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andy1252

Fry's Electronics, RIP (Sunnyvale, CA)

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Posted (edited)

Read some sad news the other day, Fry's Electronics has closed all its stores. Fry's was one of the most amazing places to visit if you were even slightly nerdy back in the early days of compootering. When I joined Amdahl in 1987, I got sent out to their training centre in Sunnyvale, in the valley, and on the first lunchbreak of the first course somebody took me down the road to Fry's. This was a shed the size of a football stadium absolutely packed with everything you could imagine PC (in the general, rather than necessarily IBM PC sense) related. Everything from build and test equipment through individual chips to every add-on card under the sun, plus every bit of software in existence at the time. And books. And no doubt other stuff I've forgotten. It did my credit card and my baggage allowance no favours discovering that place. Had to visit every time I got sent out to that part of the world.

So, I'd been meaning to go visit the valley in MSFS once I'd gotten a bit more comfortable in the H135, and this was the final push to go see how it looked. It certainly seems like a lot of the right looking buildings are in the right sort of places. Maybe not modelled 100% accurately but given this is default scenery, and non-photogrammetry, I'm pretty impressed. I shall look on Google maps to see if I can prompt a few more memories of those trips and then go exploring some more in the sim. The H135 is a magnificent beast for such trips.

Approaching Sunnyvale, out of Palo Alto in this particular trip. East Arques Avenue directly ahead under the nose. The weird looking building is Apple (figures!)
Fb6stkQ.jpg

Pretty much directly overhead the Apple building here, Fry's is labelled and the boxed building is (I think) what used to be the Amdahl building used for the training dept (I joined them as an instructor). Not entirely sure, Amdahl is long gone now and I don't remember the actual address to cross-check on Google maps but the building shape is about right and it looks familiar on Google.
g2dKPaP.jpg

A couple of acres of silicon paradise
BU8MxGu.jpg

And just a couple of blocks down the road, what I'm fairly sure is the Amdahl Education Center (as was)
UXLTkdy.jpg

Magic to be able to come back and visit after all these years, and without leaving my den, too!
pHScL9Y.jpg

 

 

Edited by andy1252
typo
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Ryzen 9 3950X, 64 Gb, Titan RTX, 11 Tb SSD, 24 Tb HD, 40" Philips 4k monitor, MSFS, XP11, AFS2, P3Dv5, FSX (in order of pref)

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Posted (edited)

Nice captures.

An unfortunate but deserving end.  They really let their stores and business deteriorate.  I moved away from Orange County, Calif in late 2010 and already then I had given up on them.  The store was filthy and 50% of the merchandise were open box customer returns.  Many employees were not only not priceless, they were value-less.

I turned to Microcenter.  And Microcenter continues to thrive.  Fortunate to have Microcenter stores here in the Baltimore-Washington area.

 

 

Edited by fppilot
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18 minutes ago, fppilot said:

Nice captures.

An unfortunate but deserving end.  They really let their stores and business deteriorate.  I moved away from Orange County, Calif in late 2010 and already then I had given up on them.  The store was filthy and 50% of the merchandise were open box customer returns.  Many employees were not only not priceless, they were value-less.

I turned to Microcenter.  And Microcenter continues to thrive.  Fortunate to have Microcenter stores here in the Baltimore-Washington area.

 

 

Ah, I didn't know that. I hadn't been there since probably mid-1990s. Shame about that, but hey, I'll just remember them from my visits. Like they say (and as I've found to be true in other areas) - never go back.


Ryzen 9 3950X, 64 Gb, Titan RTX, 11 Tb SSD, 24 Tb HD, 40" Philips 4k monitor, MSFS, XP11, AFS2, P3Dv5, FSX (in order of pref)

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That's not PG?  Jeeese those models look waaaay better than what I see.  Is it an addon or something?

Yes we also have microcenter here in MSP area...very nice!


|Ryan Butterworth|

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Was sad to see Fry's close here in Las Vegas. 


MUUV7Ax.png?1

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3 hours ago, ryanbatcund said:

That's not PG?  Jeeese those models look waaaay better than what I see.  Is it an addon or something?

Hi Ryan, nope - just your basic sim, PG off but everything set to ultra and those are shots from a 4k screen. I occasionally turn PG on (Venice for example, or maybe NYC) but mostly I find it way too ugly for words. It may well look great from a few thousand feet up but at H135 and Cub level it's obnoxious. LA is a bit problematical for me, the PG there is so tempting and I can almost overcome my reluctance to use it but then I start spotting all the odd spikes everywhere. And the vegetation looks truly appalling.Trouble with PG is that it looks so good at the appropriate height that I want to, or even need to <grin>, get down amongst it and explore. But then when I do . . .

Maybe in a few years time the technique they use to convert the images to models will have improved to the point where it really is a match for 3d modelling.Around about the time a graphics array processor sitting alongside your PC costs 20k probably (if you can get one as they slowly mine the last couple of bitcoins)


Ryzen 9 3950X, 64 Gb, Titan RTX, 11 Tb SSD, 24 Tb HD, 40" Philips 4k monitor, MSFS, XP11, AFS2, P3Dv5, FSX (in order of pref)

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The way the world is today, I think of all the great times I had growing up in the 50s & 60s and 70s. Sure they had problems, but nothing like what's going on in today's world.

Well done Andy.


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Well yeah it must be the 4k cropped down or something cause those look awesome!


|Ryan Butterworth|

| i7 4790K@4.4GHz | 32GB RAM | EVGA GTX 1080Ti | ASUS Z97-Pro | 1TB 860 Evo | 500GB 840 Evo Win10 Pro | 1TB Samsung 7200rpm | Seasonic X750W |

 

 

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Sad news, Andy,..I didn't know, but this is not unexpected...

I recall there was a Fry's very near where I was living in Chicago, and, every Sunday, I would be there, with a cup of Coffee in hand, often waiting for their doors to open, to peruse their Flightsim DVD Boxes...those DVDs were perpetually on SALE..long before Digital Download ruled Flightsim...I had got most of my Just Flight and Captain Sim DVDs that way...I was always looking forward to that time...each Sunday...especially because I would be the only one in that isle, and it was so quiet and peaceful...hours before the Sunday crowd would descend...🙂...

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