GEM Computer Products/Micro Equipment Corp./C.MORE
My attempt to document a Norcross Georgia Computer Company's History
When people think of computing companies of years gone by, they think of IBM, Commodore, NEC, Acer, Packard Bell, Tandy, or Compaq - just to name a few - but outside of those, we had a lot of "smaller" names all over the united states. Small, Regional makers who built machines locally. A small few of these companies managed to make a mark just a little bigger than Local, but not at the Compaq/Packard Bell level. These are the names remembered on various cases that were shared from manufacturer to manufacturer. Micro Equipment Corporation, and GEM Computer Products + C.MORE stores by extention, are one of these companies - sharing a tier just below other, more celebrated "White Box" PC makers such as Austin, Northgate Systems, or ZEOS, but above tiny, regional makers such as Data Experts of Alabama or Cactus of Blackfoot Idaho, or Holt Office Systems or CAT Computers of Kirkland Washington. I would put them sort of where Bellevue Washington firm "Hard Drives Northwest" resides currently. Just more than regional enough to be a regional firm, but just regional enough to still be considered "regional".

So this is going to be a bit like LGR's Tech Tales, except way more obscure. Maybe if this does well, or I find enough to close the case on thsi one, we can continue to look up more strange, old, obscure, regional Whitebox PC Manufacturers and document their systems and whatnot.

I must declare, and point out that I am just a fan of these old systems they made. I never worked for any of the companies mentioned, and all of the work here is my own research and digging I've done at various internet archives and various search engines over the course of over 20 years. How factual things may actually be is anyone's guess. I'm just trying to post up what I know. Admittedly, this page was inspired a bit by a blog from about 15 yyears ago where another guy started to write about smaller PC manufacturers (not me) and their histories. I will likely open up more pages as time goes on and more information comes out on these old companies.
The Company's History

MEC/GEM Building at 6889 Peachtree in Norcross 30092, They were in Suite 160
I have attempted this endeavor many times, and still I'm putting pieces together out of micro-sized shards I dig up on the internet. So Speculatory bits will be put in italiacs like this while stuff I have substantiated with Evidence will be in regular text.

Micro Equipment Corporation (MEC) and GEM Computer Products were both trademarked in March 1983 per - a trademark website (where all these logos came from). Though I have possibly found other sites stating 1982 or earlier as a starting point. It appears that despite this early startup, they never quite took off until 1985 or so when they offered a "Pepper XT" motherboard, which I think as of 2023, I have finally found photos of on e-bay.

(1985) PEPPER XT MOTHERBOARD - In 1985, GEM started offering a motherboard known as the "Pepper XT". This was an 8088 based, XT-Clone motherboard boasting "Zero Wait State" operation, and intended as an upgrade. Itt was also, apparently used as a motherboard in various other brands "whitebox" PC builds, as well as probably MEC & GEM's computers themselves. I speculate, originally, when the company was formed, MEC was likely already functioning in some fashion, and then GEM was opened up either as a Government branch, or was initially used as the store brand for their PCs.

Speculations on Military Ties - I believe I may have read somewhere that they had some U.S. military contracts providing technologies to various branches of the Military. This would seem to be the case as the two GEM systems I have owned above were from USAF bases at some point in their lives. Out of the four total GEM computer products PCs I've ever heard of, only ONE was not tied to the US military in some way, and that was the 1998 Pentium tower I found on YouTube back in the 00's. It seems the majority of these may have gone to the USAF branches, which may explain the rarity abit. The two systems I acquired were decommed to civilian use after their active duty, and were also quite modified from their stock form and obviously wiped and reloaded with personal effects (which I then wiped and reloaded with my own). This makes me wonder a bit if GEM stood for "Government Electronics Manufacturing" or "Government Engineering Machines" or something like that.

C.MORE (Late 80's) - Sometime between 1985 and 1990 MEC/GEM started a series of stores in the southeastern United States known as "C.MORE" with the Tagline "The New Vision". I found this logo on Trademarkia. What I surmise is this was a series of regional computer stores, possibly opened up in malls, such as the then famous Peachtree Mall in west Georgia, or the Montgomery Mall in Montgomery Alabama. I vaguely even recall possibly seeing one at the Auburn Mall in Auburn around 1988-1990 or so. What I'm guessing is this would be a place you could buy accessories, software, diskettes, and full computer systems under the GEM or MEC, or possibly even C.MORE Brand. I even recall being in a large computer store in the Peachtree Mall at age 8 that had a TON of computer stuff in it so it could have been this very store.

GEM's Salt Lake City Office opened up to add more distribution to the western side of the United States in 1989-1990ish. They also had a office in Silicon Valley at one point as well. To think, these guys could have been sitting up there with the gang of nine. It just seemed like it never happened.

Jan 25, 1989 - Deseret News - GEM Announces Salt Lake City Presence - Remember what I said about GEM/MEC/C.MORE Sitting somewhere between a Compaq and a Cactus? Well, this is proof of that. By 1989, GEM computer Products division was already making plans to open up operations in Salt Lake City Utah, a whole heck and away from Norcross Georgia. The Article mentions this arm being run by Larry Edwards, previously of Novell, and employing 7 people in their opffices while a factory had not been picked yet at this point.

I copied/pasted the Article below in block font in case this link ever dies...

By Deseret News
Jan 25, 1989, 11:00pm PDT

Micro Equipment Corp. and its affiliate, Gem Computer Products, both headquartered in Atlanta, will open a regional sales and distribution office and a manufacturing facility in Salt Lake City this year.

In a written announcement released Wednesday, officials said the Utah office will cover distribution in the western United States. The company said Salt Lake City was chosen because of its regional shipping location and abundant work force.Larry C. Edwards, a former executive with Novell Data Services and founder of Icon International, has been named vice president and general manager of Micro Equipment's Western Operations..

Edwards said the company has opened a small office in Sandy, 9176 S. 300 West, but a site for the computer manufacturing and assembly plant has not been chosen. The facility will employ about 20 workers.

Micro Equipment is a 7-year-old computer products distributor, while Gem manufactures IBM compatible computers and accessories. The companies have facilities in Atlanta and Taiwan.

Post 1997 - By 1997, GEM/MEC/C.MORE were now being run by CEO Alexander Mark Remington, who was also a director of NewCom (now known as NCom). Around that time, NewCom was having fifnancial issues, and who was their #1 supplier? Micro Equip Corp. of course. Between 1999 and 2003, the US Department of Justice had an ongoing trial involving members of NewCom, Aura, and MEC. Here's some links to this because I'm not all that well versed in legal. What I understand is this was a fraud case involving Remington, his girlfriend, 2 guys of some ethnicity going under the names "Gino" and "Tony", and NewCom failing as a business. It seems a big part of the red flag was not paying their suppliers, then over-promising and under-delivering. A issue all to common in this business.

(PDF) Official Paperwork from the Trial from the US DOJ
(Apnews) Defunct Tech Firm Execs Charged
(DailyBreeze) Three Arrest in Corporate Fraud Case (9/12/2002)

The 2000's - In the 2000's, MEC/GEM seemed to try and continue on as either a local computer shop, or as a "solutions provider" as was becoming a common choice of words at that time for a tech firm that would once be in computers (IBM did the same thing around the same time after selling the PC division to Lenovo). They did seem to put up some articles in some local computer magazines, but sort of slowly faded away, despite their trademarks being abandoned. Likely they were trying to drum ub business due to the above lawsuits and so on.

Property For Sale 2020 Onward - While looking up addresses for GEM Computer Products, MEC, and C.MORE, I found GEM's 1989 building that was being built in Atlanta, apparently this was MEC's headquarters throughout the 1990's until they folded around 2005 or so. I also was able to locate the original building that looks more "spanish" in architecture as well. This seems to be all that is left, though a Facebook Page for "MEC" still exists claiming some ind of startup or something. It's unclear exactly what that business is for anymore.

So that concludes the history of Micro Equipment Corp, GEM Computer Products, and C.More. As of now, the trademarks lie abandoned, as does the major Norcross office/factory for that matter. Just like many other brands at the time that dissappeared as a result of the culling of mass systems builders and computer manufacturers as the 1990's drew to a close. My interest in these systems came from the fact they seemed ot have some exclusivity compared to other whitebox makers I've run across such as AMT, Holt Office Systems, CAT Computers, Moondog Computers, Cactus, and many other regional systems builders.