A Fry’s electronics store opened recently near here – I’ve seen a number of folks mention it on their blogs.  Apparently Fry’s is quite an institution down in CA, so I had to go and see what all the fuss is about.  I rounded up my friend Ken, and we headed out, arriving around 8pm.  This is significant, because they close at 9pm, and there was a line to get in running around the building.  Apparently there was some issue with the fire marshal and overcrowding…  In any case, the lines are probably gone by now, but if you want to be safe go in the middle of the day on a weekday.

So we waited in line for a while, with the rest of the geeks; fortunately, it moved pretty fast.  We finally got in, and let me tell you – this is a big store.  More importantly:

The sell pretty much everything that uses electricity.

I wanted a keychain USB storage device – picked up a 512 MB dongle for $130.  Ken was interested in electronics components to kickstart a new hobby – no problem, they had aisles of component board, transistors, resistors, capacitors, and ICs.  We browsed a bit; hard drives, check; computers, no problem.  TVs, DVDs, yep.  Refrigerators and vacuum cleaners – which brand?  They even had the internet fridge.  Ken almost bought a telescope, but we couldn’t figure out if he would be able to attach his camera to it, so he held off.

This is not the store for a geek with money and low willpower.

The checkout line snaked throughout half the store.  The line moved pretty fast, which normally is a good thing; however, they fiendishly wind the line through the aisles of their book and magazine department.  At times I wished the line would just stop for a while so I could browse the goods a bit longer.  Since I’m not the wealthiest person in the world, though, I suppose that is all for the best.

I’ve seen on other blogs that people complained about the overwhelming presence of the sales personnel, but that didn’t really bother me.  Whenever one approached, I just sent them away without much thought.

Bottom line: Fry’s is a fun trip.  Lots of cool stuff.  Wait until the lines have died down, and go check it out.