Tim Malone, MCSE                 (818) 257-0513               tim@3tcm.net

Over 30 years of managed expertise in computer technology  INDEX


Retail Store Manager                             Mar 80 to Jun 81

ComputerMart of California, a Micro Computer retail store in Diamond Bar, CA


 Retail Store Manager for one of the first Apple dealerships in Southern California (now MicroAge of Diamond Bar).  Opened and managed the store, purchased inventory as needed, advised retail customers.  Also did contract programming during this time for an insurance brokerage.  Wrote a custom commission tracking system in Applesoft BASIC on an Apple II+ computer.   Started one of the first computer clubs in Southern California.


I had purchased my first computer system from Dave Glawson, the owner of this retail microcomputer store, one of the first in Southern California.  I was a regular customer of the store and was surprised when Dave requested that I take a position as store manager.  At the time of his request, I was employed in two positions as a computer operator and programmer.  I was happy to accept the offer, especially since Dave asked that I offer computer programming services on the side.  It was a sweet deal.  I was able to make a lot of business contacts and Dave was able to sell a lot more systems.


In those early days of microcomputers there was not much pre-packaged software and very little of it was business software.  Microcomputers were not yet considered business machines and were marketed more towards hobbyists, enthusiasts and gamers.  Software came on cassette tape and was sold in baggies.  If someone wanted software to run their business, they had to write it themselves or contract someone else to do it.  At one time I had nearly a half-dozen contracts going but could only work on one or two of them at a time so I sub-contracted the others out.


I enjoyed my work in the store and enjoyed helping customers learn what the Apple II+ computer could offer them.  I was somewhat of an expert on the machine since I spent so much of my time figuring out what it could do and programming it.  I was already a BASIC programmer and understood business programming since I had written mainframe and mini-computer business applications at the City of Baldwin Park and the City of Hope.  Apple’s Applesoft floating point BASIC was actually written by Microsoft and had a lot of powerful features.  Over the years I developed quite a business software library.


I did a lot of outside consulting with customers that I met through the store.  I delivered dozens of systems, set them up, installed software and configured the software the way the customer wanted.  I was able to work with the latest technology, including daisy-wheel printers (laser printers weren’t out yet), large capacity 8” floppy disk drives and Winchester hard drives which had just come out.  I also helped my clients get connected to on-line databases using 300-baud Hayes Micro-modems.  Some of the early services were The Source and CompuServe.


As the store manager I was in charge of seeing that the store was staffed and that orders for equipment and supplies were filled in a timely manner.  When the Epson MX-80 dot-matrix printer came out, we would sell dozens each week.  I spent many an hour waiting at the will-call dock of Micro-D, the exclusive dealer for Epson printers at that time.  With Dave’s encouragement, I started one of the first Apple computer clubs in California and arranged the speakers for each month’s meetings.  I know I contributed a lot to the early success of ComputerMart.


In the picture above right, Dave stands in front of the store in the Diamond Bar K-Mart shopping center.  That’s my car in front.  I think we had just received a shipment of computers and had just finished putting them away.  We were preparing for a Computer Club meeting that evening where we had a full house.  In the picture below Dave, Cynthia (our Apple rep) and one of our best customers and member of the club set up an Apple for display at the local home and garden show.  We did a lot of shows in those days and most of them brought in a lot of new customers.


Because I was enjoying my work so much, I was hesitant to leave a year later when I was contacted by a search agency but the financial deal was too attractive to pass up.  Delphi Systems was looking for someone with my background and it was a good career move to move into a more professional environment.  The Apple III had just been announced but Apple still wasn’t quite making inroads into the business world like they had hoped.  The ‘real’ systems in those days ran CP/M on the S-100 bus.  The top-of-the-line Apple systems we sold were under $5,000.  The multi-user Altos systems we sold at Delphi were about $25,000 each.


I enjoyed my year at ComputerMart and kept a working business relationship with Dave since I still had some contracts that I was finishing up for our mutual customers.  Even after two years Dave continued to try to get me to come back to work for him, wanting me to take over the store completely.  He eventually sold the store and went to work for Apple Computer for 16 years.  He started ClubNet in 1995, an ISP in Diamond Bar, and sold it just last year.  ComputerMart still thrives today as MicroAge of DiamondBar.  I went back there after nearly 20 years to get my MCSE training.


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