A Final Tour of NYC's "original Apple Store" (Screenshot: YouTube)

People generally don’t repair pieces of technology these days. They replace them. By the time some gadget has broken down or malfunctioned, there’s almost always something better that has come along in the meantime. And technology isn’t as buggy and temperamental as it used to be either. While that’s perhaps good news for the tech industry, it’s terrible news for the repair industry. One wonders if even Emmett’s Fix-It Shop from The Andy Griffith Show could survive in today’s cutthroat climate.

The latest victim of this ruthless but necessary cultural shift is New York city’s legendary Tekserve, an independently owned computer repair shop that has been widely deemed “the original Apple store.” There weren’t official Apple stores, let alone Genius Bars, at malls across America when Tekserve opened its doors 29 years ago. There are now, though, so customers have started going elsewhere for their tech needs. Meanwhile, over the course of three decades, real estate values have skyrocketed, as has rent. It was time for Tekserve to power down permanently. But before the end, which culminated on August 23 with an auction, Tekserve co-founder Dick Demenus led Gizmodo on one last bittersweet tour of the place where Carrie Bradshaw once went for help.

Truth is, Demenus seems at peace with the end of Tekserve. He acknowledges that the world has changed since the store started, which is not entirely a bad thing. Demenus began the business with a group of engineers who “fell in love with the Mac” and learned to repair Apple computers themselves. Tekserve evolved from there, and the store became a museum of sorts for all the various pieces of technology that Demenus had accumulated over the decades, including obsolete TV transmitters, phones, and especially radios. “I collect things that are nifty,” he says, modestly. He doesn’t have room for all that stuff in his home, hence the auction. The centerpiece of the store is what Demenus calls “our Macintosh museum,” a glass case housing years worth of world-changing Apple computers, including one signed by Steve Wozniak himself. According to WMUR, an anonymous bidder just bought the whole lot for $47,000. Think of how many in-game purchases that could make.

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[via Laughing Squid]