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Silicon Valley

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Where is Silicon Valley? What is it?

Silicon Valley is an informal name given to an area sort of centered around north San Jose or Santa Clara, California.
It's about 50 miles south (south-east) of San Francisco and Oakland, around the base of the San Francisco bay. The valley's true name is Santa Clara valley. The area is also known to locals as "the South Bay."

nuclear blast over fremont

So what's the big deal about Silicon Valley? Well, most of the heavy-hitters (and a lot of the light-hitters) in the computer industry are headquartered here: Intel, Sun, Cisco, HP, Adobe, Applie, Novell, Oracle, Yahoo, Palm... The list goes on and on. (Microsoft isn't headquartered here, but they do have a campus in Mountain View.)

   View Map to Nvidia, Intel, Cisco

Silicon Valley from Space

There's this local company that produces and sells "maps" of Silicon Valley that showcase most of the local high-tech companies. Funny thing is, it looks like this year's edition has a lot fewer companies on it than last year's...

view enlargement

Life In Silicon Valley


Link: Images from Silicon Valley
Unfortunately, most of the pictures at this site are mediocre at best, but it's an admirable project; trying to capture scenes of Silicon Valley that people who live or work here see on a regular basis.

Here are some of the better pictures (all by Justin Milliun, Jr.):

: "This is indoors in an office building in Silicon Valley. When human communities travel to other planets, such as Mars, they will probably create pleasant habitats such as this under domes."

San Jose State University
This is right in the middle of downtown San Jose...

Freeway and Hills (This really captures how brown things tend to be here, and the featureless sky we get most of the year.):
Castle Rock State park:
South San Jose (Morgan Hill)

More pictures:

  • Storage: "Morning at the self-storage building. These buildings house 2 stories of self-storage space. Why is this popular in Silicon Valley? Many reasons, here very few houses have basements, and thus the garage is devoted to storage. But here in Silicon Valley the garage is a special place. In addition to storing cars, people often start companies in them..."
    (Also on this page: A decent picture of Los Gatos Creek Park. Gives you a sense of the hills which surround the valley.)

  • Outside Yahoo (1999) And here's how to get to Yahoo...

Silicon Valley Weather Diary


Price Checks (state of the economy):

2001, December: Average rental cost for a 2-bedroom apartment: $1,600 - $2,100

2003, October 15:
Cigarettes (Camels) average price per pack: $4.62 (but you can find them on sale for $3.64; $34.09 for a carton)
Gas, Regular Unleaded: $1.75 [1.67 to 1.97] [check gas prices in Bay Area]
Sample 2-bedroom apartment cost: $1,350 {sample apt search}

2004, March:
Cigarettes (Camels): 3.64 per pack (cheapest); $34.09 per carton (same as last October)
Gas, Regular Unleaded: $2.057 [1.97 to 2.23]
Sample 2-bedroom apartment cost: $1,400 [940 Sq. Feet]

2004, May 28:

Median Home Prices Pass Half-Million Mark; Figure Reaches $520,000 In Bay Area
Bay Area home prices have crossed a new threshold with the figure reaching $520,000.
Source: San Jose Mercury News


Silicon Valley Tarot
One of the weirdest, coolest things in San Jose: The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum
The Silicon Valley Cultures Project
Essay: "The Silicon Valley myth with a life of its own"
Essay: On Suburban Sprawl
San Jose's famous poop-snake sculpture
Santa Clara historical landmarks
Fred Terman: Father of Silicon Valley