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Games Idle Technology

Silicon Valley's Island of Misfit Tech 134

harrymcc writes "For more than 20 years, Sunnyvale's cavernous, aptly-named Weird Stuff Warehouse has sold an amazing array of salvage and surplus computer products. It's like a tech museum where everything's for sale at bargain-basement prices — from shrinkwrapped Atari 1040ST software to used BetaMAX tapes to 1GB hard drives to mysterious printed circuit boards to Selectric typewriters. I paid a visit to this legendary geek temple and snapped photos of some of the fascinating stuff I came across."


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Silicon Valley's Island of Misfit Tech

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  • Probe Card (Score:5, Informative)

    by mjvvjm ( 1003135 ) on Friday February 12, 2010 @03:00PM (#31116672)
    Round circuit board is a needle Probe card. (For testing IC's) []
  • by dtmos ( 447842 ) * on Friday February 12, 2010 @03:06PM (#31116730)

    It's hard to tell from the photograph, but I think the circular circuit board is a probe ring for an automated integrated circuit tester. The chip is placed in the hole in the center of the circuit board. Probe pins, like these [], are placed on the gold area around the hole in the center to contact the pads of the IC under test. The other side of the pins are connected to the inner ring of contact points on the circuit board (just outside the gold area), which are, in turn, connected to the rows of contact points at the periphery of the board. These points are big enough for human beings to connect test equipment cables to.

    It's an example of the transition needed from the micro- (or even nano-) world of integrated circuits to the human-scale physical world.

  • by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) * on Friday February 12, 2010 @03:11PM (#31116770)

    RePC. There's one in Seattle south of the stadiums, plus it has a computer history museum inside of it with lots of seriously old machines on display. There is another RePC (sans museum) in Tukwila, south of Seattle.

    Never seen traffic walk signs there before, but I've seen basically everything else shown here on sale at RePC, though the prices seem better than at RePC.

    I picked up a C64C with some floppy drives, some monitors to go with old 8-bit machines, an Apple //GS, and some other stuff. Those machines are seriously cheap nowadays.

  • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Friday February 12, 2010 @03:18PM (#31116862)

    Between the racks I got from Weird Stuff [], the tube radio I got at Electronics Flea Market [], the wiring and connectors, and components I get from Halted [] and Al Lasher's Electronics [], (I still miss Quinn's Electronics [], though...), I almost don't need to go to Fry's or order from Digi-Key.

    Not that I don't go to Fry's, Digi-Key, or even eBay, but it's nice to still be able to get parts 'n' stuff on a Saturday for $5 in gas and a pleasant drive, rather than a $5 shipping charge and a three-day wait. (I don't mind paying $5 for a $1 connector, but if I gotta go that route, I'll be damned if I'm gonna wait for it :)

    Alas, the surplus store memorial [] list gets longer with every passing year.

    But that covers a few places I know of in the Bay Area. Where are your surplus stores?

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