3 Days in San Jose, hits/pits

From: Mike Ford <mikeford_at_socal.rr.com>
Date: Mon Aug 7 02:19:05 2000

After considerable work/travel snafu last Tuesday my son and I drove up to
Palo Alto joining my wife who flew up for a class later that same day.
While she learned about the synergy of management, the boys roamed the
town. 100% of our mornings were snafued, and I left my notes from planning
a trip 3 weeks earlier at home, so we visited nobody, and moved around with
no efficiency.

First stop was Bermans on Tuesday afternoon, but too late they were already
closed. Problems at their web site kept me from bidding in the morning
before we left Orange, Ca., and we didn't get our laptop on the net until
Wednesday (at $300/night the Holiday Inn included a free Nokia wireless
PCMCIA card to access the net with). Wednesday we made a big loop.

ES Electronic Solutions on Brokaw, not too exciting. Too well organized
(shelves of cardboard bins with contents marked) and fully retail priced
stuff. I bought a few coax crimp connectors from the clearance bin, and
thats it. Some other stuff I was curious about, but time and uncertainty
made me skip them.

Alltronics, just around the corner on Zanker. I get their catalog, and it
reflects the store, old style electronics surplus joint combined with just
enough new stuff to keep people coming in. I found a box of Apple II/PC
joysticks and bought all the A2 compatible ones, but mostly it was like the
first place.

Bermans, around the corner on Trimble, no place to park. Missing the
bidding Tuesday took the point out of a visit, but it was good to eyeball
the place anyway. The lady behind the window wouldn't give me any specific
information on final bid amounts, but did tell me no lots sold for less
than $25, which was too much IMNSHO.

RA, on Walsh east of Layfette. Nice BIG warehouse of junk electronics, but
computer stuff was just incidental. I found a box of junk connectix
cameras, an old HP 486/25 with a 10/100 card, and a SCSI 3.5" optical drive
in a external case, but they wanted to keep it more than I wanted to put it
in my too full of luggage trunk.

Thursday we headed to the Childrens Discovery Museum, and my son at 9 still
had a good time, but its most likely his last trip. Next time the
technology museum instead I think. On the way back to Palo Alto I spotted
the HSC sign...

HSC, off the central expressway, no idea how I got to it. Very much like
the first two places, too tidy, too retail. This isn't really that bad, I
mean if I lived in the area and needed something between swapmeet times I
just might head over to one of these places to get that needed item, but
nothing got me excited during the visit. Some prices were comically high,
but some were OK if you needed the item. Big collection of data books to
read with free coffee over in the corner too.

General trip notes, WOW have prices gone up. Gas was $2.19/gal, which is
about $0.40 higher than Orange, CA, food prices were also higher, even in
supermarkets on some items (bottled water, but not soda). Rooms were
outrageous, we paid $300/night staying at the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza
(very nice, but an older work in progress), and MUCH worse a rathole
(beatup old motel/apt on its first leg of fix up) on the east side of San
Jose called the Whitehouse Inn was $102 when a page at 7PM forced us to
stay Thursday night. Much better rooms at slightly better prices were
available earlier in the day, but by 6PM they were gone.
Received on Mon Aug 07 2000 - 02:19:05 BST

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