A man whom it amuses me to call “The Last Stereo-Repairman Hero” rode his motorcycle to my house a couple of months ago. He brought with him a backpack full of tools and electronic parts: a soldering iron, some fuses, a jeweler’s loupe. I had summoned him to work his magic on a turntable and an integrated receiver/amp, legacy hi-fi stereo components that had emerged from a couple of years of storage in a state of severe dysfunction. The local repair shop in Berkeley that I depended on for years for things like this had gone out of business. But their Web page pointed me to Gene, who looked to be pushing 70, but was still doing good business making house calls across…

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Why the ’90s are literally disappearing from history


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