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Farewell to the poor man's computer paradise

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  • Farewell to the poor man's computer paradise

    Sorry , I'm not sure where to post this , its news but I thought deserved to be under a Technical / computer / IT / sort of topic

    Ive seen this practice of turfing out the small independent shops and counters in shopping malls and replace the sales area with bland chrome and glass decor and vastly higher priced goods , no more popping in to see your favorite computer repair guy or asking advice about a problem , instead your met with vast areas of sales girls all selling the same brand name products . In pattaya over the years the numbers of small independent shops where you could take you computer , printer or other electronic item in for repair or advice has considerably diminished . Some people don't want to discard their equipment to the rubbish bin and buy new every time theres a problem .

    This below is what prompted my above comment ....

    Farewell to the poor man's computer paradise

    The Nation July 4, 2015 1:00 am

    With phones, tablets so easily discarded, Pantip Plaza has opted for a new business concept, yet we lose much in the trade-off
    Until last year, Pantip Plaza was a frequent destination for even the cleverest of computer geeks. It was the place to discover how your desktop computer could become a lot more powerful without spending a fortune, even as the prices of RAM utilities, hard drives, CD-ROMs, printers or scanners were falling all around.

    But times have changed, and what was once a paradise for tech-savvy consumers has succumbed to the forces of retail gravity.

    The curtain has all but come down on the "computer mall" for shoppers of limited income. Pantip is being refurbished with upmarket intentions and will re-emerge as an ultramodern "technology centre", offering the same type of gear and services as before but with much higher price tags.

    The rationale for the revamp includes customers' evolving behaviour and the building's nightmarish parking facilities, which in recent years have combined to winnow consumer interest in the once-bustling mall, abetted by a slew of disruptive reconstruction and renovation efforts. There were indeed days when the place felt like a ghost town.

    As well, computer owners no longer need to visit Pantip Plaza for upgrades, repairs or accessory purchases. It's often cheaper to simply discard your old unit and buy a new one. The boom in the tablet and smartphone markets has ensured that almost every department store and community mall stocks whatever we need. The newer IT gadgets don't need fixing, per se - now you just "upgrade" - and that's what really knocked the wind out of the Plaza.

    The current big changes at Pantip affect more than the shoppers and shop owners. Countless young people found jobs there in its heyday and turned into tech experts, acquiring impressive knowledge in a short time that 10 years in school could not have taught them.

    It's been said that a major exodus of vendors is on the cards. That might well fit into the grand new business concept, but management must be aware that it has to somehow restore Pantip's reputation as an unrivalled playground for technology enthusiasts. This is hardly a matter of nostalgia: If that reputation is lost forever, no amount of effort in rebranding will succeed, and the mall will face very tough times ahead.

    There is a flaw in the argument that Pantip Plaza must be reborn because it's now so much cheaper and easier to buy a new device than "chop and change" or "plug and re-plug". There were in fact undeniable benefits to these more awkward approaches - they ensured that the market belonged mainly to the buyers. Their shopping habits guided the prices, they acquired considerable knowledge of their own, and they determined what they wanted or didn't want.

    "Updating" a gadget by throwing it away and buying a new one might be the relatively cheap course these days, and it can certainly be done quickly. The downside, though, is that it leaves users with far less say in the market, and denies them the fun of learning as they go. The market seems to be moving further away from the buyers.

    The "old Pantip" gave IT users a voice and a measure of influence that had to be respected.

    The "new Pantip" might be shinier, with better parking, but it's also a place where the producers and sellers decide what's best. Perhaps there is a degree of nostalgia at play, as strange as that word sounds in the context of high technology, but surely it's outweighed by the hope that Pantip can regain its crown in the kingdom of gadgets.


    So have you finally reached that stage where you don't bother to seek out that elusive friendly repair shop , you just drop the the faulty item into the rubbish bin and head for the nearest large IT Mall .

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