End of an era

From CNN, “Fry’s Electronics suddenly closed all of its stores overnight, ending a nearly four-decade run in business.”

Another pandemic casualty. I’m sad about this because walking through Fry’s was always a treat for me. As a gadget enthusiast and geek, nothing matched Fry’s for the sheer volume of electronic gadgets, raw parts, and geekery. When my stupid expensive refrigerator broke down, I used the Internet to find out what was likely wrong with it, then went to Fry’s to buy solder, a soldering iron and some fifteen cent capacitors. I mean, where are you going to find a selection of capacitors from picofarads to microfarads? And a dozen different choices for soldering irons? Only at Fry’s. I fixed my refrigerator with one of the fifteen cent parts and saved about eight thousand bucks. That was a good day.

The rise of Fry’s as the uber-electronic-parts store 40 years ago also parallels my technology career. They started just about when I started, so I hate to see them shut down. And I hope my refrigerator doesn’t break again, because now I have no idea where to get basic electronic parts.