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Wonderland to Wasteland

  Fry's went out of business today.   In general, I don't mourn the loss of big box chain stores all that much. The past success of these stores was achieved at the expense of thousands of the small local stores across the country. Those big box stores didn't really care about the little guys, so I don't shed many tears for them now that the Amazon behemoth is killing them off. (I do of course worry about the long-term effects of consolidating all retail down to a small number of vendors, but that was also my concern with the big boxes killing the locals. And it's a topic for another day.) Fry's is a bit different for me though. I just remember what an amazing experience it was to visit my first Fry’s in Austin in the '90s. The selection was mind-boggling in those pre-Amazon days. Pretty much anything electronic, they had it, in stock, on the shelves, ready to take home. And it was one of the few convenient and dependable places I could find raw electronic p

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