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An end of an era is almost upon us...


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#51 RodLightning OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:27 PM

Once upon a time I really needed a job, and Radio Shack was hiring.  I didn't get the job because their psych profile decided I wouldn't be pushy enough to sell enough cell phones.

 

To the whole shebang I say...

 

 

Pretty much the same thing happened to me at a Radio Shack job fair I attended in the early 90s.  I sat through an orientation speech, complete with projected video and was sent to a larger room full of tables for a sit down interview.  Being a regular customer, I came prepared to impress the guy with my knowledge of their current products.  Instead, the interviewer strips off his grimy Gucci watch, hands it to me, and orders me to sell it to him.  When I explained that I knew very little about italian watches and was more qualified to sell Radio Shack items, he basically ordered me to "sell" him his scratched up wrist watch with sweaty leather band!   I gave him back his watch and was dismissed from the interview.  Needless to say, I never got a call back.  

 

I guess I wasn't "Radio Shack material" in his mind and at age 21, had a lot to learn about sales.  I was pretty disappointed with the whole experience but I never let that prevent me from going to the shack for electronic parts and pieces over the months and years to follow. 



#52 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:00 AM

 

he basically ordered me to "sell" him his scratched up wrist watch with sweaty leather band!  

 

This kind of sales mentality is partially to blame for Radio Shacks decline.  They are quite aware that they hire technically ignorant people, so they want people 'who can think fast and make stuff up to fill in the blanks', in some circles it referred to in these terms, "If you cannot dazzle them with your brilliance, baffle them with bull shit".   Problem is, many people have little tolerance for ignorant bullshitters.



#53 slx OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 30, 2014 3:01 PM

Living in Europe I only get to see RS stores once in a decade, so the changes were even more obvious. While I liked to hang around there in 1985 and even the 90s, they had lost all appeal by 2009. After hearing about the story of the TRS-80 on a podcast I read the biography of Charles Tandy and while it is a couple of years old and predates RS' present woes, I found it quite interesting. Charles Tandy was first and foremost a salesman and bought RS to expand from his leather business and keep up with customer trends changing from handicraft to HiFi. When reading about the rapid expansion with a RS on every other corner you can't help thinking ahead how that won't work in the internet age and with many items formerly a backbone of the business becoming obsolete (radio tubes, batteries, CB radios, phones). Even when switching back to 'decent quality' HiFi there's no way they could keep the number of stores in operation. HiFi these days is a smartphone and a Bluetooth speaker to most. 50% of the devices that made up a HiFi stack 20 years ago are museum pieces to all but a few (tape decks, turntables, reel-to-reel, even CD players are becoming obsolete to most).

It would certainly be interesting to see how the (prematurely deceased) Charles Tandy would re-invent his business this time.

#54 bobotech OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:39 PM

Oh wow, just remembered something, does anyone here remember reading the "fireside chats" that they had in the monthly catalogs/flyers? 



#55 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:49 PM

Oh wow, just remembered something, does anyone here remember reading the "fireside chats" that they had in the monthly catalogs/flyers? 

 

 Oh yeah, I remember something about the "Flyerside Chat".

 

 << THIS LINK >> will give your need for a nostalgia fix a boost.



#56 bobotech OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 1, 2014 1:43 AM

Yup!  I have been browsing the heck out of that link for the last couple of days but missed that they had some of the sales flyers with the flyerside chat in them.   



#57 bkrownd OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 1, 2014 1:18 PM

A moment of silence for all the things Radio Shack did for us in better days...

 

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crystal-radio-science-fair-flickr-blazer

 



#58 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 1, 2014 1:26 PM

Fuck that, a moment of silence my ass! I'm jamming my Crystal Radio and mini-amp!



#59 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 1, 2014 8:26 PM

A moment of silence for all the things Radio Shack did for us in better days...

 

 

Oh, yeah, that got my memory cells excited!  I had this one when I was a kid.

 

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It was so much fun I wanted my son to experience the same enjoyment, so I bought him this one...

 

51%2BPMzStrLL.jpg

 

This radio kit was another one that I had HUNDREDS of hours of enjoyment with.  I listened to mostly Radio Nederland, Deutche Well, VOA, Radio Australia and the local radio station.  It was an anemic little radio, but FUN!

 

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I had much more fun years later when I finally had enough money to buy this one...

 

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#60 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 1, 2014 9:11 PM

I still have my Crystal Radio and Globe Patrol receivers, Along with the Aircraft and Police VHF kits. These were really fantastic imagination catalysts. Between the Apple II, the Hayes MicroModem, these kits, and all the discrete parts - any kid could very easily pretend to be conducting their own SETI communications station.

 

Great fun to get hundreds of meters of wiring and string it out across the field an up into a tree. I swear we picked up sounds from space and from around the world. The foreign radio stations freaked us out because we actually thought we had picked up space alien conversations.



#61 bkrownd OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 1, 2014 9:34 PM

I made one of those crystal radios in shop class in junior high, but wish I had the Globe Patrol.  Amazing how useful shop class experience became when I got to grad school in physics.  Machining, welding, brazing, woodworking, drafting, etc...   I got a Grundig YachtBoy about the same time BBC started turning down the power on a lot of their shortwave transmitters.  :(  (About the same time I could stream BBC World Service at home, but that's not quite as magical).  Anyhow, I always wanted to fiddle with a shortwave, but have so many hobbies already...



#62 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 1, 2014 9:58 PM

I still have my Crystal Radio and Globe Patrol receivers, Along with the Aircraft and Police VHF kits. These were really fantastic imagination catalysts. Between the Apple II, the Hayes MicroModem, these kits, and all the discrete parts - any kid could very easily pretend to be conducting their own SETI communications station.

 

Great fun to get hundreds of meters of wiring and string it out across the field an up into a tree. I swear we picked up sounds from space and from around the world. The foreign radio stations freaked us out because we actually thought we had picked up space alien conversations.

 

Yeah, lot's of fun.  Actually this stuff got me interested enough to get into amateur radio, where I did a lot of Packet Radio, APRS, and even worked the ISS a few times.  I've since let my license lapse, lost interest and have gotten rid of most of my gear, but I still listen now and then on the TH79AD I could not bring myself to get rid of as it makes a great scanner.

 

Back in the early 2000's I used to do the Seti at Home screen saver!



#63 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 1, 2014 10:29 PM

I remember running the screensaver on a hot and lumbering Penitum III 450MHz. I truly thought I would be *the* one to discover real signals. Time passed and I figured I was just some flunky participating in a distributed computing experiment.

 

Since then I became wary of anything on my computer that doesn't directly benefit me in a real tangible measurable way.


Edited by Keatah, Mon Sep 1, 2014 10:29 PM.


#64 bobotech OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 1, 2014 10:41 PM

Heh.  I had that same 160 in 1 kit and the no-battery crystal radio kit as pictured above.  I actually bought a 150 or 100 in 1 kit at a thrift a few years ago.  I hope I still have it in my storage unit.  



#65 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 2, 2014 8:35 AM

Someone is selling one of those crystal diode radio kits on eBay right now!   << HERE >>

 

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#66 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 2, 2014 8:38 AM

There's a 100 in 1 too!  <<HERE >>

 

$_57.JPG



#67 bkrownd OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 2, 2014 11:36 AM

Oooh, I had forgotten about the telegraph key that came with them!  :D



#68 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 2, 2014 1:47 PM

Oooh, I had forgotten about the telegraph key that came with them!  :D

 

You want a trip down memory lane?  You want to be reminded of all those Radio Shack toys you had as a kid?  You can still get a lot of them NIB at decent prices too.  Click << THIS LINK >> and be amazed at the HUNDREDS of items available.  Just be warned, you may be bidding against me on one or two items... strictly for nostalgic purposes;)



#69 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 2, 2014 4:06 PM

At eeekbay prices 2Bsure..



#70 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 2, 2014 5:58 PM

At eeekbay prices 2Bsure..

 

 Actually, I was pleasantly surprised, some of them are quite reasonable.



#71 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 2, 2014 7:19 PM

 

 

51%2BPMzStrLL.jpg

 

This radio kit was another one that I had HUNDREDS of hours of enjoyment with.  I listened to mostly Radio Nederland, Deutche Well, VOA, Radio Australia and the local radio station.  It was an anemic little radio, but FUN!

 

I had that same kit as a kid. Once I fried a transistor by accidentally shorting it, and almost cried. My mom brought the kit to Radio Shack and they replaced the transistor for me. :D

 

I've loved and enjoyed everything electronic since, and even majored in Electrical Technology at La Tech, but couldn't finish thanks to one stupid advanced Calculus class. And Technical writing didn't help. English was never my strong point. Derp. :dunce:

 

Now I'm thinking about going to trade school to get an Electrician's cert. But where would I be now without that little 200-in-1 kit? Who the heck knows... :P

 

I used to program games on my TI-82 graphing calculator in study hall. My one regret is I never took computer programming in college. You homebrew gurus make me jealous...  :cool:

 

Back on topic, Radio Shack people are so funny. First they ask, "May I help you," I say "parts bin," then they ask me one of two things, "can I interest you in a cell phone," or "what are you building." Former group can shove it, but the latter guys are all right. They always seem so amazed when I tell them it's for a 30 year old game console, like their shocked those things still exist and people actually play them. :thumbsup:


Edited by stardust4ever, Tue Sep 2, 2014 7:28 PM.

  • jhd likes this

#72 RodLightning OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 2, 2014 8:46 PM

...

Back on topic, Radio Shack people are so funny. First they ask, "May I help you," I say "parts bin," then they ask me one of two things, "can I interest you in a cell phone," or "what are you building." Former group can shove it, but the latter guys are all right. They always seem so amazed when I tell them it's for a 30 year old game console, like their shocked those things still exist and people actually play them. :thumbsup:

 

Somebody needs to contact the corporate office right away so they can fire those guys in the latter group.  :-o



#73 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 2, 2014 8:57 PM

They always seem so amazed when I tell them it's for a 30 year old game console, like their shocked those things still exist and people actually play them. :thumbsup:

 

 I don't doubt it!  Those kids they hire are too young to have any real concept of nostalgia yet.   For the most part the younger crowd grew up in an era where everything is super small and highly integrated (NOT REPAIRABLE).  They treat everything like it's disposable.  Many of them trade up to a new cell phone every year, like it's a fashion item or a status piece, not because they have outgrown it's usefulness.

 

I would not be surprised if the average Atari Age users Classic Computer is older than the average Radio Shack employee!



#74 BigO OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 2, 2014 9:55 PM

 

Somebody needs to contact the corporate office right away so they can fire those guys in the latter group.  :-o

Based on my experience in RS, there's a formal program in place to eliminate any such personnel.



#75 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 2, 2014 10:38 PM

I learned everything there is to know about electronics from this kit:
mywoVwtBbx3Nrn1R5rpsBJA.jpg

Ohh the projects I built with it.. You could only dream about them!

 






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