CompuSmart, NCIX, what else do you miss from the olden days?
Here's some memories I recall:
CompuSmart was the shit and was a store that was way cooler than their name, rip to the founder. I remember visiting their Scarborough and Fairview locations. The Scarborough location was in Kennedy Commons, where the Moore's is now. Basically, it was close to all the discount computer stores (I think factory direct was around by the time I was going there, as well as MDG). There were some other low tier computer shops around there too. From what I remember, THE gaming mouse at the time was the Logitech MX518 (with the weird finish that looked like it had dents in it). I only had a lowly Logitech MX500. A I think complexity had a gamer who had a mouse named after him around then. CompuSmart always had a section basically for gaming peripherals - which was pretty cool and way ahead of their time. They also frequently bought out the last page (back page) of the Metro newspaper to post their ads.
CompuSmart also had a location in the second floor of Fairview mall (apparently there's a Kiddie Kobbler or GNC there now - it was in that nook that got you to the front entrance of Rainbow Cinemas). Around 2003-2004, I think I remember visiting their store and seeing one of their display gaming PCs that had a ton of clear acrylic panels. I forget how they mounted the motherboard in that thing. I think I remember that PC was running NFSU for people to demo and play. Also, I think, they had a mini-fridge of Bawls. Pretty damn cool store back then.
NCIX came way later for me (I used to go to the one on Midland), but I always remember how weird it was that the front of the store was so small and you'd have to wait 5 minutes for the back room to bring your order out to you, even if you were a walk-in customer ready to buy something right then and there. Now, that plaza is just filled with boba and gaming cafes. Pretty cool spot.
FactoryDirect, honestly, hasn't really changed. Tons of discount nearly-garbage tier stuff in dusty plastic bags. Sometimes there were good deals, sometimes there weren't. They had an Inauguration sale when Obama got elected LMAO. They also had (and I think still have) ugly ass ads in the Metro.
CanadaComputers has been an MVP for me. The locations I remember most : Waterloo (on Weber St) and Toronto (kennedy). The Kennedy location used to have a wall of shame as soon as you entered, where all the people who stole stuff had their pictures posted. That was hilarious. I will remember (and probably continue to experience) how packed their parking lot got on boxing day and how you'd struggle to get out of your car, trying not to fall into a puddle, because the pavement was in a such a state of disrepair lmao. Side note: it seems like their return policy has actually gotten better over the years. I visited last Christmas and they said that I could return a PSU after opening it, without a restocking fee.
So yeah, I'm interested in hearing what the RFD community remembers about the older days, what do y'all remember?