebrity... It might not be a bad idea to hug a tree. The way the storms around the US are blowing them over,

and the wild fires are burning them up, we may not have any in a few years. We will have to start calling them Cactus huggers! (That's Texas humor)...

 

David Milsop

 

 

Actually that sort is valid as I hear you guys have been having a nightmare as of late, its terrible how wonderful and then how brutal nature can be unless you think its HAARP being activated again.

 

Best wishes to all..

 

As it happens Melvyn went out for a while with a US / UK presenter called Katie Pucrick (weird American punkie type), his tastes were shall we say, eclectic. :)

 

And in the tiniest way possible, I have been on TV as has my brother, back in the 70's back in Ireland he climbed the mountains of Mourne and like the idiot he is got stuck at night and had to be rescued by helicopters etc, it was big local news and they sent a very famous reporter from the day called Fyfe Robertson to interview him. Me, I was on ITV news in the UK being interviewed on the main news over train problems affecting the commuter. There was me back in the day in my suit and briefcase...

 

Hardly a 10 mins of fame tho :)

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You know I thought it was odd that emkay didn't realize this either. But then I noticed that this em_kay was not the same as the emkay I was thinking about. Notice the difference in the user names and the different avatar ;)

 

I'm not the sharpest pencil in the stack :)

 

- Michael

 

Then neither am I as I didn't spot that...

 

Then again, you seen one Emkay you seen them all ;)

 

(just jesting Brother Emkay)

 

Edit: Good god, there's not twins out there is there? shiver.......2 people arguing over the tonal quality of a Pokey fart noise :)

Edited by Mclaneinc
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yea I'm a different emkay, just an unfortunate coincidence with similar forum names

 

whilst we are reminiscing about old times, as a kid I used to get dragged along to the to the Lee Valley Atari users group whilst the oldies swapped games

 

good to see this thread still has some legs, I'll give it a shameless bump :)

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The version of Ms Pacman that was on the disk which said other guy got done for was directly from inside Atari as one of their carts which was dumped and then rather stupidly sold on Exchange and Mart by the pirate who shall remain nameless (just in case ) although I think I have said his name or part of it before but I personally knew the guy a loong time as a friend.

If it's the one i'm thinking of, then yes i believe you've said it previously.

 

Noel Daniel of Sidewinder and the Uridium clone (something fox)

Would that be Thunderfox?

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