This is interesting on several levels. To me, at least.
In 1968, I was almost 16 and already a major nerd.
I think it was my mother's idea that I place a classified ad in the local newspaper. Now, you need to understand what "local" and "newspaper" mean in this case. "Local" was a small, rural community in Sullivan County in upstate New York. We had under 1000 kids in the local school -- and that's K-12. The "newspaper" was weekly, 8 pages, and mimeographed (if you even remember what that was -- it was before photocopiers, let alone inkjet).
The ad asked people to donate their dead electronics (think vacuum tubes, folks) gear (meaning TVs and radios, pretty much).
The interesting thing is that in this tiny farm community, people responded and I soon had 25 or 30 television sets. A couple of them still worked. I got one or two more to work and the rest became parts.
What I find interesting is this. First, the blast from the past and this little glimpse into small town, 1968. Second, the memory of how people responded to an opportunity to help some geeky kid. And third is a sales and marketing lesson, that it works to ask for what you want in an unusual way that captures people's interest.
The fourth point was how this clipping came to me: The miracle of the Internet. On this, the downside of the Internet "bubble," maybe a lot of us forget that the Internet was and is a transformation in how people reach people. In this case, a guy named Keith Carlsen, a classmate of my baby brother's, began finding and contacting people from the area. He found me via the Internet and has been sending me scanned material from class yearbooks and such. He e-mailed me this clipping.
Sometimes, when we siliconheads get caught up in the technology, it is good to remember that in its shining moments, technology is about people.