A late Monday morning email announced the immediate closing of the Micro Center store at the Mercado in Santa Clara, CA, as a new lease couldn’t be negotiated. The sudden and surprised closing of Micro Center’s only store in Northern California—the other store is in Southern California—leaves only Fry’s Electronics and Central Computers as the biggest computer stores still left in Silicon Valley for building your own computer system from scratch. No word on if and when Micro Center will re-open their store in a new location in Silicon Valley.
As for building a computer system from scratch, I won’t need to do that again for a long time. Computer power is so cheap and plentiful that programmers are struggling to write software to absorb all that excess. The race to upgrade hardware to make the software—*cough* Windows *cough*—run faster is long over. The hardware is good enough to run current and future software for years to come.
The only hardware that might require frequent upgrading is the video card. Something I found out after updating the Blu-Ray player software that refused to work with my legacy Sapphire ATI 3870 video card. Micro Center had an XFX ATI 6790 on sale for $127 USD with a $20 USD mail-in rebate. Since the new video card had HDMI out and my 19″ Samsung monitor was long in the tooth, I also picked up an Acer 23″ monitor with HDMI in for $159 USD. Now my Blu-Ray discs play at 1080p in full detailed High Definition. (Too much detail since I can tell which male actors have too much makeup on.) If I need to order parts, I’ll go online through either Newegg or Micro Center for the best deals.
Losing Micro Center will be a big blow to Mercado. The biggest draw for that shopping center is the AMC Mercado 20 Theater. The only place to kill time before or after the movies if you’re weren’t hungry enough to visit the surrounding restaurants was Micro Center, which had a large selection of computer parts, consumer electronics, books and magazines, and everything else in between. When Borders went bankrupt and closed the stores at Santana Row and Oakridge Mall, my friend and I stopped going to the Century theaters at those location. Without a favorite hangout spot, I’ll be less inclined to visit the AMC Mercado. (The saving grace may be AMC’s discount card that returns $10USD for every $100USD spent.) As Gertrude Stein once said about Oakland, there is no there there.