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In June 1983, the GSA awarded a contract to Math Box, Inc., in Rockville, Maryland, to run one or more computer stores. The stores, referred to as Office of Technology Plus, were non-mandatory sources of supply by which federal agencies could learn about, buy, or be trained on the latest computer equipment and related products.
The first OTP store opened in Washington, D.C., in August 1983; stores in Philadelphia and Atlanta opened in 1984. Specifically, these stores were to provide
- information to federal agencies on how microcomputer technology can be used to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of their operations;
- assistance in selecting hardware and software to meet specific agency functional requirements;
- side-by-side comparison of similar products from several manufacturers;
- sales of end-user computing equipment, software, and supplies;
- seminars on using products supplied by the store; and
- service and maintenance for products sold by the stores.