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View Full Version : Anything to do in San Mateo/San Jose



macona
04-28-2008, 04:28 PM
On the first I am heading down to San Mateo and San Jose for the Maker Faire http://www.makerfaire.com/ . My friend is setting up a booth with some stuff to sell so I am going along to help out.

Is there anything worth seeing? Any place where I can find goodies?

My friend runs a place called Surplus Gizmos (http://www.surplusgizmos.com) and we are also looking for goodies for resale so if anyone knows of any good sources...

lazlo
04-28-2008, 04:42 PM
San Jose has the world's best surplus yards -- all the stuff left over from the fabs. I have a couple of favorites I visit that I'll PM you...

ckelloug
04-28-2008, 05:02 PM
The Tech Museum in San Jose is neat! I once finagled my way in there to the E-Bay/PayPal corporate Christmas party. There's all sorts of interesting exhibits. Probably not as good as the surplus places but I'm not an expert on the latter.

--Cameron

trains4
04-28-2008, 05:50 PM
lazlo, would you mind sharing to all? I know of Triangle Machinery & Tool at 1051 Commercial Ct. in San Jose. Are there others?
Thanks,
Gene

gearedloco
04-28-2008, 06:12 PM
Is there any place to take the place of the long lamented LASQUAD metals?

macona
04-28-2008, 06:13 PM
Triangle Machinery has shrunk big time from what I understand. I went there last year coming back up from LA when I bought my 10EE. A lot of the stuff there was apparently on consignment with a guy that the friend I am going down there with. Apparently they guy at triangle decided to scale down so the guy pulled all his stuff and my friend is buying it for resale in his store.

Ries
04-28-2008, 10:29 PM
I gotta say I was less than overwhelmed with the tech museum in San Jose. Its mostly videos, and big snazzy graphics, and hardly any actual objects. I guess they figure real computers would be boring to look at. They have a couple of em in the basement, but the vast majority of the place is sort of a photoshop wet dream.
I prefer actual old junk, made by people, to all that groovy interactive "learning".

I went by Triangle a few years ago when I was down there working on a job or two- and I wasnt very impressed.

I am told there is a real museum of computers a few miles away- I think its in Mountain View- that I think is probably a lot better than the tech museum.
http://www.computerhistory.org/about/

Good vietnamese food. Good Mexican food. Good japanese food.

There is a really wacky Egyptian Museum in San Jose- it was put together by the Rosecrucians, whose religion says they are somehow descended from ancient Egyptians, so during the teens and twenties, they funded actual digs in Egypt, and brought back all the stuff they found.
They built this amazing Egyptian style architecture museum, with lots of papyrus growing on the grounds, and inside there are actual tombs, and all kinds of 4000 year old stuff- wooden toys, cloth, mummies and ceramics- a lot of things you would not think could have survived, but did, somehow.
http://www.egyptianmuseum.org/visit/index.html

If you are into blacksmithing, my friends Nick and Jean, some of the best smiths on the planet, did a series of amazing grilles and fences for the light rail in San Jose- Forging on a massive scale.
http://www.whitesavageandlyle.com/
then click on VTA Light Rail.

Guido
04-28-2008, 11:21 PM
The Men of Hendy--------------Sunnyvale, mile or two west of SJ on Camino Real. Ol'Josh new how to run a shop, from gold ore stamps to massive engines for WWII Liberty Ships, to Westinghouse electric boats to Northrup- Grumman.

Company museum at 401 E. Hendy Avenue, Sunnyvale. 408/735-2020 for appointment and museum guide, or eric.thomas@ngc.com

Pull up: www.geocities.com/alkol6/


G

wirewrkr
04-28-2008, 11:37 PM
let's not forget the Winchester House in SanJose, worth a look if you've never been. www.winchestermysteryhouse.com
Fun to check it out.
RV

mechanicalmagic
04-29-2008, 12:32 AM
On the first I am heading down to San Mateo and San Jose for the Maker Faire

Is there anything worth seeing? Any place where I can find goodies?


I'm sure your friend is aware of:
http://www.halted.com/
not a bad stop for electronics stuff, most others have gone away.

If you need to see a warehouse full of machinery, call Gary at 510 453-0513. He's across the bay, maybe 15 miles. Will talk you deaf, dumb and blind. He has ~50,000+ sq ft of stuff. MIGHT be some deals, don't plan on it, but a lot of stuff.

Dave

Michael Moore
04-29-2008, 01:03 AM
Jerry, I'm right near GG Park and Ocean Beach. I'm often around if you wanted to call and stop in for a garage visit. If you don't still have my contact info from when I got the Miller parts from you drop me a line and I'll send it to you again.

cheers,
Michael

quasi
04-29-2008, 11:59 AM
Do you know the way to San Jose? I've been away so long ....

Evan
04-29-2008, 01:12 PM
Xerox PARC gives tours. They are just across the bay in Palo Alto. The Lawrence hall of Science in Berkeley at the National Lab is a bit of a drive but always interesting. Even better is if you can get a tour of the accelerators. I once visited the Fairchild fab in Mountain View and came out of there with a shoe box full of floor sweepings. More diodes and silicon transistors than I could count, many unlabled.

lazlo
04-29-2008, 01:39 PM
I gotta say I was less than overwhelmed with the tech museum in San Jose. Its mostly videos, and big snazzy graphics, and hardly any actual objects.

The San Jose tech museum is OK. They do have a couple of racks from Eniac there, and some old IBM punch card machines.

I hear the [cough, cough] Intel Museum is nice :) Seriously, it's pretty cool if you want to see the dies and wafers from the old 4004's, 8080s, etc.
Edit: forgot the address -- it's in the ground floor of RNB (the Robert Noyce Build) on Mission College Blvd. You can see it from 101 -- take the Montague exit.


lazlo, would you mind sharing to all? I know of Triangle Machinery & Tool at 1051 Commercial Ct. in San Jose.

I'm not sure I should be publically posting my secret stash... ;)

Like others have said, Triangle Machinery has been pretty sparse lately.

For neat electronic stuff, including an excellent stock of servos, steppers and ballscrews, there's Halted on Ryder Street. Last time I was there (about 3 months ago), I picked up a BlueTooth hardware developers kit with the USB board and all the legitimate developer's software for $20. They also had a really pristine Rockwell hardness gage for $400, but it was way too heavy to bring back on the plane.

The WeirdStuff Warehouse on Caribbean Drive is really cool -- they have a lot of cheap (below Fry's), new PC components. They also have a bunch of ex-fab stuff in the back.

Sequoia Surplus in Redwood City (a bit of a hike, but definitely worth it) has a fabulous stock of servos and steppers, including a ton of Maxxon (Swiss -- the best) motors in near mint condition. They also have weird stuff -- the last time I was there they had a surplus torpedo :)

retusaf99
04-29-2008, 01:46 PM
Xerox PARC gives tours. They are just across the bay in Palo Alto.
Evan,
Is this the same Xerox location that gave us the mouse and GUI? I recall using a Xerox system in the USAF, server based, but very graphical, in the early 80's.

I'm pretty much a PC guy, so I sometimes wonder about the Mac guys claiming their invention of the mouse and GUI. I think Xerox was first, though not on a personal computer. Any thoughts here? (Just trying to get better informed. No dog in this hunt.)

Doug

lazlo
04-29-2008, 01:50 PM
Is this the same Xerox location that gave us the mouse and GUI?

Oh please, don't get him started! :)

Yes, it's the same Xerox PARC that invented the mouse and the GUI.

macona
04-29-2008, 02:29 PM
We went to Halted and WeirdStuff last year. Halted is really proud of their stuff. High prices. Weird stuff had so much useless junk it was incredible. I mean shelves and shelves of old 10mbit routers... Geesh...

Michael, I have next tuesday free. My friend is flying over to Las Vegas for the day for a electronics distributors show so I have the day to myself. I cant seem to find your info.

Yep, Xerox PARC is the home of the Mouse/GUI which Apple licensed. Apple never claimed to invent it, they just made it usable for the rest of us.

jkilroy
04-29-2008, 04:33 PM
You can try and track down my ex. She IS hot, but not worth the baggage!

Evan
04-29-2008, 08:42 PM
I'm pretty much a PC guy, so I sometimes wonder about the Mac guys claiming their invention of the mouse and GUI. I think Xerox was first, though not on a personal computer. Any thoughts here? (Just trying to get better informed. No dog in this hunt.)
Hmm. Looks a lot like a PC to me. This is a shot of the Xerox Star, circa 1981 with a full WIMP GUI. (Windows, Icons, Mouse and Pointer). Xerox was far ahead of everyone else. They also developed Ethernet at PARC as well as many other inventions.

http://vts.bc.ca/pics/xstar.jpg

BTW, that's an optical mouse. I still have a couple.

ckelloug
04-29-2008, 08:48 PM
I hate to say this but SRI invented the mouse: Xerox only ended up getting the credit since they popularized it. A replica of the first mouse is on display at SRI Headquarters 333 Ravenswood Avenue, Menlo Park CA.

--Cameron

BobWarfield
04-29-2008, 08:58 PM
SRI did invent the mouse. Douglas Englebart to be precise. The Star was nevertheless, very cool, as was Smalltalk and various other Xerox innovations. The laser printer for example.

I've always thought there was a rich irony in Englebart inventing the mouse. In Computer Lib/Dream Machines or some similar vintage publication there is a story about Englebart. At the time he was working on what he called "intelligence amplifiers." He wanted computers to be tools that made us smarter. When asked what an "intelligence amplifier" was, he replied that he didn't know, but that he could tell you what the opposite was.

He said to imagine a great painter. Now take his paintbrush and strap it to a rock. Obviously it would reduce his talent.

What else is a drawing program and a mouse but strapping your paintbrush to a rock!

BTW, the Hiller Aviation Museum is right on 101 between San Jose and San Mateo and is a great little museum if you like aircraft.

Cheers,

BW

lazlo
04-29-2008, 08:58 PM
I hate to say this but SRI invented the mouse:

Oh man, you're in for it now Cameron. After Evan gets up off the floor from his brain hemorrhage, you're in for lots and lots of Google quotes :)

lazlo
04-29-2008, 09:28 PM
This is a shot of the Xerox Star, circa 1981 with a full WIMP GUI. (Windows, Icons, Mouse and Pointer). Xerox was far ahead of everyone else.

This is a shot of Englebart's oN-Line System display, keyboard and mouse, circa 1968. He called it NLS, or oN-Line System, because it was also networked between multiple computers:

http://media.arstechnica.com/images/gui/2-NLSdisplay.jpg

Here's a close-up of the three-button mouse on NLS. The box on the left is a 5-key "chording keyboard" which has been re-invented several times since 1968:

http://media.arstechnica.com/images/gui/3-NLSmouse.jpg

Here's a screenshot of the NLS GUI. It was based on vector graphics, and could display both text and lines on the same screen, but because of limited memory it originally only displayed upper-case characters. NLS had multiple windows, but no window bars. Englebart's demo, which was widely shown, included hypertext linking, full-screen document editing, context-sensitive help, networked document collaboration, e-mail, instant messenging, and even video conferencing (there were several video cameras panned on Englebart during the demo).

http://media.arstechnica.com/images/gui/4-NLSgui.jpg

Englebart kept working on NLS until 1989 -- I'd love to see what the final version looked like!

ArsTechnica has a fantastic "History of the GUI", including NLS, the Alto (Xerox's first GUI, circa 1973), which was re-packaged as the Star document processor (circa 1981), the Apple Lisa GUI (circa 1983), ...

A History of the GUI (http://arstechnica.com/articles/paedia/gui.ars/1)

Evan
04-29-2008, 10:00 PM
Stuff it Robert.

The Star was actually for sale.

ckelloug
04-29-2008, 11:31 PM
In addition to developing the mouse, SRI received the first message on the arpanet (from UCLA) on October 29, 1969 as attested by lab notebooks preserved in the archives. As a recent slashdot article will attest, SRI also was the single largest recipient for the first SPAM e-mail: see http://www.templetons.com/brad/spamreact.html#msg

One of my favorite colleagues worked at SRI-NIC when SRI was domain registrar for the entire internet before SAIC/Network Solutions weaseled SRI out of the contract . He also was the last one to see the IMP, the multiple 19 inch rack Interface Message Processor, the predecessor to the modern network interface card.

While SRI never profited from the mouse, Doug Englebart's lab contributed some amazing things that Xerox and Apple were both happy to use and take credit for.

--Cameron

Ausserdog
04-30-2008, 01:19 PM
If you're willing to drive a bit, the tours at Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton are pretty good. Bit of a twisty road to get up there though!

DR
04-30-2008, 01:48 PM
Drive over to Santa Cruz. Sit on the beach.

Got to Bob Rowe Machinery in SC. (if he's still there, last time for me was 2 years ago).

aostling
04-30-2008, 07:40 PM
Go to Alice's Restaurant on Skyline Blvd & Hwy 84, above Woodside. Hundreds of motorcycles meet here for open-throttle runs on the twisties, or at least they did in the 1980s. Take a walk on Neil Young's ranch, and claim you got lost.

Walk the tracks to the iron railroad bridge crossing the bay at East Palo Alto, and marvel at the ancient drawbridge machinery still in use. The operator will be amazed to have a visitor.

Sit at a picnic table at Rosotti's Alpine Inn in Portola Valley and have a pitcher of beer while ogling the Stanford dollies.

macona
05-01-2008, 06:54 PM
finally I am on the way down there. Got hung up on some last minute things.

From my iPhone

Jerry