[Computational Complexity] Goodbye CompUSA
CompUSA, the "computer superstore", is closing more than half of its stores including all of them in the Chicago area. Tough competition came from many directions: Internet retailers, big box electronics stores like Best Buy and Circuit City, and price wars from Office Depot and Walmart. Despite having a CompUSA store a few blocks from me I rarely went there, though it was useful to quickly get a new fan for my PC when the old one died.
What does the closing of CompUSA have to do with computer science? Absolutely nothing, and yet everything. Computers have gone past devices you had to understand, ripping them open to add memory and other components. Now they get sold as a commodity not much different than televisions.
We do still have computer stores nearby. The local mall has an Apple Store and a Dell kiosk. But these are just showrooms, ways to exhibit their products, not places to go to get nuts and bolts to keep the computers going.
A field "Television Science" would never have flourished, but unfortunately many young people view Computer Science in a similar way today. That does not bode well for the long-term future of our discipline.
Posted by Lance to Computational Complexity at 3/04/2007 06:32:00 AM