Watching Fry’s Electronics finally shut down this week was truly the end of an era for me.

When I was younger, I’d cobble together a PC by combing through ads placed in the local computer weekly newspaper (yes, they had those) and driving to some non-descript industrial building in Silicon Valley.

After getting the stink-eye from the person eating lunch in the lobby, I’d leave with some ISA sound card or motherboard. It felt more like I was buying illegal fireworks than building a PC.

Fry’s in its glory days

Fry’s Electronics was truly glorious by comparison. With its big-box approach, bright lights, and endless aisles of components, printers, monitors, and software, along with soldering irons, heat shrink tubing and power supplies, Fry’s made PC building a legit lifestyle worthy of being out in public.

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