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"Kemmer Enterprises Final Sale"

liqmat

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2017
Messages
619
Location
Kemo City
Wow, so many closures this year of vintage hardware stores/warehouses. Computer Reset warehouse in Texas, Ribbon Recycler's warehouse in Vermont and now this. 2019 is turning out to be a busy year.
 

Towmater

Experienced Member
Joined
May 14, 2017
Messages
204
Should I feel bad that I don't know who Jason Scott is? Wait... is that the Arcade board fixer guy?
 

Chuck(G)

25k Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
38,857
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
Wow, so many closures this year of vintage hardware stores/warehouses. Computer Reset warehouse in Texas, Ribbon Recycler's warehouse in Vermont and now this. 2019 is turning out to be a busy year.

A good reason for it is the lack of domestic manufacturing. The San Francisco Bay area used to be a real paradise for surplus hunters.
 

legalize

Experienced Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
385
Location
Salt Lake City, UT, USA
They don't appear to have any web site showing actual inventory, so unless someone does a walkthrough and posts pictures or video, it's going to be difficult to know what gems are potentially lurking here. So that's good news for locals. Have fun!
 

Unknown_K

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2003
Messages
8,507
Location
Ohio/USA
A good reason for it is the lack of domestic manufacturing. The San Francisco Bay area used to be a real paradise for surplus hunters.

Manufacturing and blowout prices on overstocks and obsolete parts pre internet. Even after most manufacturing went to Asia but computers were still assembled in the US you would have great deals of overstocked parts on places like pricewatch.

These days you can get items direct from China almost as cheap as a wholesaler can without having to deal with rent and employee overhead.

Surplus stored today just sell used equipment meant for recycling.
 

Chuck(G)

25k Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
38,857
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
Ah, but at least in the Santa Clara Valley, the liquidation auctions were something to really follow. All sorts of equipment that you wouldn't expect to find at your local surplus store. And places like Halted/Haltek/ACE were gold for items scrapped by manufacturers. Piles of VIC-20s, for example for $5 each or $30 for 10. Pieces of a STAR-65 supercomputer, purchased by the pound. I've still got a clone XT built into a MAD Systems box. Engineering findings were easy to come by.

That doesn't occur on the internet or in the US anywhere, as far as I can determine.
 

Al Kossow

Documentation Wizard
Joined
Sep 1, 2006
Messages
2,728
Location
Silicon Valley
And places like Halted/Haltek/ACE were gold for items scrapped by manufacturers.
Engineering findings were easy to come by.

That doesn't occur on the internet or in the US anywhere, as far as I can determine.

The good news for me is I've been concentrating on working on stuff I've already hoarded.. um.. 'collected' when the pickin's were good
The bad news is it's gotten expensive to find the missing bits of systems I don't already have.
 

Unknown_K

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2003
Messages
8,507
Location
Ohio/USA
Chuck you pretty much pointed out why those places don't exist anymore, you don't have any competing hardware designs anymore. Everything is x64 except for game consoles and a few exotic IBM servers.

With the whole supply chain being squeezed to supply on demand there really isn't much stock of anything laying around to have to dump.

When the dot com bubble burst around 2000 all that was left to liquidate were expensive office chairs and a few barely used servers. If Google went belly up tomorrow you would have a ton of commodity hardware and a building to ditch, nothing special or interesting.

Silicon valley pretty much is for bloated software and advertising little more.
 

Unknown_K

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Joined
Sep 11, 2003
Messages
8,507
Location
Ohio/USA
The good news for me is I've been concentrating on working on stuff I've already hoarded.. um.. 'collected' when the pickin's were good
The bad news is it's gotten expensive to find the missing bits of systems I don't already have.

You can sell extras and trade for those missing bits.

I don't feel bad for people getting into the hobby these days because even with Ebay prices you can still build a couple machines to do what you want cheap enough (compared to any other hobbY. It also keeps you from turning into a hoarder allowing you time to actually use what you have and not have to worry about storage, clutter, and fixing idle machines you rarely use.
 

Chuck(G)

25k Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
38,857
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
I suspect that engineers are pretty different now.

I can recall during the 1970s of engineers swapping stuff in the parking lot of Walker's Wagon Wheel on Middlefield Road. When you needed a part, very often someone you knew who worked for say, Fairchild, could get it for you, in return for a favor.

If you were a startup, you contracted to one of the professional purchasing guys. He'd come with a briefcase and his Rolodex and stay on the phone all day. He usually knew everyone who had stuff and could wrangle a deal for some of what you needed. Of course, the understanding was the Christmas and birthday presents were part of the overhead. It was really interesting to listen to some of his chatter.

Such stuff would be frowned on today, but it's part of what made the early Silicon Valley tick.
 

Unknown_K

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2003
Messages
8,507
Location
Ohio/USA
It was a different world where people could jump from one company to another without the worry about non compete agreements. CEOs were mostly techies, and no bean counters until you were a decent sized company.

Last I checked purchasing agents still get flooded with gifts during the holidays even at smaller companies.
 

rpiguy2

Experienced Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2016
Messages
308
Location
New Jersey
I have been to Kemner's many times. Prices have steadily gone up over the last two years. His daughter eventually started using eBay as a pricing baseline vintage computers. Before the store was on eBay prices were literally 50% lower or more. The owner also seemed to raise prices in order to stay afloat, which only works for so long until people stop buying.

A lot of the equipment came from various barns and storage units the owner had and were water damaged and still priced high for that condition.

Granted, I found many hidden gems there and for a long time it was the best local source of good, working, CRTs. He used to price them very low ($10-$20 before going on eBay).

Keyboards are the only thing they haven't gone high on. You can still get a Model F there for $45.

They will be missed, despite the ever increasing prices.
 
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