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Fry's dies — Parallax Forums

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  • TubularTubular Posts: 4,331

    Oh man that's a shame.

    Some of us aussies were known to book accommodation within walking distance from Frys, on our travels. I remember buying cd-roms back when they inserted into 'caddys' at Frys, and in-store live music (piano playing) at the Chicago Frys about a decade ago.

    We never had anything remotely like Frys here in Australia. It was really something to experience. Frys, along with that 'computer shopper' thick magazine full of ads and prices

  • Oh wow.
    Me? No memories directly. A fellow I know, he now lives in the wilds of Michigan, but he is originally from the surroundings of Phoenix AZ, related visiting the store there a while ago, the herd of staff there were clueless on how to help him out on buying what else he needed.

    He did find my talents legendary, and wondered once if I was actually my screen name. (We met via role playing adventures.)

  • My best memory was firing them as a customer.

    I've only fired two customers.

    Ken Gracey

  • I only went to Fry's once in Vegas, back in the day, it was OK. If I were a guessing guy I'd say Fry's and Radio shack.

  • Early 90's I took a wrong turn leaving LA airport. Saw a commercial outlet with a 'Mr Chip' logo so I had to check it out. Entire store done in 'tiki' theme, complete with piped in jungle music, central atrium with a rain forest, strong A/C (maybe even a mist system) Better than anything at Disneyland. (other Fry's outlets subsequently had lame themes) Programming language book section was as long as an aisle at the supermarket.

    Where else could you could pick up some computer chips, some potato chips, and the latest Play boy. You could pick up a telescope for your dad, an oscilloscope, and some astronaut ice cream. It's 2008 and you want a calculator watch like from the 80's? Fry's had it. Need IDE drive to USB adapter at 9PM? Fry's has it.

    What ticked me off about Fry's for the last couple years is how many times I got resuckered into driving 30 minutes only to find out they never did restock like they said they would. It was just a massive box, the shelves half filled with bottled water. Watching from the parking lot, I would see a dozen people do the same thing-- get out of their car, walk in, immediately walk back out and leave. Fry's wasted A LOT of people's time in this way. I presume all these people also drove a ways to get there.

  • I was thinking about this the other day. It's kind of funny.

    Every single motherboard I ever bought (and I only ever bought them from Fry's) had glitches in them. All of them. But I just sort of accepted it as the 'quirky' nature of motherboards. But it occurred to me the other day that for the last 30 years I have probably been buying defective reject motherboards or something, because this probably the only thing that Fry's was actually selling. Like a factory outlet or something.

    So now I am actually looking forward to my next motherboard purchase (newegg?), where I won't have to accept or work around motherboard glitches

  • @The_Master said:
    I was thinking about this the other day. It's kind of funny.

    Every single motherboard I ever bought (and I only ever bought them from Fry's) had glitches in them. All of them. But I just sort of accepted it as the 'quirky' nature of motherboards. But it occurred to me the other day that for the last 30 years I have probably been buying defective reject motherboards or something, because this probably the only thing that Fry's was actually selling. Like a factory outlet or something.

    So now I am actually looking forward to my next motherboard purchase (newegg?), where I won't have to accept or work around motherboard glitches

    Nah, motherboards are just gonna bug. The one I bought for my current PC defaulted the CPU core voltage to some ludicrously high value that kept crashing under load. Turned it way down and now it runs all stable.

  • ...wow, another icon bites the dust.

    Living in "silicon valley", Fry's was initially a great place to shop. Along with all the odd sundries, useful tech info could be found as the stores were often staffed by knowledgeable people.

    Fond memory? Fry's is were I purchased two 64Kx8bit memories to upgrade my Atari 600XL to 128K (whoa!).

  • It would not be an exaggeration to say I spent thousands of dollars there. I've also been to at least three of the locations. The unique themes really made the experience interesting.

  • @The_Master said:
    I was thinking about this the other day. It's kind of funny.
    Every single motherboard I ever bought (and I only ever bought them from Fry's) had glitches in them. All of them. But I just sort of accepted it as the 'quirky' nature of motherboards. But it occurred to me the other day that for the last 30 years I have probably been buying defective reject motherboards or something, because this probably the only thing that Fry's was actually selling. Like a factory outlet or something.

    Based on my experiences (I purchased a lot of PC hardware there), if someone returned any PC hardware that they couldn't get to work or decided they didn't want, for whatever reason, these items were marked as "open box" and sold at a minor discount. After two "incidents" I avoided buying anything that was "used" again. However, I did witness on more than one occasion, someone returning something that they claimed was "never opened". These items were returned to the shelf as new. But my experience shows this wasn't always the case. On more than one occasion I got something "new" that was clearly "used". I continued to buy electronics parts that were new in factory packaging, but never bought PC hardware again without carefully inspecting the package for any signs it was previously opened.

  • Fry's in Anaheim rescued me a decade ago when on a work assignment. Walked in and bought flush cutters, wire strippers that could do 26 gauge, an awesome memory card reader that could do sd and cf and that Sony format all in one for $20, a couple of ethernet patch cables, ty wraps, a nice Microsoft mouse and mousepad, a USB hub, plus some other tech stuff all in one trip.

    Plus the general feeling that I wasn't alone in a very non-technical person area.

    Honestly, yes one could and still can "buy it all online", but there's still the crushing defeat of waiting 2 days for something to arrive and the subsequent useless manager status meetings and hourly demands for updates when they already have the latest update.

    It's better to be able to see and feel what I'm buying for the first time and that's where brick and mortar shines.

  • My best deal at Fry’s was an open box Tektronix 4 1/2 digit handheld DMM series multimeter. Still a workhorse after years.

    On my last pre-COVID trip to Wild West themed Palo Alto, I left with only a very nice bargain bundle of 50 shop cloths.

    I wonder if the municipalities will landmark those crazy buildings?

  • mparkmpark Posts: 1,244

    @"Ken Gracey" said:
    My best memory was firing them as a customer.

    I've only fired two customers.

    Ken Gracey

    Kinda curious who the other customer is and what they did to earn the Wrath of Ken.

  • @mpark said:

    @"Ken Gracey" said:
    My best memory was firing them as a customer.

    I've only fired two customers.

    Ken Gracey

    Kinda curious who the other customer is and what they did to earn the Wrath of Ken.

    I agree!

  • Over on Hack A Day, the same discussion got spawned in comments about all of the many surplus stores that were clobbered by all of the strange events so far. For myself I'm considering the problems concerning simply running just such a business. In fact a lot of the commenters were relieved to find that they do have Micro Center stores near them, when the Frys store that was also had hung up its theme devices. One individual was surprised to see the DIY area expand from a small area to a very big one. Which is what happened to the store in Yonkers NY, the one in Brooklyn and also the one here in Queens NY. All three had healthy Parallax selections and I'd frequently suggest to people, (when asked of course) to select the Prop One boards, because the learning curve to use them was far less steep than the Ard*** thing.

  • ajwardajward Posts: 1,116

    I really never had a =bad= experience at Frys. Oh... had to return/exchange a couple of times but nothing critical. My biggest gripe was the plethora of clueless sales staff who might be better suited to peddling something of a less technical nature... like anvils or hammers. ;-)

    Amanda

  • RS_JimRS_Jim Posts: 1,453

    My experence with frys was not a particularly good one. Not löng after the Anaheim store opened my wife bought an apple computer from that store. Within the warranty period, the memory backup battery died. We took the box back to the store. The only way they would repair it under warranty was by sending it to San Jose HQ, to be gone 30 days. Even though there was a tech sitting there reading a magazine, they would not take care of it in the store. I bought a coincell from them and nerver spent another dime there. After I moved to Phoenix area, I visited the area store seeking parts, usually to be disappointed in what was not available even though there was an empty peg with the name of the part I wanted. I finaly wised up and only bought my parts from Digikey. As far as technically knowledgeable sales people was concerned they had the same problem as RadioShack did in later years, finding and attracting them.
    Jim

  • Having never been to USA and having never been to a Fry's store,
    I cannot but help think about Tandy (UK version of RadioShack )
    And then of Maplin's (UK high street electronics and accessories store) closing down too.

    I've always loved "tinkering" in electronics and I relied on these stores to provide whatever I needed without going to a specialist.
    And it makes me feel sad and also that maybe we are seeing the end of an era.

  • @JaanDoh said:
    Having never been to USA and having never been to a Fry's store,
    I cannot but help think about Tandy (UK version of RadioShack )

    How ironic...the Sacramento Fry's was formerly a Tandy...in fact, the address was Tandy Drive, IIRC.

    See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fry's_Electronics

  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 22,965
    edited 2021-03-02 03:02

    @mpark said:

    @"Ken Gracey" said:
    My best memory was firing them as a customer.

    I've only fired two customers.

    Ken Gracey

    Kinda curious who the other customer is and what they did to earn the Wrath of Ken.

    If you think about it long enough, you'll figure it out. :smile:

    -Phil

  • I did. My imagination ran out after the first two-thousand names.

    No Mascot.

  • @RS_Jim said:
    My experence with frys was not a particularly good one. Not löng after the Anaheim store opened my wife bought an apple computer from that store. Within the warranty period, the memory backup battery died. We took the box back to the store. The only way they would repair it under warranty was by sending it to San Jose HQ, to be gone 30 days. Even though there was a tech sitting there reading a magazine, they would not take care of it in the store. I bought a coincell from them and nerver spent another dime there. After I moved to Phoenix area, I visited the area store seeking parts, usually to be disappointed in what was not available even though there was an empty peg with the name of the part I wanted. I finaly wised up and only bought my parts from Digikey. As far as technically knowledgeable sales people was concerned they had the same problem as RadioShack did in later years, finding and attracting them.
    Jim

    Regarding RS, sadly yes that kept happening to me a lot of times. I'd walk into buy something unique that I knew they would carry, they did, the dingbat who was ringing it up had no <BLEEPING!> idea what that was. Typically that would happen in the smaller stores. It usually happened when it was something Parallax related, oddly enough.

  • frank freedmanfrank freedman Posts: 1,826
    edited 2021-03-02 07:20

    I grew up in San Jose where it overlapped Los Gatos, and my main parts choice was either Quement Electronics or Radio Shack, on bike before driving age, and later Anchor Electronics when I could drive. Stuck in Norfolk, Va as a navy electrician. Lucky to find an ECG part at the TV repair supply. On leave in 1980(?), one of my friends mentioned Frys. Well yeah, I knew Frys, we used them all the time, for groceries. Became a rather expensive area, Frys, TOGOS and Computer Literacy Bookstores.

    @"Ken Gracey" said:
    My best memory was firing them as a customer.

    I've only fired two customers.

    Ken Gracey

    Kinda curious who the other customer is and what they did to earn the Wrath of Ken.

    Radio Shack or more likely remembering a thread we had going, microcenter?

  • Frank?
    It could be either. RS went bankrupt based on a kooky idea, they also defaulted on payment, (I think.). As for Microcenter? Ken you do not need to tell us, but if it is them, I think they might need a second chance done carefully.

  • roglohrogloh Posts: 3,151

    @"frank freedman" said:
    On leave in 1980(?), one of my friends mentioned Frys. Well yeah, I knew Frys, we used them all the time, for groceries. Became a rather expensive area, Frys, TOGOS and Computer Literacy Bookstores.

    >
    LOL, I remember all three of those as I lived only 1/2 mile from them all in Sunnyvale (near to the old AMD HQ) for about 5 years and visited each of those places regularly in the late 90's early 2000's, and yes it was expensive to live there even then!

    It's funny how Fry's sold so many items, even including food & drinks - as copious amounts of snacks near the counters. I would have purchased a lot of products from that place over the years. I would also take my Aussie visitors there where they were justifiably wide-eyed at the scale of the store. Plus MicroCenter was also just across the 101 FWY too so I was quite well served for retail electronics/PC stuff back then.

    I think I vaguely even recall I saw some Propeller 1 products being sold once in one of those places on a later visit. Would that have been correct or maybe it was just the Stamp?

  • msrobotsmsrobots Posts: 3,340
    edited 2021-03-06 21:42

    my bet is RS, they did hurt Parallax bad

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