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personal website: joe crawford. code. occasional comics. toy robots. bodysurfing. san diego. california. say hi.
since 1998

February 2021 Thirty-six posts

Barts Books is the “world’s largest outdoor bookstore” in Ojai. When I worked on a programming temp job in Ojai 15 years ago I used to be able to wander through it on my lunch hour. I’ve had a remarkably large set of work experiences. Yesterday was great.

We drove north 💙

Happy Friday

New Bot Day! Rusty the Boy Robot is from the 1995 Dark Horse comic in which Rusty idolizes The Big Guy. Rusty is clearly inspired by Astro Boy in the best ways. Alongside Rusty is non-robot hero Lady Maxx, a vinyl creation by Mark Nagata and Max Toy Company. Be earnest & heroic today!


Rare daylight swim time!

Fry’s Closing; Memories of Fry’s

Archiving text from their website for posterity.

After nearly 36 years in business as the one-stop-shop and online resource for high-tech professionals across nine states and 31 stores, Fry’s Electronics, Inc. (“Fry’s” or “Company”), has made the difficult decision to shut down its operations and close its business permanently as a result of changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Company will implement the shut down through an orderly wind down process that it believes will be in the best interests of the Company, its creditors, and other stakeholders.

The Company ceased regular operations and began the wind-down process on February 24, 2021. It is hoped that undertaking the wind-down through this orderly process will reduce costs, avoid additional liabilities, minimize the impact on our customers, vendors, landlords and associates, and maximize the value of the Company’s assets for its creditors and other stakeholders.

The Company is in the process of reaching out to its customers with repairs and consignment vendors to help them understand what this will mean for them and the proposed next steps.

If you have questions, please contact us using the following email addresses:

  1. For customers who have equipment currently being repaired, please email, to arrange for return of your equipment.
  2. For customers with items needing repair under a Performance Service Contract, please call (800) 811-1745.
  3. For consignment vendors needing to pick up their consignment inventory at Fry’s locations, please email

Please understand if we are a bit slow to respond given the large volume of questions. The Company appreciates your patience and support through this process.


Fry’s Electronics

Fry’s meant a lot to me. I vividly remember my decision to buy DeBabelizer at the Manhattan Beach store (Hawaiian theme!). It was expensive. I’d read it was good. This was the era before “trials” of software. I’d look at it on the shelf and think, “do I need this?” and come back another day. This went on for months and I bit the bullet. And DeBabelizer was cool.

My last big experience there was helping a friend get a widescreen monitor – a floor model, cheap. Worked out great.

They were sort of famous for unhelpful sales staff, to some people. I always did research and came in with questions. And the sales people would help me clarify my needs. Sometimes they made a sale, sometimes not, but I felt like I could trust them.

Zip Drive? SCSI Cable? Thumb drive? Games? Soldering iron? Zip ties? Enclosures? Motherboards? Memory? Hard drives? SSD drives? Operating systems?

And books! Purchased more than a few O’Reilly books at Fry’s.

I bet the software makers who made Amazon and other online retail systems used Fry’s a lot when they were getting started. We built better fulfilment than was possible in retail.

And the Covid pandemic has certainly put even more stress.

Cool store.

Swarm Checkins

New Bot Day! Cometroid E-05 transforms from egg to robot. Created for Japanese toy line Tamagoras (タマゴラス); the waning He-Man franchise ingested him and other egg-bots in 1984 and called them Meteorbs.

Swarm Checkins

They cleaned overnight

Swarm Checkins

Sunset here

Swarm Checkins

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