Discussion:
Radio Shuck
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David Kaye
2014-09-30 22:49:44 UTC
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I went into the newly revised, rebuilt Radio Shack at the Potrero Center in
SF yesterday. Simple requests: Some co-ax power connectors for the power
supplies I'll be using at the DVR end of the camera wires. And I needed
some 16 or 18 gauge black and red hookup wire, and maybe a terminal strip.
So, where else to go? My handy neighborhood Radio Shack.

Radio Shuck. They do NOT even carry hookup wire, let alone terminal strips
or the co-ax power connectors. They had some drawers with parts, but not
much in the way of parts anybody would use. "Oh, I think they're going to
remove all the parts soon. They're not delivering any more parts and
they've taken the SKU numbers off the registers. THIS IS RADIO SHACK we're
talking about here!

There is one saving grace, and Lewis Kornfeld might be proud of this: Radio
Shack has aligned with O'Reilly's Maker Faire and Make Magazine to sell
robotics kits and other electronic experimental odds and ends. The store I
visited doesn't quite know what to do with the new merchandise yet because
there's not much shelf space yet. One of the most intriguing things was a
sensor pack consisting of an alcohol sensor and a gasoline sensor. I'd
never seen nor heard of these kinds of sensors before, escept for the
breathalizer devices.

So, you can buy the kits and use the kit-supplied connectors, but you can't
go off on your own and do your own breadboarding. Very very odd.




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David Kaye
2014-09-30 23:45:10 UTC
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By the way, I went to Lowe's (not to be confused with Loew's) and bought a
reel of speaker wire which contains red and black 16 gauge wire; it was
pricey but I wanted either twisted pair or sheathed wire to make the
connections look neat, and that was the easiest way to go. Wire crimps for
joining things, a new multimeter to replace the one I accidentally burned
out the other day. Would you believe Radio Shack didn't even have a
multimeter, at least not the one at Potrero Center.

Anybody taking bets on how long Radio Shack will last?




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Tak Nakamoto
2014-10-01 18:56:23 UTC
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"David Kaye" wrote
Anybody taking bets on how long Radio Shack will last?


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I don't know when it will go belly up. I think about a quarter of the stores
in the U.S. are franchises and not company owned. My impression is that the
two stores in Berkeley are franchises owned by the same person.

Whatever happens, unless the whole company is acquired in bankruptcy, it
will be very messy.

The last time I was in a Radio shack store was a couple of years ago when I
went to look for a short length of flat twin lead antenna wire. None of the
staff knew what that was except for one guy who found a 500 ft roll in the
storage area. That was more than I needed. But at least they had it.

Al Lasher's Electronics in Berkeley is usually a reliable source for most
electronics but even they didn't carry it any more.

Tak Nakamoto
Bhairitu
2014-10-01 19:08:16 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
I went into the newly revised, rebuilt Radio Shack at the Potrero Center in
SF yesterday. Simple requests: Some co-ax power connectors for the power
supplies I'll be using at the DVR end of the camera wires. And I needed
some 16 or 18 gauge black and red hookup wire, and maybe a terminal strip.
So, where else to go? My handy neighborhood Radio Shack.
Radio Shuck. They do NOT even carry hookup wire, let alone terminal strips
or the co-ax power connectors. They had some drawers with parts, but not
much in the way of parts anybody would use. "Oh, I think they're going to
remove all the parts soon. They're not delivering any more parts and
they've taken the SKU numbers off the registers. THIS IS RADIO SHACK we're
talking about here!
There is one saving grace, and Lewis Kornfeld might be proud of this: Radio
Shack has aligned with O'Reilly's Maker Faire and Make Magazine to sell
robotics kits and other electronic experimental odds and ends. The store I
visited doesn't quite know what to do with the new merchandise yet because
there's not much shelf space yet. One of the most intriguing things was a
sensor pack consisting of an alcohol sensor and a gasoline sensor. I'd
never seen nor heard of these kinds of sensors before, escept for the
breathalizer devices.
So, you can buy the kits and use the kit-supplied connectors, but you can't
go off on your own and do your own breadboarding. Very very odd.
That's what you get for living in San Francisco. All I have to do is
drive 7 miles to Fry's to get things like that. Did San Francisco say
no to a Fry's?

In fact like you, I am in the market for such connectors to put in a
camera in back and they have them and the wire I need.
David Kaye
2014-10-01 20:24:52 UTC
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Post by Bhairitu
That's what you get for living in San Francisco. All I have to do is
drive 7 miles to Fry's to get things like that. Did San Francisco say no
to a Fry's?
No, I'm sure that Fry's simply doesn't locate near competition, and Central
Computer has a lot of stuff and cheaper than Fry's. I usually go there, but
during Oracle week it's impossible to get anywhere near it. Sometimes I go
to CC's San Mateo store. Not only are they cheaper but they have a frequent
shopper plan that makes prices dirt cheap in most things.






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Peter Lawrence
2014-10-01 21:25:15 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
No, I'm sure that Fry's simply doesn't locate near competition, and Central
Computer has a lot of stuff and cheaper than Fry's.
Think again. There's a Central Computers in Sunnyvale and a Fry's in
Sunnyvale. There's a Central Computers on Stevens Creek Blvd in Santa
Clara and a Fry's nearby on Hamilton Ave. in Campbell.


- Peter
David Kaye
2014-10-01 21:37:34 UTC
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Post by Peter Lawrence
Think again. There's a Central Computers in Sunnyvale and a Fry's in
Sunnyvale. There's a Central Computers on Stevens Creek Blvd in Santa
Clara and a Fry's nearby on Hamilton Ave. in Campbell.
Okay, maybe the Fry's business model includes a parking lot and they figure
it's too expensive to have one. I have no idea why they don't locate in SF.

You're thinking that there's some kind of moratorium on big box stores in
SF, and nothing can be further from the truth (unfortunately). We have 2
Best Buys, 2 Office Max, at least 1 Office Depot, Sports Basement, Target
(right downtown at 5th & Mission, no less), a Costco that takes up an entire
city block with its parking lot above the store, a huge Lowe's that takes up
4 retail parcels on Bayshore and Cortland (3 times the size of the old
Goodman's Lumber), etc.

No, there is no shortage of big box retail in SF.




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Roy
2014-10-01 21:55:30 UTC
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RadioShack’s response to its struggles? Play with toys

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/radioshacks-response-to-its-struggles-play-with-toys-2014-10-01
Thad Floryan
2014-10-01 22:02:25 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by Peter Lawrence
Think again. There's a Central Computers in Sunnyvale and a Fry's in
Sunnyvale. There's a Central Computers on Stevens Creek Blvd in Santa
Clara and a Fry's nearby on Hamilton Ave. in Campbell.
Okay, maybe the Fry's business model includes a parking lot and they figure
it's too expensive to have one. I have no idea why they don't locate in SF.
Hi David,

PARKING? In San Francisco? Surely you jest. :-)

At the two Frys I frequent (Palo Alto and Sunnyvale), Frys has its
own large parking lots and their parking lot in Sunnyvale is simply
HUGE reminding me of Candlestick's parking and the new parking at
the Levi stadium in Santa Claus, er, Clara.
Post by David Kaye
You're thinking that there's some kind of moratorium on big box stores in
SF, and nothing can be further from the truth (unfortunately). We have 2
Best Buys, 2 Office Max, at least 1 Office Depot, Sports Basement, Target
(right downtown at 5th & Mission, no less), a Costco that takes up an entire
city block with its parking lot above the store, a huge Lowe's that takes up
4 retail parcels on Bayshore and Cortland (3 times the size of the old
Goodman's Lumber), etc.
No, there is no shortage of big box retail in SF.
That's very odd. Almost weekly on SFgate I would read how the
city of San Francisco hates chain stores and will do everything
possible to discourage them moving into town including denying
them the permits, etc. needed. Perhaps the city's policy has
changed and/or the new Board of Stupidvisors worked out "deals"
(under the table, obviously) to encourage such retailers. I
haven't been in San Francisco since 2006 (due to traffic and
parking issues) so I am unaware of such changes.

Thad
David Kaye
2014-10-01 22:26:53 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
That's very odd. Almost weekly on SFgate I would read how the
city of San Francisco hates chain stores and will do everything
possible to discourage them moving into town including denying
them the permits, etc. needed. Perhaps the city's policy has
changed and/or the new Board of Stupidvisors worked out "deals"
(under the table, obviously) to encourage such retailers. I
haven't been in San Francisco since 2006 (due to traffic and
parking issues) so I am unaware of such changes.
It's unfair to call them "stupidvisors"; the SF Board of Supervisors is very
conscientious about their work, as attendance at any of their meetings or
watching them on cable TV shows. Last night I watched a subcommittee debate
a proposed change in the parking notice changes for filming. There is a LOT
of filming in SF and the normal procedure is to notify residents and
merchange 72 hours in advance of production when film crews need to clear
streets. Sometimes some of these productions remove 30 to 50 parking spaces
at a time!

Well, the debate was about allowing the film commission to be able at their
discretion to reduce the notice time to just 24 hours. The argument was
rational on their side; there are situations where delays such as
unavailability of equipment, problems with weather, crew sickness, etc. can
interfere with even the best-laid plans. But there was a real question, is
24 hours enough notice? The law allows people to park on the street for up
to 72 hours, and all OTHER organizations that need to use parking spaces
have no special exemption; they're all 72 hours, be them PG&E, AT&T,
Caltrans, etc.

And this is just one little exemption in a small little law. But in SF,
this kind of thing affects lots of people.

As far as your assertion that the board members receive kickbacks from
companies under the table, show us the PROOF! Lots of us would love to see
proof of this kind of thing. Believe me, if any such thing were going on,
it would be known far and wide. We just don't stand for this stuff.

Any deals that are made are above-board. Even Willie Brown, when he was
mayor, made deals above board.

There's no question that there are many different political agendas at play
here. Supervisor Scott Wiener usually sides with business in most matters,
but he does speak out in favor of neighborhoods when they can are
compromised.

One assertion is that mayor Ed Lee caved in to Twitter, Zynga, and fellow
travelers in giving tax breaks to them if they'd locate to the Mid-Market
(Civic Center) neighborhood. Lots of people called it unfair. HOWEVER (and
I'm no fan of Ed Lee by any means), this change succeeded in doing that
NOBODY had been able to do since Joseph Alioto in the 1960s: Turn the
Mid-Market from a slum into something usable. Mid-Market had been a hell
hole ever since Market was torn up for BART in the 1960s!

Now, I go on the record as AGAINST home building because I believe that the
more homes you build the more people will want to live there and the home
prices are driven UP not down. The building boom South of Market that
displaced light industry and built every spare parcel with junk condos (aka
"live/work" spaces) drove South of Market prices to heights never seen in
the history of SF! People want to live near other people, and if you build
more places for them to live, it creates a buying frenzy and the prices go
UP.




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Thad Floryan
2014-10-02 07:39:16 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by Thad Floryan
That's very odd. Almost weekly on SFgate I would read how the
city of San Francisco hates chain stores and will do everything
possible to discourage them moving into town including denying
them the permits, etc. needed. Perhaps the city's policy has
changed and/or the new Board of Stupidvisors worked out "deals"
(under the table, obviously) to encourage such retailers. I
haven't been in San Francisco since 2006 (due to traffic and
parking issues) so I am unaware of such changes.
It's unfair to call them "stupidvisors"; the SF Board of Supervisors is very
conscientious about their work, as attendance at any of their meetings or
watching them on cable TV shows.
Hi David,

I'll take your word for it because this is not the proper venue for an
argument about San Francisco's politics.
Post by David Kaye
[...]
As far as your assertion that the board members receive kickbacks from
companies under the table, show us the PROOF! Lots of us would love to see
proof of this kind of thing. Believe me, if any such thing were going on,
it would be known far and wide. We just don't stand for this stuff.
I have a fairly large archive of articles from SFgate, SF Examiner and
the San Francisco Weekly that I've PDF'd that suggest otherwise. Again,
this is not the proper venue for such discussion. Hmmm, I just checked
the ba.* groups at eternal-september and found ba.politics. That would
be the proper venue. I may subscribe, but I have so many things on my
agenda I doubt I could/would spend any time there.
Post by David Kaye
[...]
Now, I go on the record as AGAINST home building because I believe that the
more homes you build the more people will want to live there and the home
prices are driven UP not down. The building boom South of Market that
displaced light industry and built every spare parcel with junk condos (aka
"live/work" spaces) drove South of Market prices to heights never seen in
the history of SF! People want to live near other people, and if you build
more places for them to live, it creates a buying frenzy and the prices go
UP.
Not only that but NO planning for parking and new schools and they're also
hosing El Camino Real which is a *STATE* highway which neither the Palo Alto
or Mountain View councils or VTA (Valley Transportation Authority) seem to
realize and understand because they're all idiots. Palo Alto and Mountain
View city government and councils are absolutely insane permitting more
housing without any oversight and they keep raising their salaries and
perform "pension spiking" to the detriment of their cities' residents.

Read for yourself:

http://www.mv-voice.com/ local newspaper
http://www.ci.mtnview.ca.us/ city government site

http://www.paloaltoonline.com/ local newspaper (of 3)
http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/ city government site

This would curl your hair if it was a complete article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pension_spiking

receiving more in pensions than their salaries when they were working.

Most of those clowns should be doing serious jail time. Think back to the
follies performed by Oakland's prior city manager Debora Edgerly. Ugh.

Here's two interesting articles from September 2014:

'Legal pension spiking' will cost California $800 million ...
http://www.mercurynews.com/pensions/ci_26507597/legal-pension-spiking-will-cost-california-800-million

Pension 'spiking' to cost CalPERS nearly $800 million ...
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-calpers-pension-spiking-20140909-story.html

Guess who made spiking semi-legal? The very criminal people in government
who benefit once they retire. Three other relevant articles:

September 12, 2014:
http://ballotpedia.org/Pension_spiking

March 2, 2011, regarding BART:
Pension Spiking - KTVU.com
http://www.ktvu.com/migrated-content/ib/27046430/

August 19, 2014:
End pension spiking for good - SFGate - San Francisco
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/editorials/article/End-pension-spiking-for-good-5699241.php

Total corruption in city and national governments is nothing new, it
goes back 1000s of years and it seems to be an innate part of human
nature.

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.; see:

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/absolute-power-corrupts-absolutely.html
and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dalberg-Acton,_1st_Baron_Acton

Thad
David Kaye
2014-10-02 10:17:02 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
Not only that but NO planning for parking and new schools and they're also
hosing El Camino Real which is a *STATE* highway [....]
San Francisco's Board of Supervisors is not responsible for the SF Unified
School District, which is a totally separate and independent agency. El
Camino Real is not in San Francisco, so the SF BoS has no jurisdiction over
it. So far you're 0 for 2. As for parking, there's not much SF can do
about it. Parking sucks.




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sms
2014-10-02 20:16:05 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
As far as your assertion that the board members receive kickbacks from
companies under the table, show us the PROOF! Lots of us would love to see
proof of this kind of thing. Believe me, if any such thing were going on,
it would be known far and wide. We just don't stand for this stuff.
I suspect that the same thing happens in SF as in other cities.
Developers make campaign contributions. It's not illegal.
Post by David Kaye
Now, I go on the record as AGAINST home building because I believe that the
more homes you build the more people will want to live there and the home
prices are driven UP not down. The building boom South of Market that
displaced light industry and built every spare parcel with junk condos (aka
"live/work" spaces) drove South of Market prices to heights never seen in
the history of SF! People want to live near other people, and if you build
more places for them to live, it creates a buying frenzy and the prices go
UP.
Rezoning of commercial and industrial land for more housing, without any
provision for the necessary infrastructure such as transit and schools
is very common throughout the Bay Area. Basically developers own the
city councils and planning commissions. Occasionally there are small
groups of citizens that successfully fight back
<http://www.cupertinocares.org/> and sometimes they fail, often due to
inexperience (as with Bay Meadows where the citizens could have easily
collected enough signatures but did not allow for invalid signatures).

The developers only have to win once. The citizens need to win every time.
Thad Floryan
2014-10-03 04:40:27 UTC
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Post by sms
Post by David Kaye
As far as your assertion that the board members receive kickbacks from
companies under the table, show us the PROOF! Lots of us would love to see
proof of this kind of thing. Believe me, if any such thing were going on,
it would be known far and wide. We just don't stand for this stuff.
I suspect that the same thing happens in SF as in other cities.
Developers make campaign contributions. It's not illegal.
Post by David Kaye
Now, I go on the record as AGAINST home building because I believe that the
more homes you build the more people will want to live there and the home
prices are driven UP not down. The building boom South of Market that
displaced light industry and built every spare parcel with junk condos (aka
"live/work" spaces) drove South of Market prices to heights never seen in
the history of SF! People want to live near other people, and if you build
more places for them to live, it creates a buying frenzy and the prices go
UP.
Rezoning of commercial and industrial land for more housing, without any
provision for the necessary infrastructure such as transit and schools
is very common throughout the Bay Area.
Hi Steven,

Very true. At present Mountain View is the most egregious in that
regards with closed-door meetings shut to voting residents and without
oversight or any cares or concerns other than how many cars, money or
sex they can receive from the developers under the table and out-of-view;
that's the only explanation I see for what's happening in Mountain View.

And Palo Alto, Los Altos, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara are rapidly catching
up to the shenanigans occurring in Mountain View.
Post by sms
Basically developers own the city councils and planning commissions.
Correct. 100% corruption. As I wrote before:

"Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
-- Lord Acton
Post by sms
Occasionally there are small
groups of citizens that successfully fight back
<http://www.cupertinocares.org/> and sometimes they fail, often due to
inexperience (as with Bay Meadows where the citizens could have easily
collected enough signatures but did not allow for invalid signatures).
The developers only have to win once. The citizens need to win every time.
Very true though I wish it wasn't necessary. Ignorant and/or uncaring
voters continuously vote the same clowns and/or their ilk back into office.

It's too bad that passing a civics test isn't required to be a voter.

Thad
sms
2014-10-03 15:05:41 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
Very true. At present Mountain View is the most egregious in that
regards with closed-door meetings shut to voting residents and without
oversight or any cares or concerns other than how many cars, money or
sex they can receive from the developers under the table and out-of-view;
that's the only explanation I see for what's happening in Mountain View.
Closed door meeting violate the Brown Act, but most city councils have
no problem violating the act. If anyone calls them out on it they have a
ready excuse. Certain discussions are exempt from the Brown Act so they
just claim that that was what was going on.
Post by Thad Floryan
Post by sms
Occasionally there are small
groups of citizens that successfully fight back
<http://www.cupertinocares.org/> and sometimes they fail, often due to
inexperience (as with Bay Meadows where the citizens could have easily
collected enough signatures but did not allow for invalid signatures).
The developers only have to win once. The citizens need to win every time.
Very true though I wish it wasn't necessary. Ignorant and/or uncaring
voters continuously vote the same clowns and/or their ilk back into office.
It's too bad that passing a civics test isn't required to be a voter.
The city councils will constantly insist that ABAG _requires_ them to
approve rezoning and new high-density housing. It doesn't. It requires
them to present a plan for it. When you point that out you get a "yeah,
but." The "yeah but" is that they might be sued by advocacy groups if
they don't follow through with the plans you put forward.

ABAG is one of the root causes of the destruction of the Bay Area.

The basic plan for most cities it this:

a) approve the rezoning of retail centers for high-density housing or
mixed use.

b) tear down all the old one story industrial buildings and build
multi-story class A office space.

Mountain View and Santa Clara are the worst in this regard.
Bhairitu
2014-10-02 18:29:18 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
Post by David Kaye
Post by Peter Lawrence
Think again. There's a Central Computers in Sunnyvale and a Fry's in
Sunnyvale. There's a Central Computers on Stevens Creek Blvd in Santa
Clara and a Fry's nearby on Hamilton Ave. in Campbell.
Okay, maybe the Fry's business model includes a parking lot and they figure
it's too expensive to have one. I have no idea why they don't locate in SF.
Hi David,
PARKING? In San Francisco? Surely you jest. :-)
At the two Frys I frequent (Palo Alto and Sunnyvale), Frys has its
own large parking lots and their parking lot in Sunnyvale is simply
HUGE reminding me of Candlestick's parking and the new parking at
the Levi stadium in Santa Claus, er, Clara.
Post by David Kaye
You're thinking that there's some kind of moratorium on big box stores in
SF, and nothing can be further from the truth (unfortunately). We have 2
Best Buys, 2 Office Max, at least 1 Office Depot, Sports Basement, Target
(right downtown at 5th & Mission, no less), a Costco that takes up an entire
city block with its parking lot above the store, a huge Lowe's that takes up
4 retail parcels on Bayshore and Cortland (3 times the size of the old
Goodman's Lumber), etc.
No, there is no shortage of big box retail in SF.
That's very odd. Almost weekly on SFgate I would read how the
city of San Francisco hates chain stores and will do everything
possible to discourage them moving into town including denying
them the permits, etc. needed. Perhaps the city's policy has
changed and/or the new Board of Stupidvisors worked out "deals"
(under the table, obviously) to encourage such retailers. I
haven't been in San Francisco since 2006 (due to traffic and
parking issues) so I am unaware of such changes.
Thad
The city council in this town decided they wanted Walmart over Fry's in
the building where Costco had been. That was a bit of a slap in the
face of the Fry family because they are from this town. If they had
moved into the Costco building my drive to Fry's would have been about 1
mile.

Our city council consists of opportunists who want to line their own
pockets and not serve the community. They have some opposition this
November but I bet the dimbos in this community will just vote for the
"same ol, same ol" and then complain about nothing being done.
David Kaye
2014-10-02 19:37:29 UTC
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Post by Bhairitu
Our city council consists of opportunists who want to line their own
pockets and not serve the community.
Why do you vote for them? Why don't you run yourself or get a trusted
friend to run?




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sms
2014-10-02 20:01:28 UTC
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Post by Bhairitu
The city council in this town decided they wanted Walmart over Fry's in
the building where Costco had been. That was a bit of a slap in the
face of the Fry family because they are from this town. If they had
moved into the Costco building my drive to Fry's would have been about 1
mile.
The city council does not decide what store occupies what building. The
owner of the building can sell it or lease it to whomever they please.

For new construction that requires zoning changes or ordinance changes
(such as for operating hours) the city council gets involved.

Technically, I don't think that that location was never a Costco, it was
a Price Club. They closed it because of the Costco on Senter Road.

Fry's seems to be not doing well. They have these huge stores with large
areas dedicated to items that almost no one would consider buying at Fry's.
Thad Floryan
2014-10-03 04:22:31 UTC
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Post by sms
Post by Bhairitu
The city council in this town decided they wanted Walmart over Fry's in
the building where Costco had been. That was a bit of a slap in the
face of the Fry family because they are from this town. If they had
moved into the Costco building my drive to Fry's would have been about 1
mile.
The city council does not decide what store occupies what building. The
owner of the building can sell it or lease it to whomever they please.
Only if the city council concurs.

City councils of almost every city in California have violated
the US Constitution and they should be doing heavy jail time.

Case in point: city councils DICTATING to stores what the stores
must charge for paper bags.

NO city council has any legal authority to dictate what a store
owner can charge for products in his establishment. Paper bags
are owned by the retailer and he can choose to give them away for
free [again] as has been done since time immemorial.

What's next, city councils dictating retailers' employees' salaries
and the prices of goods on the retailers' shelves? And what products
the retailer can sell? And how to display items on the shelves?

I buy the 1000-bag-boxes of recyclable plastic bags from Amazon for
my use at food supermarkets and I'm very tempted to start dumping
the torn or otherwise unusable bags [after 6-10 uses] down the storm
drains and into the creeks [instead of my recycling container] just to
spite all the idiotic city councils and cause them to get angry with
attendant increased adrenalin release, heart rate increase, and blood
pressure rising to 250/200 so they just die and stop mucking around
with things outside their purview.
Post by sms
[...]
Fry's seems to be not doing well. They have these huge stores with large
areas dedicated to items that almost no one would consider buying at Fry's.
Any specific items that you have in mind?

That's odd. One of the most useful things I ever bought at Frys was
a Waring Pro Slicer which I use at least once every single day in my
kitchen since I prepare and cook a lot of food:

http://www.frys.com/product/3600595

It permits slicing things that are too thin to hold with one's hand
and slice safely, and I get at least 4+ more slices from red onions,
tomatoes, jicama, and more than is humanly possibly thus saving money
every time I use the slicer -- it's paid for itself many times over.

I will admit I never understood why Frys began selling refrigerators,
freezers, laundry machines, and similar large items -- that's gotta
encroach badly on available warehouse space and I've never seen any
folks putting any of those items in their shopping carts admitting
that if anyone tried to do that they'd probably pee blood for a week.

Thad
sms
2014-10-03 15:42:03 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Thad Floryan
Case in point: city councils DICTATING to stores what the stores
must charge for paper bags.
It seems weird but the alternative would have been to ban all bags. The
cities have to comply with mandatory reductions in debris entering the
storm drains. Charging for bags solves this. Stores actually are
thrilled with this law. They could, if they wanted, offer a discount
that offset the cost of the bag, but they have to charge for the bag.
Post by Thad Floryan
What's next, city councils dictating retailers' employees' salaries
and the prices of goods on the retailers' shelves? And what products
the retailer can sell? And how to display items on the shelves?
Already here except for the prices charged.
Post by Thad Floryan
Any specific items that you have in mind?
Large appliances. Lousy prices, tremendous use of floor space. Mandatory
delivery charges (no pick up).

In any case, the city bag ordinances will soon be replaced by the state
bad ordinance. And the cities never set the price for paper bags, they
set a minimum price. One store I go to charges 20¢ per bag.
Bhairitu
2014-10-03 18:28:29 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Thad Floryan
Post by sms
Post by Bhairitu
The city council in this town decided they wanted Walmart over Fry's in
the building where Costco had been. That was a bit of a slap in the
face of the Fry family because they are from this town. If they had
moved into the Costco building my drive to Fry's would have been about 1
mile.
The city council does not decide what store occupies what building. The
owner of the building can sell it or lease it to whomever they please.
Only if the city council concurs.
City councils of almost every city in California have violated
the US Constitution and they should be doing heavy jail time.
Case in point: city councils DICTATING to stores what the stores
must charge for paper bags.
NO city council has any legal authority to dictate what a store
owner can charge for products in his establishment. Paper bags
are owned by the retailer and he can choose to give them away for
free [again] as has been done since time immemorial.
What's next, city councils dictating retailers' employees' salaries
and the prices of goods on the retailers' shelves? And what products
the retailer can sell? And how to display items on the shelves?
I buy the 1000-bag-boxes of recyclable plastic bags from Amazon for
my use at food supermarkets and I'm very tempted to start dumping
the torn or otherwise unusable bags [after 6-10 uses] down the storm
drains and into the creeks [instead of my recycling container] just to
spite all the idiotic city councils and cause them to get angry with
attendant increased adrenalin release, heart rate increase, and blood
pressure rising to 250/200 so they just die and stop mucking around
with things outside their purview.
Post by sms
[...]
Fry's seems to be not doing well. They have these huge stores with large
areas dedicated to items that almost no one would consider buying at Fry's.
Any specific items that you have in mind?
That's odd. One of the most useful things I ever bought at Frys was
a Waring Pro Slicer which I use at least once every single day in my
http://www.frys.com/product/3600595
It permits slicing things that are too thin to hold with one's hand
and slice safely, and I get at least 4+ more slices from red onions,
tomatoes, jicama, and more than is humanly possibly thus saving money
every time I use the slicer -- it's paid for itself many times over.
I will admit I never understood why Frys began selling refrigerators,
freezers, laundry machines, and similar large items -- that's gotta
encroach badly on available warehouse space and I've never seen any
folks putting any of those items in their shopping carts admitting
that if anyone tried to do that they'd probably pee blood for a week.
Thad
My source on this is a neighbor who is a real estate agent. Even she
would have preferred Fry's over Walmart. They also cleared the way for
a high end restaurant to go into the local shopping center closing two
popular retail establishments. The dollar store that was closed figured
the council favored the restaurant because it would generate more tax
revenues but many locals I've talked to give the place which the owner
invested heavily in about a year.

What planet do these people live on anyway? People in this community
don't have the expendable income to support such a place. Hence Walmart
does well and even Fry's would have too since you have a lot of traffic
from quite away visit the Concord store since the other closest store
would be in Fremont.
Bhairitu
2014-10-04 20:45:20 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Bhairitu
Post by Thad Floryan
Post by sms
Post by Bhairitu
The city council in this town decided they wanted Walmart over Fry's in
the building where Costco had been. That was a bit of a slap in the
face of the Fry family because they are from this town. If they had
moved into the Costco building my drive to Fry's would have been about 1
mile.
The city council does not decide what store occupies what building. The
owner of the building can sell it or lease it to whomever they please.
Only if the city council concurs.
City councils of almost every city in California have violated
the US Constitution and they should be doing heavy jail time.
Case in point: city councils DICTATING to stores what the stores
must charge for paper bags.
NO city council has any legal authority to dictate what a store
owner can charge for products in his establishment. Paper bags
are owned by the retailer and he can choose to give them away for
free [again] as has been done since time immemorial.
What's next, city councils dictating retailers' employees' salaries
and the prices of goods on the retailers' shelves? And what products
the retailer can sell? And how to display items on the shelves?
I buy the 1000-bag-boxes of recyclable plastic bags from Amazon for
my use at food supermarkets and I'm very tempted to start dumping
the torn or otherwise unusable bags [after 6-10 uses] down the storm
drains and into the creeks [instead of my recycling container] just to
spite all the idiotic city councils and cause them to get angry with
attendant increased adrenalin release, heart rate increase, and blood
pressure rising to 250/200 so they just die and stop mucking around
with things outside their purview.
Post by sms
[...]
Fry's seems to be not doing well. They have these huge stores with large
areas dedicated to items that almost no one would consider buying at Fry's.
Any specific items that you have in mind?
That's odd. One of the most useful things I ever bought at Frys was
a Waring Pro Slicer which I use at least once every single day in my
http://www.frys.com/product/3600595
It permits slicing things that are too thin to hold with one's hand
and slice safely, and I get at least 4+ more slices from red onions,
tomatoes, jicama, and more than is humanly possibly thus saving money
every time I use the slicer -- it's paid for itself many times over.
I will admit I never understood why Frys began selling refrigerators,
freezers, laundry machines, and similar large items -- that's gotta
encroach badly on available warehouse space and I've never seen any
folks putting any of those items in their shopping carts admitting
that if anyone tried to do that they'd probably pee blood for a week.
Thad
My source on this is a neighbor who is a real estate agent. Even she
would have preferred Fry's over Walmart. They also cleared the way for
a high end restaurant to go into the local shopping center closing two
popular retail establishments. The dollar store that was closed figured
the council favored the restaurant because it would generate more tax
revenues but many locals I've talked to give the place which the owner
invested heavily in about a year.
What planet do these people live on anyway? People in this community
don't have the expendable income to support such a place. Hence Walmart
does well and even Fry's would have too since you have a lot of traffic
from quite away visit the Concord store since the other closest store
would be in Fremont.
I went over to Walmart yesterday and notice the sign on the building was
gone though probably just going to be replaced with another logo change.
Inside there weren't very many shoppers and the clerks were standing
in front of their registers to let shoppers know there was no line for
their register. People not going out because of the Ebola scare? And
this was Friday which is usually quite busy.
sms
2014-10-04 21:24:13 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Bhairitu
I went over to Walmart yesterday and notice the sign on the building was
gone though probably just going to be replaced with another logo change.
Inside there weren't very many shoppers and the clerks were standing
in front of their registers to let shoppers know there was no line for
their register. People not going out because of the Ebola scare? And
this was Friday which is usually quite busy.
Which Walmart? I don't go there much since there isn't one that close to
me, but the Story Road and Mountain View stores always seem busy.

The Walmart Neighborhood Markets seem to not be doing too well. Strange
store with odd selection of stuff. No baskets, only carts, so you see
people juggling a bunch of stuff in their arms. When I go there I go
over to the aisle with cleaning supplies and grab a bucket which I use
as my basket.
David Kaye
2014-10-04 22:42:25 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by sms
The Walmart Neighborhood Markets seem to not be doing too well. Strange
store with odd selection of stuff. No baskets, only carts, so you see
people juggling a bunch of stuff in their arms. When I go there I go over
to the aisle with cleaning supplies and grab a bucket which I use as my
basket.
More Walmart marketing savvy. They figure that if you have a shopping cart
you'll buy more than if you have a basket. I have gone to a Walmart once in
my life; I think it was in El Cerrito or thereabouts. It was a retched
experience. The floors were sticky from spilled beverage. It seemed that
nearly every shopper was eating or drinking something as they walked the
aisles. Lots of people in motorized wheelchairs who looked able-bodied to
me. The shelves looked dirty and merchandise was placed haphazardly. There
were also more than a few shelves where people had left their food trash
right next to the merchandise.

Then the ultimate happened: I turned one aisle and a woman was trying to
change her baby's diaper on one of the shelves.

To say their customers are trash is an understatement.




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Bhairitu
2014-10-05 19:03:23 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Kaye
Post by sms
The Walmart Neighborhood Markets seem to not be doing too well. Strange
store with odd selection of stuff. No baskets, only carts, so you see
people juggling a bunch of stuff in their arms. When I go there I go over
to the aisle with cleaning supplies and grab a bucket which I use as my
basket.
More Walmart marketing savvy. They figure that if you have a shopping cart
you'll buy more than if you have a basket. I have gone to a Walmart once in
my life; I think it was in El Cerrito or thereabouts. It was a retched
experience. The floors were sticky from spilled beverage. It seemed that
nearly every shopper was eating or drinking something as they walked the
aisles. Lots of people in motorized wheelchairs who looked able-bodied to
me.
I was at a Target once with my older sister who is actually not that
ambulatory and asked why she wasn't using one of the motorized carts?
She got furious about the people she saw using them who probably
actually didn't need to. Plus they start racing up and down aisles too.
David Kaye
2014-10-05 20:35:45 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Bhairitu
I was at a Target once with my older sister who is actually not that
ambulatory and asked why she wasn't using one of the motorized carts? She
got furious about the people she saw using them who probably actually
didn't need to. Plus they start racing up and down aisles too.
The thing about the body is that it goes with the flow. If you keep trying
to walk on your own then chances are that you can. But if you begin to
depend on something such as a cane, a wheelchair, or assistance in getting
up from a table you become more and more dependent on it.

I will admit, though, that the Hover Chair and similar modern-looking
wheelchairs are fun to ride. Over at the NIMBY warehouse in Oakland they
have one and people just LOVE to ride around in it.




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SMS
2014-10-06 20:07:42 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Kaye
Post by sms
The Walmart Neighborhood Markets seem to not be doing too well. Strange
store with odd selection of stuff. No baskets, only carts, so you see
people juggling a bunch of stuff in their arms. When I go there I go over
to the aisle with cleaning supplies and grab a bucket which I use as my
basket.
More Walmart marketing savvy. They figure that if you have a shopping cart
you'll buy more than if you have a basket.
Based on the number of people I see walking around the store with their
arms full of as much as they can carry, they are figuring wrong. Of
course if I remember a bag I can use that as my "basket" but some stores
really don't like people doing that.

Bhairitu
2014-10-05 19:00:18 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by sms
Post by Bhairitu
I went over to Walmart yesterday and notice the sign on the building was
gone though probably just going to be replaced with another logo change.
Inside there weren't very many shoppers and the clerks were standing
in front of their registers to let shoppers know there was no line for
their register. People not going out because of the Ebola scare? And
this was Friday which is usually quite busy.
Which Walmart? I don't go there much since there isn't one that close to
me, but the Story Road and Mountain View stores always seem busy.
Martinez. It's usually fairly busy but it has been interesting to note
varied clientele over the years. Not long after it went in because it
was a new store and the ad agency for Walmart is in the Bay Area there
was a film crew shooting new national commercials when I visited once.
sms
2014-10-02 20:06:47 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Kaye
Post by Peter Lawrence
Think again. There's a Central Computers in Sunnyvale and a Fry's in
Sunnyvale. There's a Central Computers on Stevens Creek Blvd in Santa
Clara and a Fry's nearby on Hamilton Ave. in Campbell.
Okay, maybe the Fry's business model includes a parking lot and they figure
it's too expensive to have one. I have no idea why they don't locate in SF.
Demographics and advertising options. Plus the fact that San Francisco
has been becoming a bedroom community for Silicon Valley.
David Kaye
2014-10-03 00:01:44 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Demographics and advertising options. Plus the fact that San Francisco has
been becoming a bedroom community for Silicon Valley.
In that case then Fry's would be the perfect fit for SF given that they tend
to locate in bedroom communities and not urban retail centers.




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Thad Floryan
2014-10-03 04:53:55 UTC
Permalink
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Post by David Kaye
Demographics and advertising options. Plus the fact that San Francisco has
been becoming a bedroom community for Silicon Valley.
In that case then Fry's would be the perfect fit for SF given that they tend
to locate in bedroom communities and not urban retail centers.
Hi David,

Oh? Not in California they don't:

http://www.frys.com/ac/storeinfo/storelocator/?site=csfooter_B

Northern California Southern California

Campbell 600 E. Hamilton Ave Anaheim 3370 E. La Palma Ave.
Concord 1695 Willow Pass Rd Burbank 2311 N. Hollywood Wy.
Fremont 43800 Osgood Rd City of Industry 13401 N. Crossroads Pkwy.
Palo Alto 340 Portage Ave Fountain Valley 10800 Kalama River Ave.
Roseville 180 N. Sunrise Ave Manhattan Beach 3600 Sepulveda Blvd.
Sacramento 4100 Northgate Blvd Oxnard 1901 E. Ventura Blvd.
San Jose 550 E. Brokaw Rd San Diego 9825 Stonecrest Blvd.
Sunnyvale 1077 East Arques Ave San Marcos 150 Bent Ave.
Woodland Hills 6100 Canoga Ave.

The Palo Alto and Sunnyvale locations are clearly industrial areas.
It's been ages since I've visited the Campbell store and I recall it
is also in an industrial area. I've been to the Fremont store once
with a friend who lives in Milpitas and needed help with parts, and
my recollection is that store is (or was) in an industrial area.

Then there's Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada (Las Vegas), Oregon,
Texas, and Washington (the state).

Thad
sms
2014-10-03 13:41:40 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Thad Floryan
Post by David Kaye
Demographics and advertising options. Plus the fact that San Francisco has
been becoming a bedroom community for Silicon Valley.
In that case then Fry's would be the perfect fit for SF given that they tend
to locate in bedroom communities and not urban retail centers.
Hi David,
http://www.frys.com/ac/storeinfo/storelocator/?site=csfooter_B
Northern California Southern California
Campbell 600 E. Hamilton Ave Anaheim 3370 E. La Palma Ave.
Concord 1695 Willow Pass Rd Burbank 2311 N. Hollywood Wy.
Fremont 43800 Osgood Rd City of Industry 13401 N. Crossroads Pkwy.
Palo Alto 340 Portage Ave Fountain Valley 10800 Kalama River Ave.
Roseville 180 N. Sunrise Ave Manhattan Beach 3600 Sepulveda Blvd.
Sacramento 4100 Northgate Blvd Oxnard 1901 E. Ventura Blvd.
San Jose 550 E. Brokaw Rd San Diego 9825 Stonecrest Blvd.
Sunnyvale 1077 East Arques Ave San Marcos 150 Bent Ave.
Woodland Hills 6100 Canoga Ave.
The Palo Alto and Sunnyvale locations are clearly industrial areas.
It's been ages since I've visited the Campbell store and I recall it
is also in an industrial area. I've been to the Fremont store once
with a friend who lives in Milpitas and needed help with parts, and
my recollection is that store is (or was) in an industrial area.
Then there's Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada (Las Vegas), Oregon,
Texas, and Washington (the state).
Since it's a destination store, like Costco, they don't have to lease
real estate in expensive areas. San Francisco has been converting
commercial and industrial to housing and becoming more of a suburb,
thanks to the buses from Silicon Valley companies.

Since Fry's Electronics was started with the same marketing ideas as
Fry's supermarket, the presence of a viable newspaper serving a large
area was necessary. The Murky News was perfect. The Chronicle was not.
But that model might be changing since Fry's has drastically cut back on
advertising. As with Radio Shack, components are not really a business
that they want to be in. Their component section is poorly stocked and
expensive.

I just make more trips to Belmont to do will-call at Jameco. About one
gallon of fuel and an hour round trip. I've been buying stuff from
Jameco since the 1970's.
Thad Floryan
2014-10-01 21:49:50 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Kaye
Post by Bhairitu
That's what you get for living in San Francisco. All I have to do is
drive 7 miles to Fry's to get things like that. Did San Francisco say no
to a Fry's?
No, I'm sure that Fry's simply doesn't locate near competition, and Central
Computer has a lot of stuff and cheaper than Fry's.
Hi David,

Frys can often surprise folks. I needed some special cabling and
an adapter for a temporary project a week ago:

http://www.frys.com/product/6770735
http://www.frys.com/product/7236823
http://www.frys.com/product/4301945

so I ordered online for in-store (Sunnyvale) pickup in 30 minutes.
All I had to do was drive there and not waste time looking for the
items in the store. I get to the checkout register to receive and
pay for the items and the prices were actually less than half of
what's shown at the above 3 URLs apparently due to the manufacturer
having been changed which was a pleasant surprise.
Post by David Kaye
I usually go there, but
during Oracle week it's impossible to get anywhere near it. Sometimes I go
to CC's San Mateo store. Not only are they cheaper but they have a frequent
shopper plan that makes prices dirt cheap in most things.
Hi David,

I just Googled "central computer san mateo" and their address
is the first one I had for my company from January 3, 2000 to
approx. mid-2002 when I moved the company to the top (10th)
floor of "The Crossroads" at Hwy 92 and US-101. The search
reveals CC is at 2727 S. El Camino which is where I was, too:

Loading Image... 67kB

If you're curious what "Sigaba" means, it's the never-compromised
USA counterpart to the NAZI's "Enigma" machine -- we handed out
some 2000+ DVDs of the movie U-571 during the 2001 CES in Las Vegas:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIGABA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enigma_machine
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0141926/ U-571 movie

As to why my company was named "Sigaba", look at the slogan
on the door of the Hummers seen in these pictures (2 & 3)
which was on all 10 Hummers during the 2001 CES in Las Vegas:

Loading Image... 87kB
Loading Image... 169kB
Loading Image... 196kB

Picture 1 (above) is me aboard the Pampanito:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Pampanito_%28SS-383%29

which has (had?) the only SIGABA machine on public display and we
had some folks from the NSA bring the code wheels and operate it
during our "launch" party in September 2000.

Gateway Computer used to be at 2727 along with Tower Records.
There's is (or was) an AT&T Wireless store in that shopping
center, too. It was a good location for DSL with the [then]
PacBell CO just across the street -- one could 'almost' throw
a rock from 2727 and hit the CO (Central Office) building being
careful not to hit cars driving on El Camino. :-)

And don't forget San Mateo Electronics (SME):

http:/smelectronics.com/

at 16 West 42nd Avenue just across the parking lot from Mollie
Stones. I'd often get networking gear there and a lot of other
stuff and not have to drive to the Palo Alto Frys. SME has a
lot of super-tiny video gear and all sorts of ancillary and
supporting equipment and hardware. I also built these two gadgets
using a number of parts from SME:

http://thadlabs.com/Illuminator/
and
Loading Image... 65kB
Loading Image... 40kB
Loading Image... 46kB
Loading Image... 60kB

SME had the switches rated for 1+ million operations that could
also be used wearing gloves Wintertime since I had worn out the
cheap switches used by JMI rated for only 10,000 operations. That
MotoFocus box can be seen in use here:

Loading Image... 168kB
and
http://thadlabs.com/PIX/LX200/

Thad
Roy
2014-10-01 22:11:55 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Thad Floryan
Post by David Kaye
Post by Bhairitu
That's what you get for living in San Francisco. All I have to do is
drive 7 miles to Fry's to get things like that. Did San Francisco say no
to a Fry's?
No, I'm sure that Fry's simply doesn't locate near competition, and Central
Computer has a lot of stuff and cheaper than Fry's.
Hi David,
Frys can often surprise folks. I needed some special cabling and
http://www.frys.com/product/6770735
http://www.frys.com/product/7236823
http://www.frys.com/product/4301945
so I ordered online for in-store (Sunnyvale) pickup in 30 minutes.
All I had to do was drive there and not waste time looking for the
items in the store. I get to the checkout register to receive and
pay for the items and the prices were actually less than half of
what's shown at the above 3 URLs apparently due to the manufacturer
having been changed which was a pleasant surprise.
Post by David Kaye
I usually go there, but
during Oracle week it's impossible to get anywhere near it. Sometimes I go
to CC's San Mateo store. Not only are they cheaper but they have a frequent
shopper plan that makes prices dirt cheap in most things.
Hi David,
I just Googled "central computer san mateo" and their address
is the first one I had for my company from January 3, 2000 to
approx. mid-2002 when I moved the company to the top (10th)
floor of "The Crossroads" at Hwy 92 and US-101. The search
http://thadlabs.com/PIX/SigThad_BusCards.jpg 67kB
If you're curious what "Sigaba" means, it's the never-compromised
USA counterpart to the NAZI's "Enigma" machine -- we handed out
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIGABA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enigma_machine
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0141926/ U-571 movie
...
I was a KL-7 man myself

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KL-7

It was a backup to our main encryption system. You typed the message
into the KL-7 and then took the gummed paper tape that came out and
stuck it on a blank piece of paper. That was then faxed to the recipient.
Loading...